Ho, ho, ho-me Depot!

How do you celebrate the holidays? Tinsel everything in sight? Bake and eat delicious holiday recipes? Singing songs, wrapping gifts, spending time with family? Those are all ideal as far as I’m concerned, but what about when you’re at work? Especially when you don’t have a cube to decorate or you can’t wear your famed ugly Christmas sweater? Well, if you’re looking for suggestions, keep an eye out for this holiday season’s Home Depot commercials: you’ll see a number of our great holiday lapel pins, looking quite at home on the front of those iconic orange work aprons.

Home Depot teamed up with us this year to help celebrate the holidays by decorating their home depotaprons, and sharing their holiday spirit in their English and Spanish language commercials, airing everywhere throughout December.

Personally I don’t normally want to want to see anyone decking halls or anything else until AFTER we’ve gotten our fill of turkey and cranberry sauce, but I can’t help but beam every time I see one of our pins on TV, and I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone here on the blog! Thanks to Home Depot for letting us be a part of their holiday traditions, since they’re a part of so many other people’s holiday traditions. It’s quite an honor.

So if while you’re baking cookies, wrapping gifts or even trimming the tree this year, you catch one of our pins during a Home Depot commercial: let us know! And also let us know how you celebrate the holidays. We’d love to hear from you!

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Create the Perfect Goody Bag for Your Office Halloween Party

When you’re throwing an office party for Halloween, you don’t just want to buy a couple of bags of candy as favors; a lot of your workers will see nothing but candy for a few weeks, what with the leftovers from their kids and whatever the trick or treaters don’t take. Besides, individually-wrapped Snickers bars and Hershey’s Kisses aren’t exactly imaginative. If you’re looking for something unique to offer your workers, here are some suggestions from us at PinMart for things that will be useful and/or enjoyable:

Customized Lanyards

Not all of your favors have to be seasonally-themed (though you can obviously choose them with that in mind). One nice way to show your appreciation for your employees is to get customizable lanyards for them. These could be personally customized with their names or interests on them, or they could simply be company-specific. Either way, they’ll be useful. A great way to get into the seasonal spirit and still highlight your company is to opt for Halloween colors like orange, purple and black, or yellow and black, and include your logo on it. There’s still time to get these for your Halloween party, but you need to order now – like, right now!

Halloween Pins

Pins are always a great small gift for office parties – they can be used in so many ways! For instance, they can be attached to your messenger bag at work to give it some flair or to your Halloween costume to really play up the theme. People can use also place them on pumpkinregular outfits, purses, and hats to give them some extra personality and express their enthusiasm for the holiday. Pin them to the lanyards when you’re filling the gift bags; for one thing, they can be worn that way and for another, they won’t accidentally fall out of the bag.

Interesting Snacks

There are plenty of inventive Halloween snacks out there that blow standard candy out of the water. Just take a look at Pinterest and the various cooking, craft, teacher and parent blogs for the loads of inspiration and thousands (probably more, in reality) of unique designs and recipes that they offer. From splattered blood cookies and white chocolate ghost strawberries to cake or cookie pops of lots of different varieties, there’s always something creative to bring in lieu of the normal fare. And those are just the things you’re putting in the goody bags. Don’t forget to use some of the more perishable ideas you find for the party itself!

Pumpkin Beverages

These days, fall may as well just be called “pumpkin time,” and what better way to get into the spirit of the season than to offer your employees a pumpkin-flavored beverage? The best way to do this is to stop by your local grocery store or head online and purchase sample-sized pumpkin spice coffee and a couple of pumpkin teabags for each person’scakepop goody bag. These are simple, inexpensive items to get that will please all but the most picky or curmudgeonly people.

Syringe Pens

Pens or pencils are one of the standards of any goody bag, whether for children or adults. So the best workaround you’ll have to keep this addition from being boring is to get something fun and themed. For instance, there are plenty of stores online that sell syringe pens that look as though they are filled with blood. Gross! But it will inject some life (pun intended) into your employees’ daily routine of filling out reports, taking notes, outlining business plans, etc.

Halloween parties are supposed to be fun, so don’t forget to include some games and prizes, and add anything else to those goody bags that you think workers might like!

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Who Do You Wear Pink For?

