Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pom-Kins are here! - Venturing into Enamel Pins?

Grab a pom-kin of your own on Etsy
Oh man, it's been a long time since I updated. My life is always busy, but this past month it's been more intense than usual because....I'm bidding on a HOUSE! OMG! I've been going to showings, talking to mortgage companies, and researching all this adult-business online and now I'm finally in a place where home ownership is a possibility! And today is my birthday!

So it's been a pretty intense month of adulting, but I still managed to have a little fun designing my first ever enamel pin!

Enamel pins made by smaller indie artists have been popular in the music scene for a long time, but recently artists and artist alley veterans have gotten in on the fun as well. To be honest, the custom pin-market is a little oversaturated now due to the large influx of artists trying this sales are tougher and tougher to get with all the new competition, but I just couldn't resist making one of my own to test the waters.

Step 1: Making my Design

Thanks to my commercial printing and graphic design background, making a clean, vector-based, pin design was really easy, and I already had a Pantone color book to use as reference (since these pins use PMS colors for their filled in areas). I made my design, tweaked things here or there on it for 2-3 days until I was completely happy, and made little color blocks on the side featuring my design's Pantone colors.

I toyed with "happy" eyes, different snouts, different Jack O' Lantern faces...ultimately I liked the slightly wicked looking Pom-face, which reminded me of my favorite Sanrio character, Kuromi. I mean, it's Halloween! I was a sassy snarky looking Pom, not a super smiley one!

Step 2: Contacting a Manufacturer 

Pinmakers on Facebook pointed me in the direction of a few different manufacturers, and I picked the one that got back to me the quickest. We got the order in, my artwork was approved, and a few weeks later I got a photo of my finished pins and a note that they were already shipped and on their way. Now, it would have been nice to see the proof photo and be able to give approval after that for production to start, but it didn't work out that way. Thankfully my finished pins looked great and that wasn't an issue, but if you wanted to change anything..that'd really suck.

Step 3: Finished Pins! & Backer Cards

Once I got notice that they were on their way I whipped up a spooky backer card to go with them. I was kind of going for a watercolor-texture, similar to the backgrounds used in the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown special, tried a few different fonts, and finalized my design. The finished cards fit inside the same plastic sleeves that I used for my finback buttons, so other than the card itself I didn't have to buy any other packaging. Which is super awesome! 

That's pretty much it! They look super cute and out of 100 pins only 8 were messed up enough that I didn't feel right selling them. If this run goes well I might make more, but for now, I'm really happy with my little Pom-Kin pins and looking at them in their little packages makes me really happy. 

Right now I am selling them in my Etsy shop with either a black-nickel or gold-nickel finish, and each purchase comes with Halloween candy! Please check them out and grab one for yourself. They'll only be available until Day of the Dead, which is Tuesday November 1st. After that they go in the crypt until next year.

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