Geeky Ornaments and Holiday Magic: The O Christmas Geek Story


Follow O Christmas Geek


In the bustling world of holiday decorations, few ventures stand out as brightly as O Christmas Geek. Founded in January 2013, O Christmas Geek combines the whimsy of holidays with the vibrant enthusiasm of geek culture. We got a chance to ask some questions of company founder Molly. Read below to learn what led her to launch O Christmas Geek, a venture that now delights fans at conventions and online alike.

GeekPost: Can you tell us about the origins of O Christmas Geek and the inspiration behind its founding?

Molly: In January of 2013 I was working for one of the biggest Christmas ornament companies in the world, Kurt S Adler. We had some really cool geek licenses, like Star Wars and Doctor Who, and I had idly wondered why I never saw such things at cons or in stores.

I was working with a darling older gift shop owner from rural Kentucky, and she asked me if she needed anything from the licensed section. I showed her the various incarnations of the TARDIS, but she told me, “I don’t know how to sell that” and I was so frustrated since it was all over my social media and I knew it would sell for her, but I couldn’t articulate to her how.

The next morning, I was coming in on the train, and thinking about how I could have told her to sell it.

You know how you have a moment that changes the entire course of your life and sometimes you miss it? I grabbed my phone and texted my boss; “I just made us a million dollars. It won’t be soon, but I have the idea.” I didn’t miss it.

Because I knew that was it…the one idea I’d been looking for! I always wanted to own my own business but had not found the right niche. I brainstormed the whole way in to Kurt Adler, grabbed my boss and word vomited the idea at him. And he thought it was sound.

I was incredibly lucky to have the guidance of experienced people about the structure and shape of a convention business; Aradani Studios and Gary Von Oesen of Crimson Chain Leatherworks were so generous and welcoming. I went to the Chamber of Commerce for advice and the man I spoke to said he had no idea what I was talking about.

In two months, I had booked small shows, created a website and socials, business accounts, all this basic stuff. My first order of ornaments was $865.00, which I paid out of pocket. All my displays pretty much came from Goodwill… I was bootstrapping, but I had SO much confidence in my idea.

I should mention at the same exact time, I was on the opening team of a restaurant that was working us to death, so I didn’t sleep for two months. One of my favorite quotes is the one about “an entrepreneur works 100 hours a week to not work 40 for someone else” but they don’t tell you  that you are going to need to also work the 40 at the same time unless you have financing!

The restaurant closed last year, by the way, and O Christmas Geek is doing better every year!

Interview Continues Below

GeekPost: How do you incorporate geek culture into your holiday product designs while staying inclusive of all holiday traditions?

Molly: Inclusivity is a huge thing for me at O Christmas Geek. When I first started, I really looked for things to include all religions, since so many blended families celebrate Christmas and other holidays. I have had real trouble finding ornaments that represent different Ethnicities well, but luckily since I still work for Adler, I am always pestering one designer or another about inclusion and doing inclusion right.

I’ve been playing with a menorah idea for gamers; it’s not there yet, but I am lucky enough to have great feedback and support, and the same for Wicca- specific ornaments.

One of the sections on the website is Geek Orthodox, where the religious stuff lives. And O Christmas Geek unquestionably supports LBGTQIA+ people and neurodiverse people.

GeekPost: How do you ensure quality and innovation in your product lineup?

Molly: A lot of swearing, honestly. I am enormously lucky that post-pandemic I encountered an amazing artist at a convention that I can really vibe with, and she can turn my verbalized ideas into working prototypes, which then are sculpted and cast. I do work with several factories in China- I tried to find factories in America and when I called Corning in NY, thinking I could get them to do glass ornaments the man I spoke to actually laughed at me and told me to try China or Mexico. I do my level best to work with factories that treat their workers well and don’t use child labor, but it’s hard; I have to go off Internet reviews. Someday I would like to do site visits to the various factories.

Interview Continues Below

GeekPost: What role does customer feedback play in shaping your product offerings?

Molly: A decent amount, honestly. People have great ideas, and when I started out, I established the “Good Ideas” book, which was a notebook in which people could write things they wanted me to find or create, which is now in its fourth book.

I have a fantastic group of friends and acquaintances who act as a marketing focus group for me, and I can, and do, bounce ideas off them and they tell me what I’m doing wrong.

