Business owner Rick Styczynski began 13X Studios, a mask making company, 3 years ago. From an idea that started with the sale of only a few masks over Etsy, he has now sold thousands!
1. What was the reason behind starting 13x Studios?
Rick: 13X Studios came from very humble beginnings. Three years ago after Halloween 2016, I decided to make a few masks and put them on Etsy After 2 weeks I sold a few. After few months I sold hundreds. I felt I found my calling. My previous jobs included Poker, DJ and Bartender. They all took a bit of a toll on me, so I wanted to try something new, and I found it; from there13X Studios was born!
2. What has been your largest order?
Rick: In the past 3 years I was lucky enough to get into retail stores. Initially I got into Gods and Monsters in Orlando, followed by Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, Halloween Mega Store and Nightmare Toys.
All of these retailers always put in big orders, but out of the blue I met a guy who owns Wall Street Cattle company, and he was opening a ranch on Halloween. After talking a bit he told me he wanted to send out masks to clients. He ordered 400 masks! That was my biggest order to date.
My Silent Bob Mask at Stash has sold out 16 times already. I feel my product has been loved by many.
It’s a great feeling, and I put my heart and soul into each and every mask I make. When I started making masks I decided that I wanted to put my spin on them with keeping them affordable and good quality.
3. Have you ever received backlash from any of your masks, especial the real life killers?
Rick: Since 3 years ago when I began I haven’t had any backlash for my masks. However, I did feel I went a little overboard when I did a lot of the serial killer styles. I decided to stick to Manson and Gacy, then drop everyone else, from Dahmer to BTK. I just feel I crossed the line. When I do cons and kids walk up to my Manson mask I just tell them it’s angry Jesus.
4. Did you expect this business to get this big?
Rick: I feel I have made great business decisions so far. Not every convention I have done was a monster, but I now know I have to cut down on pop culture cons and focus more on horror cons. I definitely will be thinking outside of the box in the future, and doing many other things with 13X.
5. What have been some of your most rewarding and memorable moments running 13X Studios?
Rick: There have been so many memorable moments from 13X in the last year.
In the first 2 years, the deal with Kevin Smith was hands down my most memorable, always and forever. The Secret Stash is so good to me. They are amazing people.
This last year I got a partnership with Kane Hodder. He was one of my idols growing up and now we are in business. It started at Mad Monster Charlotte when I asked Kane; how would he see a mask through his eyes?
I wanted to do a limited edition run. It was called “Kwaj” mask, and I took all his inspirations and made 13 of them. They sold out in 1 day! A percentage of the mask went to Friday the 13th part 7 Director John Beuchler’s Go Fund Me Memorial page. I know how close Kane and John were and I thought this was the right thing to do.
After that I had an idea of doing a limited edition mask with partnership with him. The mask was called “Kane Part 7 Kill Mask”. I took the part 7 style and made it red and used dirt from the actual Friday the 13th part 7 camp, and weathered it into mask.
We did 100 of these masks and they were sold at 2 separate conventions, and all of them sold out. Mayra Cruz who is Kane’s handler at cons is also a part of our deal. We are doing a Kane Part 8 Kill Mask very soon. There will be 2 different versions.
My other memorable moment this year was doing a limited edition Art the Clown mask from Terrifier. It had disgusting bloody feces spelling Art’s name on the mask. This has been one of my favorites that I created.
I became friends with Damien Leone who is the director of Terrifier. We are surprisingly similar. We love movies, and we both have this huge positive drive. I love surrounding myself with likeminded people.
I will also be in Terrifier part 2! I have no idea what I’ll be doing, but just to be part of one of my favorite horror movie sequels will be amazing. I also hang out with David Howard Thornton who plays Art, as we both attend many of the same cons.
Lastly, one of my personal coolest moments of the year is when Director Adam Green emailed me as I sent him a Kwaj mask since he and Kane are friends. He hung up the mask in his studio, so when he does Facebook live I always see my mask! That makes me happy.
6. Where do you want 13X Studios to go from here?
Rick: I feel like I’m really starting to get everything I’ve planned for in this business.
The last 2 years I was just having fun, and doing my own thing. Now I realize that I have a legit business. I’m building 13X as a brand, and who knows what I’ll do next. Movies. Music. TV. I have so many things that have popped in my head and have resulted from this business.
I have been jotting them down and see if I can make them happen. I’m planning on getting into more retail stores for sure, and primarily focus on the bigger horror cons. I love meeting new people, and this is something I will never get sick of.
I have many supporters and fans everywhere in the country, and I hope they know how much they mean to me.
I know I will definitely keep adding new ideas for masks from pop culture to horror. And keep growing!
7. What are your next events?
Rick: The next event I have is Days of the Dead Charlotte at the end of September. Next will be the Terrifier 2 shoot and Florida’s Spooky Empire in October. Then I’ll be taking November through January to focus on family and online sales.
I’ll be back at it in February with Days of the Dead Atlanta and Mad Monster Charlotte.
8. Where can readers find you online?