Everyone comes from a certain set of circumstances. Growing up in the midwest, east, west, south. Those of us who attended college either joined a sorority/fraternity or didn’t. We know our local hangouts, and our local hangups. It’s what makes us, us. But something I get to experience working at PinMart is I get to be a part of traditions from every walk of life, every location across our great country, every club and quirk that our nation has to offer, since it seems that no matter where you are or what you do, lapel pins find their way into the mix.
Working on sorority pins, I hear stories of pledges and longtime sisters, where their lives have taken them, and why the pins they’re creating are the way that they are. It’s often an “inside joke” or a local reference, something that only a select few will get upon first glance. But luckily, because I get to play a part in so many of these, I feel a part of all of these regional pieces, and it keeps me connected to people all across the country.
Or take the unique gathering of Burning Man. It’s a creative festival that happens every year out in the deserts of California, and draws creative, unique, inclusive people from all across the world who wish to share and commune with one another. One “Burner” as they’re called, has taken to creating lapel pins every year to bring and share with fellow campers, and through this collaboration I’ve gained a friend in him, and also now feel like an honorary “Burner” through my work with his piece, which has been worn in weddings, in every country I can think of, and of course, during Burning Man.
Sports teams, Lions clubs, local government, non-profits and memorials: they make up communities, and I get to be a part of all of them. Lapel pins make a connection not only with those who wear them, but with me to them, and I think that’s pretty cool.