I did a Kickstarter in 2022 for a full seven dice set of glass gaming dice ornaments, which is something I’d wanted to do for a long time, and I’d started with a d4, but the producer couldn’t do the d20 because of the break rate, so it took me five years to find someone who could do it, and I sought so many opinions from gamers about what the colors should be. I wound up doing the full sets in red, “TARDIS” blue, and ivory, and then did single d20 in purple, blue, and green.

I did learn that ultimately, decisions come down to me; it’s my vision of how to shape the company, but I learned the hard way. My first order included some Family Guy ornaments because a member of my trivia team, a huge fellow nerd, insisted that I needed Family Guy. I sold the last of that 24-piece order four years later. Lesson learned.

GeekPost: How do you stay updated with the latest trends in both geek culture and holiday themes?

Molly: I spend an inordinate amount of time surfing the Internet; Facebook brings me a LOT of things to pay attention to because people of an age to use that platform are of an age to have kids who like things, and also a house, so they can have a Christmas tree and décor for  their own lifestyle. I’ve done anime cons as a bit of counter programming; the parents understand my booth and say so, usually in tones of great relief.

I can’t begin to keep up with watching and digesting all the new media out there; I’d love to do something for the Our Flag Means Death fans, because they are a delightful fandom, but I’m so far behind in watching everything I haven’t seen the second season of Loki yet and I was in the first one!

Interview Continues Below

GeekPost: Can you describe the process of bringing a new holiday geek item from concept to licensing from a franchise and then to market? How long does the process typically take you?

Molly: My favorite license is the mascot of Gen Con, Genevieve. I’m really involved with Gen Con, it’s my favorite show, and I wanted to do an ornament with them. So, after I met my awesome artist, I pitched a sketch for a baby version of the fierce red dragon. This was in 2021, and I had flung together an ornament for them in 2020 since they wanted to try it. It was fine, a ball printed with mascot and logo, but I knew I could do much better.

Now that I have an established relationship with Gen Con and I know the process and they know what I can do, things are a little quicker. But I usually submit sketches for the new version of Baby Genny in November/December so I can get a factory booking for a June delivery, to give me almost two months for problems.

Once the design sketch is selected usually out of about six different ideas, we do a finished rendering for approval, the artist does the 3D renderings, and I send them to the factory for the sculpt. They send me detailed pictures of the sculpt for approval, I make changes, and then they send me new pictures. Once the sculpt is approved, then they do a painted version and I approve that. Then Gen Con does a final approval. This part can take up to two months.

Once that is done, they go into production, and then ship to me, which is the most nerve wracking (and horrendously expensive) part of the whole thing. Someone did a Kickstarter, I think it was Tentacle Kitty…and their whole container fell off the ship and drowned so they had to have them all remade. I have nightmares about that sort of thing.

Once they ship in, I quality check, which is…tedious at best, inspecting 1000+ pieces. Then I do the promo and display photos and send those to Gen Con and put them on the website.

All told, from concept to sales usually runs about 10 months. It can be longer or shorter, but that is a safe average. Some are quicker; I did a decoupage ball of the iconic Dragon Con Marriott carpet by photographing the last remaining piece of the carpet in the hotel, and that took about two months from quote to completion.

Interview Continues Below

GeekPost: Can you share some customer success stories or memorable moments related to your products?

Molly: The first one was sort of silly, really. I was doing Dragon Con as a vendor for the first time, and I was really antsy about it. I’d had a great Gen Con, but Dragon is in Atlanta where I live, so I was more nervous, and my booth setup was in a weird place, and I’d lost my booth helper so I was just…uncertain. I was where people coming off the escalator sort of funneled to me, and this guy got off the escalator, squealed to high heaven, slammed his hands to his face in the classic Macaulay Culkin move and ran over screaming. He was so excited, and it was wonderful to see, and so very validating that he was so enthusiastic!

I did AwesomeCon in DC, and I was looking down and there was a guy in the booth wearing a really awesome John Barrowman shirt….and I looked up the rest of the way and it was John Barrowman! He bought a lot of the sexy mermen and fairies that I carry, and he was in a hurry, so I was so afraid I was going to overcharge him by mistake. After he left, I had to sit down right on the floor and a lady was fanning me with her purse. Even better, another woman took a few pics of him in my booth. It was pretty cool, but I was so stressed trying to not make a mistake!

