Dedication and family are the two common themes within our office.
But beyond those two, we’re as diverse and unique as they come.
We’re made up of many hardworking talented individuals with interesting stories to tell.
In our new Employee Spotlight series, you’ll meet some of these people, learn what they do (on and off the clock), and how they keep PinMart growing and flowing — just the way we like it!
Introducing Josie Divizio, our Marketing Team Leader!
Q & A WITH JOSIE DIVIZIO
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT PINMART?
I am the Marketing Team Leader and a partner on the Leadership Team here at PinMart.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT AT PINMART?
I have 2 proud moments here at PinMart: 1. The launch of our new baby… the new PinMart Website (started in 2014). 2. Being selected to be on the Leadership Team (2016).
DESCRIBE PINMART IN 3 WORDS.
Home – Family – Growing.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING AT PINMART?
I fulfill my professional purpose while I work with outstanding people.
NOW LET’S GET PERSONAL…
WHO INSPIRES YOU?
As far as I can remember my Mother, Antonina Conte inspired me. She came to the USA from Italy at 24 (leaving six siblings, her parents and dozens of family members and friends behind) with only a small trunk of personal belongings. She created a beautiful and fruitful life. She never let anything stand in her way. She had always been positive, kind, gentle, and always had a smile on her face, even in the most difficult of times. She was the woman who exemplified and taught me strength.
HOBBIES & INTERESTS?
I enjoy long dinners and vacationing with my husband and my adult son and daughter. I love cooking and having family and friends for Sunday dinners. I love tending to my flowers and my parent’s garden. I especially love watching and attending football games with my family. I am a proud supporter of Heart Disease Awareness, Lung Cancer Awareness and Parkinson’s Disease. I am blessed beyond belief to have a great support system of friends. They stem back to my High School years – especially my best friend who resides in Arizona and one group named the HE-MEN.
I have THE cutest Multipoo (Maltese and Poodle mix) named Niko! He is the best little 11 lb. furry family member I had ever hoped for!
Be true, be you! Today I will make a difference. Integrity Is Everything. Wife first, mom second, lover of friends & family.
Please welcome our Guest Blogger Anna Chudzinski, a recent graduate of Loyola University and self-proclaimed DIY extraordinaire.
Today I’d like to share with you some simple DIY projects that you can make using your PinMart lapel pins.
The first DIY project is a super quick and easy way to use lapel pins that you can give to a friend or keep for yourself! It is a self-standing pin card. It’s the perfect way to gift pins because it is a note, décor piece, and gift of lapel pins all in one! The recipient can choose if they want to remove the pins from the backing and use them elsewhere, or keep it together and use it as a décor piece.
Making these is honestly so simple. All you have to do is take a rectangular piece of cardstock and fold it in half, turning it into a little “tent” that will stand up by itself. I embellished the front of mine with decorative masking tape, but you can use whatever you have on hand – stamps, stickers, or even just pens to write a handwritten note. If you’d like, you can add a personalized note inside as well. Then poke your desired pins through the front, fasten on the pin backs (the backs will be on the inside of the “tent”), and you are done!
You can gift these in so many ways. Pop one on your coworker’s desk with pins you picked out just for them and it is sure to make their day. Put one on your child’s dresser to see first thing when they wake up on a special day (pins are a wonderful way to commemorate events and achievements!) These are a great presentation option when you would like to gift pins that don’t already come as a set. These little stand-up cards are so cute, you’ll definitely want to make a few to keep for yourself!
The next DIY project is perfect for custom pins, but works just as well with stock pins. Use your pins to create take-home gifts for your next event. In the example pictured, my cousin had pins made out of the logo she designed for her wedding. Then for each place setting at the wedding, she attached the pins to a ribbon tied around a box of chocolates. Another great idea would be to attach the pins to a wider piece of ribbon to tie around napkins. Or, use the cardstock “tent” process and write names on the front to use them as table place cards! It’s the perfect way to create functional décor that doubles as a gift.
Whether you are using your favorite stock pins to spice up your desk, making a personalized gift for a friend, or using custom pins to create functional décor for an event, these simple projects are the perfect way to add a personal, creative touch.
