Now it’s Personal

World Cancer Day was just a couple of days ago. I write, tweet, and post about it every year, and every year it is something I take seriously, because, and excuse the pun, but cancer is dead serious. But this year, while tweeting, posting and writing about World Cancer Day, I got word of the passing of an old friend from cancer, and my best buddy, my dog, was also diagnosed with cancer. So while I tend to put a lot of emphasis on WCD every year, this year, it’s personal.

Cancer, in the past year, personally effected over 13.7 million Americans. And it is estimated that in 2014 another 1.7 million new cases will be diagnosed. These staggering numbers are why I push awareness ribbons that help raise money for cancer research, why694new PinMart stocks cancer pins, lanyards, and paracord bracelets. My friend, a chemical engineer working on a cancer drug right now, pointed out that cancer drugs can take up to 10 years to perfect for practical use. And if time isn’t enough of an issue, the money required to fund this research for such a long time is astronomical. So things like awareness ribbons, cash donations, and pledge walks are so important.

Chances are you know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. It has touched all of us in some way, some more personally than others, but everyone can point to someone in their lives who has battled cancer. Something so prevalent needs a cure, needs cures, and that’s what awareness ribbons do. It sounds silly, but if everyone who has ever had any brush with cancer personally or through a friend donated to cancer research through something like an awareness ribbon, that would be roughly 314 million donations. And numbers like that are what cure cancer.

Do your part for your friends, your family, your coworkers, your pets. No one deserves the personal knowledge of cancer, and what it can do to a person, a family, or a community.

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It’s A Small World Afterall

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 157newacross 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.

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8 Ways You Can Support a Cause Other than Donating Money

Throughout the year, countless people across the nation set aside the time to raise awareness for a cause and show support for those fighting life-threatening illnesses. While many of them often give donations (since unfortunately funds don’t raise themselves and the majority of causes rely on the charitable and financial support of others), helping those with illnesses stretches much further than donating money.

If you want to support a cause in more ways than just by giving money, there is an array of things you can do. Below are eight ways you can show your support and raise awareness for any cause.  

1. Blog about it
Blogging is a great way to inform online audiences of a cause, and there are a ton of people who read blogs daily. You can use your blog to create your own media coverage and let others know about the latest news. You can also reach out to other bloggers and websites with an interest in the cause, and ask them to help spread the word by writing a post or sharing yours.

2. Get social
Social media is a fast, effective way to drum up support for a cause. You can create a page dedicated to a specific issue and share news and engage with online audiences. You 1539can also find others who are interested and connect with them.

3. Always be prepared
Wear clothing and accessories to show your support for a cause. From paracord and survival bracelets to pins, t-shirts, and more, you can make sure everyone takes notice of what you are championing.

4. Share your story
Whether you’re a survivor or lost a family or friend to an illness, share your story. Contact websites, news stations and other media outlets and tell them about your experiences. This will help your story reach a much larger audience.  

5. Create videos
Make your own homemade video or presentation about the cause and share it online. You can do this easily on, a free video-sharing site.  

6. Attend a lecture
To become more informed about an illness, attend a lecture — better yet, speak at one if you have a story to tell.

7. Create a display or poster
Make a display at your local library, school, office, local park, or other nearby location with information and posters about your cause. As people walk by, they’re sure to ask about it.  

8. Inform your healthcare providers
Speak to healthcare providers and ask them to offer handouts to patients in order to help them understand an illness.


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Come Together

We all take our sides, don’t we? Packers or Bears? Beatles or Stones? Paper, or plastic? It’s how we define ourselves in a way, the little things, the choices we make and the sides we take. But taking a side, choosing a team, a band, a car brand or a political party, should not divide us as a county, and as part of the human race. Which is the goal and the motivation of World Religions Day, happening this Sunday, the 19th.

This officially sanctioned day has been around for 64 years now, and has been observed all over the world every year since then. It’s a day for religious and spiritual organizations to 917come together and worship their faith as an intermixed group, instead of in their private places of worship. The aim is to provide points of reference for people, for faiths to understand one another and to respect both the differences and to see the similarities. Often at these meetings faiths will exchange pamphlets, words, and small tokens like religious lapel pins and charms. It isn’t about conversion, it’s about commingling and networking.

