Did you know there is an International Women’s Day? I did not, but I learned that it has been around since the early 1900s and that March 8th has been recognized by the United Nations as International Women’s Day since 1977. I know that March is National Women’s History Month, but I was wondering how this specific day had escaped my attention?
It turns out that this occasion is much more celebrated in Europe and parts of Asia than in the United States. With its roots in socialism and the labor movement, IWD has been especially popular in Eastern Europe. First established to raise awareness for women’s suffrage and poor working conditions with rallies and marches, the momentum of International Women’s Day waned after World War I when women in the U.S and much of Europe won the right to vote. It reemerged as a significant day of activism with the feminist movement of the late 1960s.
The purpose of today’s International Women’s Day is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women while calling for greater gender equality. This year’s official theme is “An equal world is an enabled world”. I was also happy to discover that the color for IWD is not the expected pink, but instead purple, a color symbolizing justice and dignity.
Ways that IWD will be marked this year include conferences, festivals, concert performances, digital gatherings and more. A fun way to celebrate is with awareness pins from PinMart. Even if you are not actively participating in an event this March 8th, you can proudly wear our Women’s Equality Pin or Feminist Pin and be aware of this date’s significance and history.
The first 2020 political primaries begin this month. Are you ready? PinMart is ready with our collection of Political Pins! Nearly every state holds a primary election or caucus to determine candidates for November’s general election. Through primary voting, candidates are awarded delegates. 1,990 delegates are needed this year to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. Often voters are only concerned with the big event of the general election, but the primaries are important, too.
If you wait until the general election to vote, there will likely only be two candidates to choose from. There will be a wider selection of contenders to choose from in the primary and you can vote for the one who best represents your interests and values. Also, remember, there are other political offices on the line besides the presidency.
I know it can be a hassle to vote. After a long workday, who wants to go wait in line at their local polling place? Sometimes, it’s an adventure just figuring out where your polling location is. You can try making Election Day a social event. Meet up with friends or neighbors at the polls. You can wait in line together and after casting your ballots go for dinner or drinks and watch the returns come in. Then it’s something to look forward to instead of a chore.
So, don’t be complacent this election season. It’s too important to vote and to be an informed voter. Watch the debates, check out the candidates’ websites and pay attention to the news. You can also have some fun during this year’s election season by wearing your favorite political pins from PinMart! Check out our selection and get out and vote!
Every January our thoughts turn to self-improvement, with the most common New Year’s resolutions being to exercise more and eat a healthier diet. In the last several years, a healthier diet for many has come to mean clean eating. The most basic definition of clean eating is to avoid refined and processed foods that contain artificial ingredients and to concentrate on consuming whole, natural foods.
There are scores of cookbooks, cooking shows and websites devoted to this eating trend. Every time I’m in the grocery store, the organic section seems to grow. Completely changing your diet on January 1st can seem overwhelming and is probably not realistic, but taking small, gradual steps to a healthier diet may be the way to go. For a snack, swap out a bag of pretzels for some raw almonds or cashews. Try eliminating processed foods from just one of your three daily meals.
Another fun motivator on your quest towards a healthier lifestyle can be sporting a cool lapel pin to promote your dietary goals. PinMart carries several pins that support the clean eating and organic food movements. Our Toxic Free Leaf Pin on your jacket or Farm Fresh Pin on your kitchen bulletin board can be inspirational daily reminders to eat better. One step is all you need to get started!
In this new era of social distancing and staying at home, we
all still want and need to find a way to stay connected to one another. We are
working at home via video chat and students from grade school through college
are learning online. If you didn’t know what Zoom was before, you probably do
However, we can gather together virtually for more than just our day to day work. Some couples wishing to keep their friends and family safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and not wanting to postpone their weddings, are getting married with their guests viewing the ceremony online. Music stars from Chris Martin to Luke Combs have live-streamed concerts on social media for their self- isolating fans at home.
What if you have an event or fundraiser coming up? April is a huge awareness month with causes like autism and Parkinson’s Disease. If you are organizing a forum or fundraiser in the next couple of months and don’t want to cancel, you may want to consider hosting a virtual event. You can still do much of what you planned to do at an in-person event, including presentations and entertainment.
Decide on a platform to host your event, such as Facebook Livestream, vFaire or ClickWebinar. Send out Evites to your guest list. You may find you get a better response when people don’t have to travel to your function. A week or two before the big day, mail out swag bags to your confirmed guests. This will help get them pumped for the event and provide a feeling of connection among the attendees. Be sure to include some fun products like lapel pins from PinMart! Then on event day guests can participate and enjoy from the comfort of their homes.
A nice idea at this trying time would be to organize a virtual support rally for our first responders and medical teams working during this pandemic. Everyone can wear first responder pins and medical pins to show unity with our heroes on the front lines. We may be physically separated, but we are all in this together.
It happened so fast. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives seemingly overnight. We had the outbreak in China as an indicator months ago, but most of us thought it wouldn’t happen here. After all, we survived SARS and H1N1 without it impacting most Americans. Yet, here we are today social distancing, wearing masks and gloves and for the most part staying at home.