Anna is a recent graduate from Loyola University with a degree in Creative Writing. Obviously, without question, she has what most only wish they have, and that is the gift to DIY. Personally, I’m more of a BUY type of gal. But props to her! She has been crafting since she was just a little girl and just never really stopped. It was at the young age of nine that she fell in love with crocheting. But that is only one of her many talents! For some crafty inspo check out her Instagram @thescrasppykoala. P.S. Her Etsy Shop won’t disappoint!
New Years Resolutions abound this time of year. Everything from losing that ten pounds gained over Christmastime, to finally going back to school to get your degree, but something I intend to do in the new year is a little different. I’m going to step up my volunteering. No it won’t help me fit into my skinny jeans, or earn me a higher salary, but it’s going to help me and my community in a big way, and I’m excited!
Volunteering is a really great, diverse, and personal thing to do. You pick a cause or a group that you feel passionate about, and you dig yourself in. For me that’s animals. Shelters are almost overwhelmed out here in California where I live due to the wildfires that ravaged the San Diego area this winter. So many families lost their homes and lost track of their pets during the wildfires that most local shelters are at capacity. So come the new year, now that my holiday travel is over, I plan to spend some Saturdays at my local shelter socializing dogs and cats, cleaning crates and filling food dishes.
Animals shelters are just one idea out of literally thousands that are available in any area, and finding the one that’s right for you is as simple as a google search for a cause you believe in, or, if you want to see what’s going on in your area, check out websites like GiveGab.org or VolunteerMatch. They can suggest organizations in your area that desperately need your help. From there it’s up to you, and while you won’t necessarily lose any weight, you’ll certainly gain experience and pride that will make you feel lighter. And let’s face it: everyone looks better wearing volunteer pins.
Volunteering, on top of being a feel good experience and a chance to give back, also builds skills and creates new opportunities for those involved. And if you don’t see your cause being represented in your area, consider starting up something grassroots and lead the way in 2019.
So follow your heart in the coming year, and give back. Happy New Year from PinMart!
Even with nearly 500 different causes represented by awareness ribbons, there are those that are not. Here are a few that we found that do not appear to be associated with a specific ribbon color:
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy – Knowledge about this condition has become much more widespread in recent years due to a number of well-known sports figures being diagnosed. CTE appears to be caused by repeated blows to the head sustained over a series of years. It’s most often seen in military veterans and athletes, including boxers and football players.
Cooley’s Anemia – Also known as thalassemia major, Cooley’s anemia is a genetic blood disorder characterized by the absence of beta protein in the blood. Without this protein, blood cells cannot carry sufficient oxygen, leading to significant problems throughout multiple organ systems. People with this condition must have frequent blood transfusions and typically do not live a normal lifespan.
Frostbite – While mild (first degree) frostbite can cause numbness and superficial damage to the top layers of the skin, more serious or “deep” frost bite can lead to long-term sensitivity to cold, persistent pain, severe damage to the skin and deeper tissues, and even permanent damage as tissue dies.
Shingles – Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chicken pox, shingles affects more than 200,000 people each year. This infection is rarely dangerous, but frequently causes a severe, painful rash. In some cases, shingles can cause complications, including neurological problems, skin infections, and vision loss.
Musculoskeletal Disorders – While spinal disorders are represented with a cream ribbon, musculoskeletal disorders in general do not have one unifying awareness color. Other individual conditions that do have colors include degenerative disc disease (cream) and spinal cord injuries (lime).
Perhaps we don’t need a new ribbon for every condition – or maybe sticking to something like the zebra-stripe ribbon, which represents all those many rare diseases for which there is no specific designated color, is a solution to the overabundance of colors. But there’s nothing wrong in raising awareness and showing support for those who are living with the challenges those ribbons represent. Find your ribbon, ribbon pin, or ribbon charm and wear it with pride. And maybe choose one with the name of the cause printed on it to make your cause crystal clear.
Walking down the street on your way to get lunch, you see a young man walk by with a blue awareness ribbon pin on his lapel. But wait – what’s he raising awareness of? Is it for victim’s rights? Hurricane victims? Maybe Huntington’s disease. Wait – was it light blue or dark blue? Light blue could be prostate cancer. Dark blue, maybe Epstein-Barr virus. There are well over 50 different causes associated with the color blue alone, particularly when you add in navy, periwinkle, and color combinations. And when you consider all of the different ribbons, you’ll find that about 500 different diseases, conditions, and causes have specific ribbon colors associated with them.