I’m not ashamed to admit that pink is my absolute favorite color. I’m not a girly girl but I do love a good pink… well, anything. But in October, pink takes on a different meaning for me. Breast cancer awareness month certainly doesn’t need me hyping it for people to remember that it exists, for sure: the color pink is everywhere. On football players, lighting up iconic buildings, on swag of every ilk. But just because breast cancer awareness has a great marketing team, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t still be discussed, or supported.

It would surprise me if I met someone who hadn’t been effected by cancer in some way or 1510another these days, be it someone in their immediate family, a friend, co-worker, or even themselves. And a struggle that prevalent needs all of our support both emotionally and financially, to turn the tide on this devastating diagnosis. That means signing up for those awareness walks, donating to charities, and wearing pink awareness ribbons. Because when someone is suffering with breast cancer, there’s a quantifiable emotional and physical benefit to seeing that support worn on the shirt or lapel of a friend or a stranger. It reminds them that their fight is not being fought alone. And that support is powerful medicine.

1-8 women in America will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. And as of 2012 almost 225,000 women in the US were battling it actively. Statistics like that are both overwhelming and also almost too big to wrap my head around. But when I break it down to thinking about my aunt, in her early 50’s, who developed breast cancer and ended up with a double mastectomy… well, it gets a lot more personal. And that’s why *I* wear pink in October, and let’s face it, all year.

Who do *you* wear pink for?

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PinMart 2.0!

Change is hard for some people. I’m one of them. Even just changing something as small as the order I get myself together in in the morning can totally throw off my whole day! But sometimes, even if it’s hard, change is good. That’s the case with PinMart! Yesterday we launched a brand new website, the first time we’ve done so since 2006, years before I’d even joined the team! It was a nerve-wracking day, going “dark” as it were, for a number of hours to repopulate all the information and pins and patches and bracelets… but this morning everything is just as it should be, even if everything looks and feels entirely different!

So what did we change, other than updating the graphics and the layout? EVERYTHING. 469Of course we’ve still got the same great assortment of products for every occasion, from awareness to recognition, from weddings to work anniversaries, but the way you find these pins has been vastly improved, with a much smarter search engine. And we’ve added functions like a wish list, and a quoting process for custom pins that lets a customer follow their inquiry from request to shipment, all right from the site.

It’s a brand new site, really, from apple pins to zipper pulls, but one thing that hasn’t changed a bit is the people working behind the scenes, on the phones, in our chat room, and behind every email you get from us. We’re all really proud of where we’ve come since 2006, and we can’t wait to hear what you think about the new site. Contact us (through our super-sleek new “contact us” page) and let us know what you think. And if you see anything that needs improvement, don’t hesitate to let us know! Change is hard, but after clicking through our new website for a few minutes, you’ll agree that it’s sometimes really worth it.

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Observing National POW/MIA Recognition Day

On Friday, September 19, Americans across the country and abroad will observe National POW/MIA Recognition Day – a day dedicated to honoring and remembering soldiers who were prisoners of war (POW) and those who remain missing in action (MIA), as well as their families. This special day is observed annually on the third Friday in September.

According to the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, over 83,000 Americans are still listed as MIA from WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Gulf Wars, as well as other conflicts. Of those missing, 75% of the losses are located in the Asia-Pacific, and more than 41,000 are presumed lost. Thousands of American soldiers have been captured as prisoners of war.

These individuals and their families will be honored on September 19 with memorial ceremonies and remembrances organized by military installations, veteran organizations and local communities. These events seek to recognize and honor the sacrifices and contributions made by POWs and those who remain MIA, and their families. On POW/MIA Recognition Day, all military installations will be flying the National League of Families’ POW/MIA Flag, which represents the country’s commemoration of POWs and missing soldiers, whose brave actions will never be forgotten.

The History of National POW/MIA Recognition Day

POW/MIA Recognition Day was created by the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia. The organization was founded by families who were unsatisfied with the lack of information pertaining to the status of family members who were held captive in Southeast Asia or listed as MIA and unaccounted for.

The League’s initiative led Congress to pass a resolution authorizing National POW/MIA Recognition Day to be observed on July 18, 1979. Though the date of the commemoration varied, it became an annual event and was officiated as a national observance for the third Friday in September in 1986. Every year since, POWs and those listed as MIA have been 1208New1honored on the third Friday of the month.

The official POW/MIA flag is flown at memorial events nationally and abroad. The flag was designed for the National League of Families by Newt Heisley. The flag is black and white and in a white circle bears the silhouette of a man and a watch tower with a guard on patrol. Underneath is a wreath with the moto “You Are Not Forgotten”. Congress officially recognized the flag on August 10, 1990, and declared it “a symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation”.

