Something interesting I’ve noticed since working for a lapel pin company: how news and events impact our business and how that effects what our top-selling items will be during the coming weeks. For example, when 9-11 occurred, our American flag lapel pins practically flew right out the door, for obvious reasons. When Katrina hit New Orleans, hurricane relief pins went likewise. And now recently, with the attacks on American embassies in the Middle East, our friendship flag pins have been selling by the thousands.
I’ll admit that I see this reaction to the tragedies as a positive thing, but not for the reasons you’d think. While making a living is nice, I’m certainly not talking about making a profit off of other peoples’ misery. What I mean is that friendship flag pins are just how they sound: indicators of friendship. Their sale means that across the country and the world people are looking to heal the unrest between the two countries, to create a tie to bind us and to start conversations that will begin to educate the public about our commonalities instead of just our differences.
Friendship flag pins have been around for a long time, and are the single most popular adornment for diplomats and government officials. They’re also quite popular with individual civilians who are proud of their roots, be they Irish, Mexican, Iraqi, or African. Friendship flag pins are little pieces of nation building you can wear, and in the quantities they’re sold and used, they clearly make an impact on those who wear them and those who receive them.
Needless to say, I try and skim the headlines every morning before I get to work because inevitably, it helps me decipher our sales trends and better understand our customers. Is it too cliche to say that lapel pins make the world go round? Perhaps, but when you work for a lapel pin company, it sure feels that way.