The Story of Ribbons and Rivets

From the humble beginnings of being a hobby in 2004, Ribbons and Rivets has evolved to be a tackle-all-projects theatrical costume company that specializes in leather and custom work. Our mission is to bend leather- nay, all costuming materials- to our will!  We love the challenge of bringing your imagination to reality so if you've got an idea rolling around your mind, feel free to send us a message. 

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In 2004, from the scraps of leather and some inspiration, Matthew  created his first ever costume- the Nightwalker. The armor suit was only worn once before four words changed the course of his life forever: "Do you take commissions?" Thus, Ribbons and Rivets was born. Since that fateful day Ribbons and Rivets have grown to include multiple artists, collaborators, and general supporters that allow us to travel to comic cons, Renaissance festivals, craft shows and art/fetish events throughout the year to present our wares - armor, knick-knacks, costumes, and much more- and share our knowledge on the craft at panels and workshops. Check out our event page to see where we'll be next!  


We're hoping to move into some bigger, badder, more grandiose projects this year, so keep watching... (and buying! those cows don't skin themselves.)

Matthew Penick, the Founder

Matthew is a professional costumer as well as the owner of the theatrical design company Ribbons and Rivets, which he founded in 2009. A self-taught leatherworker, he made his first suit of armor in college out of scraps and remnants from the local Tandy. Although it was created primarily as a leather-working business, Ribbons and Rivets has since incorporated a variety of materials to bring designs and characters to life and is known for attention to detail and screen accuracy. Matthew enjoys doing workshops and demos on leather work and patterning, and is always happy to talk shop with fellow costumers.

When he is not busy creating new costumes, Matthew spends his time writing stories and expanding the universe of The Mortal Reach

Matthew's personal cosplay can be found at Zealous Cosplay on Facebook.

Miriam Martincova

Miriam is a UNC Chapel Hill graduate with a degree in Studio Art. Though art has been a life-long passion, ​her introduction to costuming and leather work was through her post collegiate pursuit of replicating the outfit of her childhood hero-- Xena. She has since fallen in love with bringing beloved characters to life and the joy brought to both the costumers and fans. 

Miriam's personal cosplay can be found @thetinkertank on Facebook and Instagram.

Collaborators & Photographers

The Odd Cog

Susan Adams is a self-taught artisan since 2013 and first met the Ribbons and Rivets team at a convention in 2015.  She specializes in leather work, headdresses and fantastical accessories which can be seen at The Odd Cog on Facebook and Etsy.

Chained Elegance

Chained Elegance is the creation of Shaun Mendes, an artist with over ten years experience working with chainmail. Using a combination of machine crafted chain styles and hand made chainmail, his style is versatile, ranging from conventional armor to dazzling works of wearable art to colorful trinkets for the medieval soul. You can check them out on Facebook.

Jarod Kearney Photography

Jarod Kearney has an expert eye for setting a scene and is a master of photo editing. From chilling to dazzling, his work always sets itself apart by ensuring there will be an emotional response from the viewer.

 Check out his work on Facebook

Paul Cory Photography

Paul Cory has shot more of our work than any other photographer and we continue to be amazed by what he produces. His eye for angles, light, and color balance often leaves his subjects in awe. See Paul Cory Photography for Portraits, Fashion, Sports, Bellydance, Landscape and artistic photography of all sorts.

© 2020 by Ribbons and Rivets

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