Embroidered Patches Are the New Black

I don’t think it’s self-deprecating to say that I’m not the most fashion forward person I know. And I’m OK with that. But it turns out that PinMart, if not me, is actually very trendy! Recent articles in fashion magazines are filled with men-and women-wearing understated or outlandish pins on their lapels, and just recently someone pointed out an article about Tommy Hilfiger, a name even I’m familiar with.

PM0608 Embroidered Patches

Embroidered patches

It appears the American clothing designer is teaming up with a creative, entrepreneurial model to create a new line of clothing for the brand. And one of the first components leaked to social media? A bunch of really collegiate and military-style embroidered patches! The model, Gigi Hadid, shared the patches on her Instagram account and I was surprised and thrilled at how similar they looked to many things we have right up on our website. That’s called being “on fleek”, right?

So while many people will rush out when the line is released in order to get in on the latest trend, there will be just as many creative individuals who go out and make their own versions of these styles, putting their own spin on them with customized embroidered patches or by using our stock patches in tried and true ways.

I’m hoping that as this trend follows through and people get creative, they’ll share their designs with us at PinMart. We’d love to share your unique brand of fashion, using any of our products, on our Instagram or Pinterest accounts. And if you’re already rocking our pins, patches, lanyards or bracelets, by all means show us! Get in touch on our website, or any of our social media outlets.

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Resolve: Donate Blood

Ah, New Year’s resolutions. The time when we’re all dedicated to losing 10 pounds, increasing our savings, and finally taking up the Hawaiian electric pedal steel guitar (or maybe that’s just me?). Whatever you set your mind to do to improve yourself, I wish you the best of luck! And if you’re still looking for something to add to your list of resolutions, may I suggest making a habit of donating blood?

January happens to be National Blood Donation Month, and I think that the timing couldn’t be better, because while the idea of giving blood can scare some, so does the idea of brewing coffee at home every morning instead of dropping $5.00 on a venti caramel macchiato. And resolutions are all about facing down fears, and dedicating yourself to things that are good for you even if they may not be easy. Though to be fair, giving blood IS pretty easy.

The entire process of giving blood takes roughly 15 minutes, with only about 12-13 of thoseRed Cross Lapel Pin minutes being devoted to actual blood donation. It’s safe, you get to relax in a reclining chair the entire time, and best of all? You get cookies, juice, and sometimes even  a red cross lapel pin afterwards! And just one pint of blood, which is all you donate, can save up to three people!

So however you decide to celebrate the new year, consider resolving to donate blood whenever you can (and you can every 56 days!), and don’t hesitate to brag about it afterwards. Because donating blood doesn’t tend to make people jealous as much as when you brag about your amazing weight loss.

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Be Merry and Bright with Holiday Lapel Pins

Happy holidays from PinMart! As Hanukkah has just concluded, and with Christmas a mere 10 days away, I thought it high time to wish everyone a very happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or even Festivus! I’m sure I’ve left some folks out and for that I’m sorry, but I wish everyone happiness and cheer this winter time regardless.

It was great walking around the city and seeing increasingly bright menorahs, some colorful and others more traditional, some silver and still others gold. And with the holiday lapel pinsculmination of Hanukkah yesterday, let me speak on behalf of PinMart when I say I hope it was a great holiday for everyone.

And now, as I said, Christmas is practically right around the corner. I can say with some relief that I’ve got the majority of my gifts bought, but I still have to get the rest of my stocking stuffers. I’ve come to learn though that that is the easiest part, thanks to PinMart! Whether the recipient celebrates Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or just enjoys the snowy weather, I can help them share that with holiday lapel pins. And beyond that, for pins that can be worn year round, there are hundreds of pieces dedicated to hobbies, state, country and military pride, and even beautiful flower stick pins for the fashionista in your group.

It’s great to know that when I give things like pins I’m insuring that my friends will have Holiday lapel pinsmore than just “fluff” to stuff their stockings, and that it will help them express themselves during special occasions, or just every day.

So again, whatever you celebrate this winter season, we at PinMart hope it’s warm and bright. Season’s Greetings!

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Infographic: Donating to Charity over the Holidays

The holiday season is a popular time to donate to charity. View our infographic to learn more about donating to charity over the holidays. While you’re in the holiday spirit, also check out our holiday pins at PinMart.

PinMart - Month 50

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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 Holiday lapel pinsaprons, and sharing their holiday spirit in their English and Spanish language commercials. These will be airing everywhere throughout December.

Personally I don’t  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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Customizable Lanyards Make Great Goody Bag Gifts

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 customizable lanyardsregular 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 awareness ribbonsanother 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! 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. PinMartOf 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 PinMart’s new website for a few minutes, you’ll agree that it’s sometimes really worth it.

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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 soldiers who were prisoners of war (POW) and those who remain missing in action (MIA), as well as their families. This 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 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 POW/MIAhonored 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 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

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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How American Flag Pins Bring Us Together

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 American Flag pinsa 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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