Chandler woman makes costume wings for a living

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Alexis Noriega has made a full-time career out of making custom wings for people. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Alexis Noriega has made a full-time career out of making custom wings for people. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
She started her business "The Crooked Feather" in her house but has since expanded to her own shop in Tempe. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) She started her business "The Crooked Feather" in her house but has since expanded to her own shop in Tempe. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
For articulating wings, it can take anywhere from 60 to 120 hours to complete. (Source: YouTube) For articulating wings, it can take anywhere from 60 to 120 hours to complete. (Source: YouTube)
Her customers consist of mostly cosplayers, pageant contestants and theater groups. (Source: YouTube) Her customers consist of mostly cosplayers, pageant contestants and theater groups. (Source: YouTube)

A woman in Chandler has a huge social media following and has made a career out of making custom wings.

Alexis Noriega has been obsessed with flights and wings since she was a kid. She's turned that passion into a full-time job.

"My favorite part is coming up with new designs and new bat wings," Noriega said.

Thanks to video tutorials and the cosplay community, she learned how to make wings that can span 12 feet in length.

"I just started making one here and there for people who wanted them. Then it started in an Etsy shop to make some cash on the side and it just built and built until now it's all I do," Noriega said.

She started her business "The Crooked Feather" in her house but has since expanded to her own shop in Tempe.

She said static wings can take a couple of days.

"Unless it has pheasant or rooster feathers which are teeny tiny in terms of their width so their coverage is not very much," Noriega said.

But for articulating wings, it can take anywhere from 60 to 120 hours to complete.

"It's a labor of love, you have to be patient," Noriega said.

She said she learned a lot through trial and error, like switching from PVC to aluminum for certain wings.

"Every failure is an opportunity to pick yourself up and try again because that's just part of the learning process is failing," Noriega said.

But those failures have turned into some amazing creations that are often a huge hit at conventions.

"A lot of people say, 'Hey, those look pretty good, they got real feathers and they're painted and great job on the folded wings and can we get a picture?' and I say, 'Yeah sure' and then I open them up and all of a sudden everyone will stop. And then there's an arc of people blocking the way," Noriega said.

She admits she's shy so she has a handler that helps her hand out business cards.

Her customers consist of mostly cosplayers, pageant contestants and theater groups.

Depending on the set of wings, they can cost $2,000 to $3,000.

Noriega said she is one of only a handful of wing makers in the country.

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