Sometime in February is when I remember hearing of some isolated cases of the coronavirus at hospitals around the country. Most of us still weren’t worried. Then the first coronavirus death in the United States was recorded on February 29th. Travel restrictions were issued and by March 3rd more than 90,000 around the globe were infected with the coronavirus. On March 13th the president declared a national emergency and on March 15th the CDC cautioned against gatherings of more than 50 people. Schools and restaurant dining rooms closed. Concerts and sporting events were cancelled.
Here at PinMart, pregnant employees and those with high risk factors for contracting the virus began working from home. On the morning of Friday March 20th, we were told that we should spend most of our time working from home, with only occasional trips to the office. By the end of the day we knew we would not be back in the office for at least a couple of weeks. The State of Illinois had issued a Stay at Home order.
Millions of others and I are fortunate to be able to do our
work from home. Technology has allowed us to get very creative. Late night TV
talk show hosts and meteorologists are even broadcasting from the home front.
However, many individuals doing the most important work to keep us going during this crisis are not able to do so from home. First responders, doctors, nurses and hospital staff are on the front lines risking their health to care for the sick. At PinMart, we honor these brave and selfless individuals everyday with our First Responder Pins and Nursing Pins.
Other essential workers are also finding themselves in a position of possible increased exposure. Grocery store clerks, truck drivers and fast food employees can’t do their jobs remotely, but their efforts are greatly needed to keep society safe and provided for during this unprecedented period.
Those of us fortunate enough to stay at home shouldn’t complain, we should feel blessed. Be thankful if you can shelter in place and keep a good thought for those who can’t.
In an era where the art of cursive writing is becoming extinct, emoji have emerged as a new form of communication. Admit it. When was the last time you wrote out a longhand letter? But probably a day does not go by that you are not texting or posting to social media using emoji. With PinMart releasing several new emoji pins this year, I was wondering how these little icons that were barely around a decade ago, have wormed their way into being such a prevalent part of our culture.
The predecessor of the emoji was the emoticon. Remember typing a colon and parenthesis to create a smiley face in an email? Emoticons became widely used in the 80s and 90s in email and online posts to denote emotions. The emoji we use today were invented in Japan in 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita, an engineer for mobile phone company DoCoMo. Kurita was inspired by local road signs and a set of Chinese characters called Kanji. Emoji translated means “Image Character”. While immediately popular in Japan, emoji did not really catch on in the U.S. and the rest of the west until around 2009 after Google and Unicode Consortium began using code points to ensure that emoji were standard across all types of platforms and mediums.
Kurita’s first set of emoji included 176 characters. Today, there are roughly 2,800. There was an emoji musical in Los Angeles, a 2017 film, The Emoji Movie and even Moby Dick has been translated into the language of emoji. In 2016, Emojicon, a Comic-Con like convention was held in San Francisco. There is no denying the popularity of these digital symbols and it does not seem to be waning. Face with Tears of Joy is the most used emoji and is just one of PinMart’s 19 emoji pins. Express your many moods with these pins that represent the new language of the 21st century!
Even though there are a wealth of gift guides to browse through, it can still be difficult to find the perfect solution. Finding a trendy gift for Millennials can be especially hard, which is why we created a guide to the ultimate personalized and creative option to please everybody, from your nephew to your grandmother.
How to Give Pins as Gifts
Shopping for any generation is tough – finding that perfect balance between budget, thoughtfulness, and practicality can be tricky. This makes a personal gift of pins and patches ideal. Mix and match a combination that reflects personalities, hobbies, inside jokes, or shared moments. Pins and patches can be packaged in many ways too!
Attach them on a backpack for kids
Give them to a co-worker on a cardboard frame
Pin them onto jacket or shirt pockets for fashionistas
Decorate a baseball cap or winter hat
Combine pins with a pennant display for the collector
Pair them with a vintage purse for the trendsetter
Push them into a picture frame with a photo of you and your loved one
Give them with a DIY craft project for the creative in your life
We created categories to help spark your ingenuity and find the perfect pin or patch gift.
Creative Gift Inspiration
Animal Pins – Cute, stylish, and trendy, you’ll find animal themed pins popular for fashionistas and animal lovers alike so they can show their support for cute and quirky creatures.
Nature Pins – These adventure pins are a great way to show your passion for the outdoors by adding them to camera straps, jackets, or backpacks. They can even be added to Fido’s leash on hiking adventures!
Plant Pins – These are ideal for the gardener in your life or even someone who doesn’t have a green thumb. Pretty pops of color and no weeding or watering necessary!
Fashion Pins – It can be hard to pick out clothing, jewelry, or accessories for fashionistas, so choose fun, trendy pins that are sure to delight even the pickiest fashionmonger.
Yoga Pins – Yogis will be able to decorate their yoga bag or prop these next to their meditation candles to help achieve that Zen feeling. Rest in Savasana. Namaste.
Pins for Travelers – Looking for a gift for someone with wanderlust? These are perfect to attach to a backpack, camera strap, or hat and small enough that your globe-trotting and adventure-seeking friend can bring them on their travels.
Pins for Pet Lovers – Pet owners will rejoice when they receive a pet-look-alike pin of their pup.