The one that sticks with me most recently was at the marvelous Yuletide Village event that the Ohio Renaissance Festival puts on, and it was so touching. One of the mersons, the transman, drew the attention of a young person, I am guessing about 10-12. And the young person was just mesmerized and took the ornament off the rack and was holding it. I could tell that the young person was careful, so I let them be, and eventually the parents called them to go do something else. They came back later, and since I wasn’t swamped, I leaned over and told them that the transman and transwoman ornaments were special, a numbered series, and that I know the people who make them. And the young person was just transfixed, gazing at the ornament to the point where I was thinking I should give it to them since it clearly mattered. Toward the end of the night, the young person came back with a much older gentleman in tow, possibly their grandfather, and the gentleman said, “Are you sure this is what you want to spend your money on?” The young person nodded. “Then I’ll make up the rest of it,” the older gentleman said. And the young person just…lit up. I don’t know what the merson meant to them specifically, but it meant a lot, and they were simply beaming as they carried it away. It’s magic when someone loves something you have that hard.

GeekPost: How do you handle customer service inquiries and ensure customer satisfaction? What sets your company apart?

Molly: I try hard to have everything go perfectly, and when it doesn’t, I try to make it right. What that means can depend on the customer. Recently the USPS waited almost two months to ship an ornament to a customer in Canada and I felt awful about it, even though it wasn’t my fault.

I have made stupid mistakes; I shipped one ornament when a customer had ordered two, things have been broken in shipping. Once I ran out of something because I had one left and apparently two people ordered it at once. Luckily, the person was understanding, the person who didn’t get one.

I want to have a reputation for quality and courtesy and an overall sense of fun; if it’s not fun then I’m not doing it right.

Interview Continues Below

GeekPost: You do a lot of conventions, what can someone expect to find if they visit your booth?

Molly: If it’s a small con, just me, I’m usually still unwrapping fragiles for display halfway through the first day. My regular customers know to swing back by on Saturday to see what else has appeared. I always have the mersons and fae, all my exclusive ornaments, generally fluffy owl ornaments and licensed ones, as well as fancy Christmas collector pieces.

Bigger shows I have been lucky enough to have a friend who is a professional renaissance festival circuit musician, Lady Prudence Piper, who works for me at Dragon Con and now at Gen Con. She is a jewel. So what you find at a big show is two people crammed into a 2’x4’ space which involves a lot of booth Twister; “Hey, sorry about this but I have to put my foot on your back for a second, and while you are down there can you grab a tattooed Santa, two glass possums, a red d4, and that Ikea bag I shoved into the table hinges?”

We have a longstanding Dragon Con tradition of a rubber band war with our neighbors, Pawstar, which has led to a great deal of customer-inclusive hilarity over the years.

My booth also attracts professional Santas like catnip, and while I was chatting with one at Dragon Con, having screamed “Santa!” and called him over, I realized I had gone to college with him in Pennsylvania and still had the stuffed dragon he’d given me. Small world.

And no matter the size of the con, at some point, the cat pictures are coming out and all commerce stops while people coo over each other’s pets.

Interview Continues Below

GeekPost: How do you “Dork the Halls” at O Christmas Geek during the holiday season?

Molly: Last year I celebrated by doing nothing. I’d done four weeks of Yuletide Village, commuting to Ohio, and shipping every day in between, and I was tired. My Christmas plans fell through because somebody got COVID, and I spent the day hanging out with my cats, watching my fireplace DVD, chatting to people on the phone and cooking some great food- my mother’s curried shrimp dip is a holiday staple. I am ashamed to admit I never got the tree decorated, just the lights.

I really love the holiday, and getting to do Yuletide is delightful to me; for so many, many years I worked in restaurants and didn’t get to enjoy my favorite of all! Now I get caroling and bonfires and Krampuses and all the lights and I am so happy.


Thank you, Molly, for sharing your inspiring journey and passion for merging holiday magic with geek culture. O Christmas Geek truly brings festive cheer and unique joy to fans everywhere. Make sure to check out everything O Christmas Geek Below.

Follow O Christmas Geek