Illusive Comics has moved from Santa Clara’s Franklin Mall, but it hasn’t gone far. Owner Anna Warren has found a new location at 5245 Stevens Creek Blvd., next door to Harbor Freight.
“This place is the size of both Isle of Gamers and Illusive Comics put together. We’re able to fit everything and not have to downsize,” said Warren.
Warren says a series of events triggered the move. She was worried about the Isle of Gamers location because of redevelopment plans along the El Camino Real corridor. She considered merging the two stores at her Illusive Comics location in Franklin Mall, but it there simply wasn’t enough room and there wasn’t room to expand.
That’s when she went searching for a new place to call home. She says the move was especially stressful because she was also dealing with COVID-19 and distance learning for her son. Lucky for her, she had a strong support system.
“My staff are amazing, like amazing,” said Warren. “It was very stressful. But they all stayed extremely calm through it and are super professional and very, very sarcastic. It helps get through so much. Sarcasm gets you everywhere.”
Warren says the best thing about their new location is it allows her to make improvements for her customers.
“I wanted to make a really friendly kid section. Before it was kind of a little bit out of the way,” said Warren. “I wanted something super convenient for our parents to come in with their kids and let the kids like drool and grab. I wanted it to be like grabbable so we actually expanded.”
The new kids’ section spans everything from board books to leveled readers to young adult chapter books. There are also board games for kids of all ages, and an entire counter dedicated to Pokémon.
In the future, Warren plans to add a boardgame rental service. She is also building out a gaming area for her customers. Warren says it will incorporate some of the things she learned during the pandemic.
“We’re going to be COVID safe spacing, tables and seating and so forth,” said Warren “I’ve got a whole new system for renting table space and attending events online. So, we don’t have crowds of people coming up trying to get into an event, they would just be checking in.”
Illusive Comics has served the Santa Clara community for more than 14 years becoming a go to spot for local comic and board and card game enthusiasts. Warren says she’s happy to serve the community she loves.
“I love my community. I am a businesswoman, not a comic book fan. I really like having a shop where everyone comes in because your stuff, they really love. This is people’s happy place. This is where they’re like, ‘Oh my god, I was waiting for that or that series. I’ve been really enjoying it.’ That’s what I love,” said Warren. “Here I get to see my friends every week. Everyone’s coming back every week. Gamers get so excited about a new group they get to play with. They get to see their friends, it’s like a reunion for them too. That’s what I like. I like the humanities.”
Illusive Comics & Games is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can find out more details on its website www.illusivecomics.com.