Honoring POWs and Missing Soldiers

You can celebrate National POW/MIA Recognition Day by attending a memorial event in your community. Communities nationwide will be holding special events to honor POWs and those who remain MIA. Along with attending an event, you can show your support by wearing POW/MIA military insignias and donating to an organization that works to locate missing soldiers and provides assistance to families of POWs and missing soldiers.

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“Where were you on that September Day…”

14 years. And yet, the time before September 11th, and the time after seem both very immediate and also eternal, as if it’s always been this way. I still vividly remember listening to the radio while getting ready for school and hearing the confused, panicked voices of the DJs, and thinking that it was surely some very weird sort of joke, like Orson Wells’ “War of the Worlds” back in the 1940’s. But no, it was no joke, though the reality of it took a long time to sink in.

14 years and everyone I talk to about September 11th still has the same strong urge I have to discuss what they were doing when they first heard, where they were, their initial reactions. As if we still need to come to terms with the shocking reality of how much we all changed that day, in that one moment. Before, and forever after.

And yet, despite the bone deep sadness and fear that that day instilled in us, it also roused 1451a sense of pride in our country that I’m not sure all of us consciously recognized beforehand. My generation especially, a child of baby boomers who had never known personally an invasive war, tended to take our country a bit for granted. But when that first plane hit the Trade Towers… well, to say it was a wake up call is an understatement.

So while September 11th is a day of remembered sadness, it’s also a day of revived pride. I remember suddenly seeing American flag pins everywhere, and thinking thereafter that a suit looked naked without one. Or watching the members of the house and senate sing “God Bless America”, Republicans and Democrats both joining voices, hands, and truly, we were not divided for a moment: we were simply, fiercely, American.

14 years. And now, though still with sadness and levity, this day has become a day of service, a day to “pay it forward”. It doesn’t have to be something big… at least not to you. Because a kind action towards someone else, no matter how big or small, can mean the world towards that person. And kindness, service, pride and cooperation… no act of violence can take away the fact that Americans are all of those things and more.

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Medic Alert Awareness Month: The Importance of Medical ID Tags

While a medical ID bracelet, pin or necklace may not be the hottest accessory, it can help save a person’s life. If you’re someone who has a medical condition that cannot be easily recognized, wearing a medical ID tag is very essential.
A medical ID tag alerts emergency responders or law enforcement in the event of an emergency in which you are unable to communicate. The ID tag will inform others of the condition in the event that you are unconscious or unable to speak due to shock, loss of speech or hysteria.

In the event of an emergency, providing information about your health condition is vital. diabeticMedical bracelets or pins speak for you when you are unable to speak for yourself. They provide medical personnel with a quick diagnosis so that they can react to the situation properly and as quickly as possible. In severe scenarios, a medical ID tag can mean the difference between life and death.

Who Should Wear a Medical Alert Tag?

Any person who has a medical condition that cannot be easily recognized should wear a medical ID tag. The following conditions warrant a medical ID tag:

• Diabetes
• Severe Allergies to Food or Medications
• Asthma
• Epilepsy
• Alzheimer’s
• Heart Conditions
• Hypertension
• Hypothyroidism
Young children or persons who are unable to articulate their medical condition should also wear a medical ID tag.

Medic Alert Awareness Month

To raise awareness of the importance of wearing medical ID tags, Medic Alert Awareness Month is celebrated every August. Medic Alert Awareness Month also aims to raise awareness for the Medic Alert Foundation and the life-saving benefits of its medical ID jewelry.

Founded in 1956, the Medic Alert Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to ensure people are given the proper care in the event of an emergency. The organization provides Medic Alert identification bracelets and necklaces and maintains a database of their members’ health information, which can be made available to medical personnel during an emergency. With Medic Alert, your medical information and health history can be conveniently retrieved from the details engraved on your Medic Alert jewelry. First responders can contact Medic Alert’s live 24/7 emergency response service to obtain your information. The medical ID tags minimize the risk of medical errors and help ensure you are receiving the best care in an emergency.

What should be Engraved on a Medical ID Tag?

Your medical ID tag will alert medical authorities who respond to your emergency. While you definitely want to include your health condition, what you engrave on the bracelet or pin is up to you. You can also choose to include your name or the name and phone number of the person you wish to call during an emergency. If there is a medication or something you must or must not take to alleviate the issue, you may want to include that as well.