It will be easy to engage in World Religion Day on Sunday. Chances are local churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples will be organizing meetings with each other that you will be welcome to join. Be sure to come with an open mind, a willingness to share, and perhaps some simple tokens of your faith to share with others. religious lapel pins, candles, charms, or even homemade items. The point is to share, to learn, and to understand that faith is universal, even if the details are different for everyone.

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Did you know National Rubber Duck Day is Coming Up?…

The older I get, the faster my calendar seems to fill up in the new year. People get engaged over the holidays and send out ‘set the dates’, vacations for upcoming months are planned, new school semesters start up, and so on and so forth. Keeping all of the holidays and events organized is never easy, and it seems like scheduling gets more complicated all the time. So I’m really grateful for PinMart’s newly updated awareness calendar for 2014! It’s got every single important event throughout the year, from New Year’s Day all the way through Christmas, and everything in between. And going through it, it’s amazing how many pins we have to help celebrate these occasions!

We’ve all got our pet causes, be that Autism, cervical cancer, breast cancer, or Alzheimer’s. But our updated calendar makes sure that you don’t miss a single event throughout the year, and that you can share the information with others! The page has everything mapped out for you, and even has great corresponding pins for every awareness month and 1126 (1)holiday, for fundraising, or just fun. It’s colorful, it’s concise, and it’s all in one place.

If the calendar resource isn’t enough, you can always join me on Facebook and Twitter, where I make sure to post daily about world events, unique and universal events, and get your feedback on everything from politics to vacation destinations. We have a good time, I promise.

So start 2014 off as organized as you can with our event tools. Goodness knows it’s only going to get increasingly messier from here on out!!


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What goes up, must come down

Resolutions sounded like such a good idea on the 31st of December. Especially on your second martini. Super achievable. You’ll be 10 pounds lighter with the job of your dreams by February, tops… and then, say, 3 January pops up and suddenly: eh. Maybe those 10 pounds are necessary, and come on, you work to live, not live to work, right? Right? Eh.

Don’t misunderstand me: I actually love my job, and no comment on the 10 pounds, but the sentiment is the same for everyone who makes resolutions come the New Year. The momentum is rolling on the 1st of January, and sometimes it’s just a matter of time, and others it’s an early setback like an illness or a bad job market, but no matter what, unless you’re freakishly positive and motivated, setbacks are bound to happen. But setbacks can be overcome with simple words of encouragement, an app that reminds you to keep to your goals, or even motivational lapel pins.

Doing anything difficult, whether it’s physical, mental, or a combination, requires focus S834and motivation, and small reminders can really help refocus your mind when you’re struggling. Good luck charms, motivational lapel pins, even just a post-it note with a positive affirmation, can do the trick.

For me, my setback came in the form of a major car repair on the first day back to work, 2 January. Not exactly motivational. But with some good friends, a bit of sympathy, and some positive thinking, I’m back on track. I may even go grab a pin from our warehouse, to remind me to “Never Quit”!

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Onto the Next!

Well, we made it! Another year behind us, and another one lining up. We at PinMart had a great year professionally and personally, and we have all of our clients, colleagues and fans of Facebook and this blog to thank for that. This year has seen lapel pins that celebrate anniversaries, and pins that honor tearful passings. We’ve been a part of high school R5401graduations, Nursing grads, and even scuba diving certification. 2013 was the year I got to work with skateboarders, trapeze Jesus (don’t ask), and politicians. Camo and cloisonne, Olympians and little leaguers. It has been a diverse and interesting year.

2014 stands to be just as interesting, productive, and record breaking. We’ve expanded as a company this year with great new people, and products like paracord bracelets, tons of new pins, and beautiful challenge coins. 2014 promises to bring with it even more new people and products, and we hope that everyone will follow us along on our journey. We’ve had a blast helping you celebrate, commemorate, promote and grow in your own lives.

So here’s to a spectacular 2014, from the PinMart family to yours.


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Resolve to Eradicate Cervical Cancer this January

Well the holidays are (mostly) over. New Years is on the horizon, and with it the creeping inkling to take stock of one’s life, and to make a list of resolutions. I’m of the mindset that regardless of where you end up at the end of the year, no matter how many resolutions are kept or broken, if you tried, if you made that list, that’s a good start. So it pays to make a new one every year, even if the same old resolutions and aspirations go on it. Taking stock is half the battle.