Ocean Pins – Sea life pins can double as support pins for cleaning up oceans, sustainable fishing, and protecting coral reefs while giving your outfit or bag an eye-catching upgrade.
Patriotic Pins – Sport these on your clothes in a variety of shapes and proudly show your patriotism during events or any day of the year you’re proud to be an American.
For Bikers – Even bikers are fashion conscious. Give them a gift that reminds them of their passion and adds a dash of style to their motorcycle gear or clothing.
Texas Pride – There’s USA proud, and then there’s Texas-proud. These are a great way to show your love for the Lone Star State, which was once its own country. Independent from 1836 to 1846, the Republic of Texas has deep roots that have been passed down generation to generation.
Video Game Pins – Also known as badges of fandom, players can unite with old but never forgotten gaming consoles.
Retro – Record players and vinyls are making a comeback, and these retro pins will bring back the feel of the good ‘ol days when good vibes, rock and roll, and manicured facial hair were all the rage.
Eco-Friendly – Show your support for our Mother Earth and promote clean living and sustainable choices. These can double as giveaway pins for any awareness events too!
Foodie – Food themed décor and clothing has made a comeback in recent years, with pineapple lamps and hot sauce t-shirts appearing on our social media. Perfect for the foodie in your life or the fashion-forward dresser.
State Patches – You can wear your heart on your sleeve and your state flag too. Cover up holes, or decorate clothes or backpacks with stylish state flag patches.
Men’s Fashion Stick Pins – Stick pins are a subtle men’s fashion accessory that can add flair to a plain suit with a splash of color or cool shape. They were a large part of fashion in the past, and are making a comeback for keeping ties and scarves in place.
Inspiration – These pins are perfect for the parents, coworkers, teachers, or coaches that want to encourage or reward!
Gifting Pins in Style
Whether you want to celebrate, inspire, personalize, or just make your friend or loved one smile, pins are a fun and affordable gift for anyone. There are even fun ways to package these for any occasion. Some DIY options include self-standing pin cards, jewelry boxes, or even including pins on an item you want to gift such as clothing or gear.
Pins are perfect for any special occasion – whether it’s Christmas, birthdays, or to commemorate an awareness cause or event. Giving a personalized gift allows you to express your creativity and reflects your thoughtfulness to the receiver.
I don’t have a particular moment in mind… For me, it’s growing within the company that makes me feel the most valued.
DESCRIBE PINMART IN 3 WORDS.
Fast Paced – Fun – One Big Family
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING AT PINMART?
Being a part of a forever growing company is exciting! I enjoy any opportunity that allows me to learn new skills.
NOW LET’S GET PERSONAL…
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
My professional inspiration is my colleague Genni Escobedo. I think she has a great work ethic and has advanced within the company because of her knowledge of PinMart from being an employee for many years. She has a good balance between work and home and I am always working to find mine. I hope I can follow in her footsteps and continue to advance as she is!
HOBBIES & INTERESTS?
My family! I have a 2 year old and a 4 month old. My personal life revolves around my babies, husband and immediate family and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Yes, one pup! A 4 year old Rottweiler named Daisy.
Dedication and family are the two common themes within our office.
But beyond those two, we’re as diverse and unique as they come.
We’re made up of many hardworking talented individuals with interesting stories to tell.
In our new Employee Spotlight series, you’ll meet some of these people, learn what they do (on and off the clock), and how they keep PinMart growing and flowing — just the way we like it!
Introducing Josie Divizio, our Marketing Team Leader!
Q & A WITH JOSIE DIVIZIO
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT PINMART?
I am the Marketing Team Leader and a partner on the Leadership Team here at PinMart.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT AT PINMART?
I have 2 proud moments here at PinMart: 1. The launch of our new baby… the new PinMart Website (started in 2014). 2. Being selected to be on the Leadership Team (2016).
DESCRIBE PINMART IN 3 WORDS.
Home – Family – Growing.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING AT PINMART?
I fulfill my professional purpose while I work with outstanding people.
NOW LET’S GET PERSONAL…
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
As far as I can remember my Mother, Antonina Conte inspired me. She came to the USA from Italy at 24 (leaving six siblings, her parents and dozens of family members and friends behind) with only a small trunk of personal belongings. She created a beautiful and fruitful life. She never let anything stand in her way. She had always been positive, kind, gentle, and always had a smile on her face, even in the most difficult of times. She was the woman who exemplified and taught me strength.
HOBBIES & INTERESTS?
I enjoy long dinners and vacationing with my husband and my adult son and daughter. I love cooking and having family and friends for Sunday dinners. I love tending to my flowers and my parent’s garden. I especially love watching and attending football games with my family. I am a proud supporter of Heart Disease Awareness, Lung Cancer Awareness and Parkinson’s Disease. I am blessed beyond belief to have a great support system of friends. They stem back to my High School years – especially my best friend who resides in Arizona and one group named the HE-MEN.
I have THE cutest Multipoo (Maltese and Poodle mix) named Niko! He is the best little 11 lb. furry family member I had ever hoped for!
Be true, be you! Today I will make a difference. Integrity Is Everything. Wife first, mom second, lover of friends & family.