If you have a Medic Alert bracelet, you do not need to include all of your valuable health information on the ID tag because first responders will have access to all of your medical data. If you wish to use a generic medical ID, it’s best to include as much information as you can to ensure you receive the highest quality care.

If you or a loved one has a medical condition that cannot be easily recognized, a medical ID tag will ensure you receive the assistance and care you need when you need it most.

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August is National Immunization Month

As we go through the month of August I hear more commercials about school supplies, new school clothes, and that inevitable first day of school. It’s still warm outside, the sky still stays light until well after dinnertime, but school is right around the corner or already upon us in some places. And this also means that it’s time to consider getting your children immunized against things like the flu and other booster shots. In fact, August is National Immunization Month, promoting early action for school age children and also for all others when it comes to flu shots, in preparation of colder weather and increasing viruses at work and school.808_1k

There are lots of places to get your immunization, meaning you don’t need to go through the hassle and wait of making an appointment with your doctor six weeks out. Many grocery stores and pharmacies will offer walk-in immunizations this time of year, and many schools will even have doctors and nurses available at the beginning of the year to provide proper immunization.

Keeping an eye out for signs and medical personnel wearing medical lanyards or medical lapel pins indicating they’re able to provide immunizations and make a point to get yourself immunized today to ensure fewer illnesses this winter. Also: be sure to thank medical professionals for helping you out: I can’t imagine it’s a lot of fun sticking needles into people’s arms all day. They’re the every day heroes that we wouldn’t be able to do without!

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Solid Metal Memories

Summer means a lot of things. It’s summer vacation for kids. It’s swimming and outdoor sports season. Wedding season. And one of my favorites: it’s fest season! Festival season combines many of my favorite things: great live music, creative projects and people, great street food, and increasingly, unique and really amazing custom lapel pins! Whether it’s Burning Man or Disney World, pins are making a huge impact on the festival season.

Working with custom lapel pins means I run across a lot of pieces we’ve created for things 104_1klike fests over the years, and I’ve saved some of my favorites on my pin wall. Neon mosaic owls for Electric Forest; huge, beautiful rhinestone playas for Burning Man; anarchy symbols and religious declarations for conventions, realistic airplanes for EAA AirVenture, and a rainbow skull and crossbones for QueerCon. Their creativity, size and often playfulness make them absolutely some of my favorite pieces.

And at Disneyland they’ve made pin collecting a serious hobby, with thousands to choose from everywhere you go, and long-time collectors walking around with lanyards that weigh literally pounds, festooned with characters, anniversary pins, and event Rubber Duckcommemoration. Each lanyard is probably worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, and I guarantee you none of the people wearing them would trade them in for the money back. Lapel pins from fests or places like Disney are solid metal memories that can bring their owners back every time they look at them.

Do you have a custom pin collection? Or some other unique collection that you wouldn’t trade for any amount? We’d love to hear about it!

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Fly Girl

Happy birthday to Amelia Earhart! It was on this day back in 1897 that she was born in a small town in Kansas, and saw her first airplane exhibition at the age of ten in Iowa at a state fair. It took another 11 years before she finally got behind the controls of an airplane herself, but from the moment she began, she devoted herself to it entirely, and become the 16th woman in the world to get a pilot’s license.

And while she was not the first woman to get her pilot’s license, she quickly became the world’s most famous female pilot, earning the nickname “Lady Lindy” for her aviation prowess comparable to the famous male pilot, Charles Lindbergh. And throughout her-sadly short-career, she set records and inspired women everywhere not only to take to508 the skies if they so chose, but to not let social norms dictate their choices when it came to a career.

And her legacy lived on after her disappearance as women swarmed to join the military efforts of World War II, though the Air Force itself was not a formal body until after the War was over. By 1948 Women had their own air force affiliation, the Women of the Air Force or WAF. This organization remained intact until 1976 when women were finally admitted into the USAF on a completely equal standing to their male counterparts.

118 years after the birth of Ms. Earhart, we as women, and as a country, have come so far. Women are in every branch of the military, and all over the skies as commercial pilots and in the Air Force. And if there’s anything to be taken away from the amazing life of Amelia Earhart, it’s to follow your dreams, no matter where they take you, whether that means going thousands of feet into the air, all the way across the world, or keeps you exactly where you are. Dream big, and don’t give up. Happy Birthday, Amelia!

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