Hobby Musings: In Depth with Women in the Hobby’s Julie Develin – While attending the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City, I had the chance to catch up with Julie Develin at the Women in the Hobby booth. We covered a variety of topics, including some of the most in-demand female athletes among collectors.
KS: From last year to this year, what do you think is the state of women in the hobby?
JD: I think the state of women in the hobby is that it is absolutely growing, and support for women in the hobby is on the rise. From last year to this year, and sometimes it’s difficult because of the location to see who’s here and who’s not, but the support we’ve gotten at the Women in the Hobby booth has been amazing. We’ve had hundreds of women come up to us, thanking us for being here, and also saying how overdue something like this is. I’m also seeing more inclusion in every aspect of the hobby, which is awesome.
KS: From this year to next year, what do you think can be done to help propel it even further.
JD: I think it has to do with the way it’s marketed and where the show is marketed. And also making sure that when folks are putting things out online, they’re using inclusive language that people recognize. Saying that this show and others, there’s really no wrong way to collect, and there’s something for everyone. I think it’s important that even if you don’t collect sports cards, there’s something for you here, whether it’s entertainment or something else. Just continuing to recognize that women in the hobby is here, it’s here to stay, and there’s a whole new generation of collectors coming up as well.
KS: Who would you say are some of the most popular female athletes among collectors?
JD: I would say it depends on what you collect. WNBA, you have your major stars like Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart, those kinds of players. Soccer, there’s Trinity Rodman, Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach, even though she’s retired. The thing is, there are so many others out there that people, men and women, know. I’ve had people come up to my table asking me for certain players that I’ve never heard of before. Again, it’s just about awareness and assuring that if folks are looking for cards of women, they have a place to get them. And that the card manufactures are investing in women’s sports and creating women’s sports cards.
KS: We talk a lot about the future of collecting, including getting younger collectors in. How many female collectors are you seeing in the 10 and under crowd?
JD: I see a lot. I would say all of them are with their parents, but the question becomes, are they the collector, or are their parents collecting and bringing them with them? I see a lot of younger kids obviously getting into things like Pokémon, but there are also a lot of young kids who have a lot of knowledge about sports and sports cards, as well as values of cards. It’s pretty incredible to see. I see a lot of young girls, and boys as well in the hobby, and they have their parents supporting them and bringing them to shows like this.
KS: What do you think is the biggest challenge women in the hobby are facing right now?
JD: I think the challenge in the hobby is not limited to the hobby. It’s being taken seriously in many different spaces in society. Whether that’s business, whether it’s the hobby and everything in between. I think that there are times where women feel a bit intimidated in male-dominated areas, like online asking questions and that kind of thing. Perhaps they have some fear of being ridiculed for not knowing something. I think that I’ve seen that get better as well though in terms of the way women are helped if they have questions. It’s just a matter of equity, and representation matters. For example, to have female athlete signers at the National would be amazing, because it’s telling young girls, hey, you’re important too. We don’t just have over 100 male signers, here’s a couple of female athlete signers as well. I’m not expecting to see over 100 female athlete signers, but even just a few would be awesome.
KS: If any female collectors wanted to reach out to Women in the Hobby to get involved or just have some more people to talk to, how would they go about doing so?
JD: They can search us on Facebook, Women in the Hobby. It’s a female-only group you can request to join. On Instagram, we have a group that anyone can join at Women of the Hobby. WomenintheHobby.com is where we’ll have our online presence once it goes live.
Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
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