Awareness ribbons make a meaningful statement. The red HIV/AIDS ribbon that first began appearing on lapels in 1991 was a visually striking reminder of the crisis, and it has become an internationally recognized symbol for the cause. Using ribbons as a way to raise awareness spread from there. For many people who suffer with an illness, who struggle to live with a life-altering condition, or who want to bring attention to a crisis situation, wearing a ribbon can bring a feeling of pride and visibility.
But with nearly 500 different causes represented by awareness ribbons, how much does a ribbon mean outside of a particular community? The red ribbon and its historical association with HIV/AIDS, the pink ribbon for breast cancer, the yellow ribbon to support our troops – most people know these associations, although all of those ribbon colors are used for other causes as well. Do people know what orchid or lavender or burgundy mean?
Ultimately, maybe it’s not so important to know off the top of your head what a pearl-colored awareness ribbon means if that leads to you asking or looking it up. Wearing a silver ribbon to represent CMT disease may simply make the wearer feel seen and recognized, since it’s considered a rare condition. Many organizations also use awareness ribbons as a fundraiser or giveaways to conference attendees. And while colors like blue and green and red might be used to represent dozens of different causes, each of those ribbons also represents a person who someone loves.
It’s official… I’m obsessed with podcasts! More specifically, Meghan Rienks podcast. I have been a long-time viewer of YouTube personality and actress Meghan Rienks YouTube channel. When she announced she was starting a podcast titled “Don’t Blame Me”, I at first was skeptical as to what exactly a podcast was yet my skepticism quickly changed as I realized I really like the whole idea of it. New episodes are available every Friday on Apple Podcasts and Sound Cloud. You can also now watch her podcast on her YouTube channel.
While on the topic of podcasts… Recently, Saturdays With Chickenduck, a weekly podcast hosted by James Adam and Casey Schearer reached out wanting to create a Custom Pin for their podcast. We took their logo, which is a chickenduck, yes, you read that correctly, it’s not a typo, a chickenduck and turned it into a quack-tastic pin! I of course wanted to know a little more about how they came up with the name chickenduck, so I reached out and was amazed to hear the reason behind the name and how the podcast came to be. Host Casey Schearer said the idea to do the podcast came to him after he saw Kevin Smith at the premier for his movie Yoga Hosers in Red Bank, NJ at The Count Basie Theater. Casey recalls Kevin Smith saying something about how if you feel like you have something to say, get your friends together and record a podcast. Casey then talked it over with his friend Jimmy and together they decided to start their own podcast. The name came to them easier than actually starting the show. When they were kids, they would always pass a house next to a contaminated lake due to a local battery plant. At the house were birds that looked like they were half chicken half duck, hence the name “chickenduck”. They had always talked about starting a cartoon when they were younger about the Chickenduck but they never did anything with it. So instead they decided to use the name for their podcast. Their friend Jimmy Ettele, The Napkin Guy (@thenapkinguy on Instagram) created their quirky logo for them and Casey wanted something to sell that would last forever so he decided to get pins made. That’s where we came in!
Custom Pins are a great way to promote a podcast. Why you may ask? Well if you have a podcast of your own, you may already know how much your loyal listeners enjoy merchandise that represents the podcast they love. Custom Pins are a witty way to brand your podcast. Set your podcast apart from the rest! Rather than t-shirts and mugs, listeners can show off their love and support of your podcast on the daily. Whether they accessorize their denim jacket or backpack with your pin it’s likely that more people will see your Custom Pin then they would a mug that the listener drinks from in the comfort of their own home.
Thank you @chickenduckpond! We had a blast helping you create your Custom Pin.
Labor day is a reminder of the power of the people. It’s a legacy of people coming together for a common cause, and the result is something you see every day in American work places. Whether it’s an office or a factory line, unions have played a role in improving workplace quality, establishing a 5 day work week, and ensuring workplace safety. And it’s why the US and Canada take this first Monday in September off, with many other countries doing the same on the first Monday in May. Continue reading →
Revolutionary war heroes, pirates, smuggling, and the birth of our country… what do all of these have in common? They are the reason and the inspiration for America’s first officially recognized branch of the military: The Coast Guard! Dreamed up by America’s inaugural Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, the Coast Guard was created in 1790 to help protect America’s burgeoning trade relations with the world, to protect the coastline from foreign intrusion, and to aid its citizens who called the eastern seaboard their home. Continue reading →