Health is undoubtedly high on everyone’s list. Be that to lose a few pounds, gain some strength for a race, for a sport, or just for your kids’ sake. What should also be on your list of resolutions is to get those yearly physicals. January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month, and because testing for abnormal cells through pap smears has become more accessible to women, this form of cancer is on the decline. It’s very rare in my industry of researching diseases and their corresponding awareness organizations that I can say that a disease is on the decline. And in this case, the decline is in direct correlation to the awareness!

Information is key, through fundraisers, through printed material, through swag like 421awareness ribbons and t-shirts. Many activities and events that see a lot of female participation team up with local cervical cancer awareness chapters to make sure that information is available to women about the benefits to yearly pap tests and how easy it is to prevent precancerous cells from becoming cancerous.

So this January, when you’re signing up for that 5K, or considering joining a charity, make sure that your health is also a resolution, a priority. Wear teal awareness ribbons, teal shirts, bracelets or lanyards to promote women’s health, and to support those who are battling cervical cancer. Wear teal to keep the numbers of women stricken with this form of cancer on the decline.

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Things to Know about Blood Awareness Month

If you have never donated blood before or you’ve haven’t done so in a while, now is the time to consider it. January is National Blood Awareness Month, and people all over the country are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and have blood drawn to help others in need.  And don’t worry. It won’t hurt that much. Here are some things to know about donating blood and the importance of Blood Awareness Month.

You’ll Help Save Lives

Did you know that a single pint of donated blood can save up to three lives? Hospitals need blood for a number of different live-saving surgeries and procedures, and the wintertime is often the time of the year when hospitals reach critical levels in their blood supply. Reasons for this include increased amount of holiday vacations, poor weather and greater instances of illness.  1 in 3 people in their lifetime will need blood, so the life you save may just be your own. Speaking of that…

You’ll Get Your Critical Numbers Checked Out

In order to give blood, you do need to have a certain level of health. If you don’t have health insurance or you are just curious, a doctor will give you a mini-physical beforehand. 778You will get your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and hemoglobin checked out to make sure you are a good candidate for blood donation. If there is something wrong with you, you’ll have the knowledge to take action. Many people who suffer from high blood pressure, for example, don’t have an idea of their exact numbers.

Make Sure to Tell Others

You did the right thing. Now tell others about it. One of the easiest things to do is to spread the message through social media. I guarantee you’ll get a few likes and shares for your efforts. Another thing to do is to be your own billboard. Buy an awareness lapel pin that you can take with you wherever you go. When people ask you what it’s for, you can tell them that you donated and explain the importance of it. It’s a considerably low-cost way to get the word out that there is a need for blood all year round.

No matter the time of year, the demand for blood is there, but this time of the year is a crucial time of year as supply is very low. If you have the time and health, please consider it and spread the word once you do through a pin, social media or simple word of mouth.

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Officer Smiley

I was taking an order today for a police officer who was starting a program of “years of service” pins for his fellow officers. He started speaking about the purpose behind this move, as many customers tend to do, and mentioned that where he works in New York, police officers are not always looked upon as heroes or the good guys, but as threats. And while that was an unfortunate truth for him, what he pointed out next seemed to genuinely sadden him.

He explained that because many of the adults in his precinct were wary of police officers for one reason or another, it led to many of the children in the area to have the same sense of distrust when they saw a policeman, or even worse, outright fear. For the reason, he was not only looking to boost the morale of his fellow officers with years of service pins, but he ended up purchasing hundreds of smiley face lapel pins as well.

His idea is to hand these out to officers and when they’re walking the streets and see a S42child, to make sure to say hello, hand them a pin, and try to give them a different impression of officers, to let them know that if they ever need help, police officers are their friends, and are there to help. He admitted it was a little bit corny, but I pointed out that doctors will do the same thing with suckers after they give children shots. To remind them in a simple way that they’re on the same team, friends, and can be trusted. He hadn’t thought of that before.

So if you live out on the east coast, in New York, and you see any kids with smiley face lapel pins on, go and thank a police officer. And tell them I said hello!

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