A wonderful client of mine recently asked me why I started my pin business. So for those who don't yet know, I started a second business selling enamel pins, that will hopefully open up to other products if you all like my stuff.
I gave her a few reasons for starting it up, but none that seemed large enough to motivate me to go through all of steps of opening up a second business and all of the work associated with that, so I sat back and have been reflecting.
I answered that it was something that combined a lot of the skills that I enjoy doing. I went to school for graphic design and I missed designing in a more technical way. Making products and packaging that is a reflection of your brand, or of you really, is an exciting journey. I also like photography, and the challenge of trying to grow a business.
I also wanted pins and projects that reflected what I would want to wear. I design tattoos for other people for a living, a job that I adore, but there is something truly special about designing something without the constraints of other peoples ideas.
I feel like my aesthetic is very much the balance of light and dark. So I wanted pins that were shiny and playful, but with a darker twist. I have plans on eventually adding a watercolor ward and a visitors ward to the shop as well.
Probably the most important reason for setting up shop, was that I wanted a platform to try and do a little good in the world. As part of my business model, %10 of the proceeds from my first line of pins will go to anxiety and depression resources. The amount of people in my life who struggle with one or both of these things is almost unbelievable. I’ve seen too many people I love with anxiety that sabotages their intentions or who become paralyzed by depression, many of whom don’t really have access to help. I never know how exactly to help, so I decided I wanted to help the helpers in the world.
I myself struggle a bit in the winter with my mental health, so my first line of pins are a little moody and cynical, but hey, some of the bests in the world are those things to!
All of those answers were %100 true, but still didn’t seem to be the whole answer as to why I started up a pin shop.
While reflecting, I had a flash back to a Siggraph (Computer arts) conference with my Dad when I was a teenager. Every year they gave out conference pins, and boy oh boy they were a huge deal! People collected them every year and wore them proudly. People would trade them and cherish them, I had honestly never seen adults so into something. I think that’s what I found so mesmerizing, that someone could cherish a little piece of metal so much, that it could be so important to them and express a little something about them. I wanted to make something that people would love just as much! I can only hope that my little pins will be worn that proudly!