Tell me a little about your company? How long has it been around?
Freshpinz is a one man company, just me hand making every pin. Our slogan is "Express your fresh!" We have only been around for 3 months now, and business is expanding so fast. We service out of Buffalo, NY where I currently reside but I’m originally from Minneapolis, MN. We pride ourselves on producing a reasonably priced, unique accessory with same day shipping.
What prompted the thought of originating “Freshpinz”?
Honestly it was a fluke. There was an event a few months ago and I had a vision for my outfit. I wanted to have an accessory like a brooch or pin to rock on the lapel of my sport coat, something simple, but something that popped. Instead of going out and searching for something to catch my eye, I just decided to make something. Being that I often wore bowties, I thought it would be cool to have something like that to wear. I went online and tried to find some type of inspiration, and I came across some children’s crafts sites, and then I found the materials to make the bow tie pin which started everything.
It seems that most of your clientele comes from the Greek Community. Not only do you feature NPHC Greeks but you pretty much cover all groups (i.e Latin fraternities and sororities as well as academic and business groups). Do you create other types of designs, say if a company wanted to recreate their logo in a pin format, could “Freshpinz” cater to that type of consumer?
I’m open to try anything. But scaling is an issue for some logos or custom design. The more detailed the design is the bigger it is in scale, and using beads..... its tough!!! I want to create an accurate depiction of the customers design, so often I can tell right away if I can do it or not, then I will make suggestions to make it work.
Without telling the tricks of the trade, explain your designing process. Your pinz are very detailed. I’m most intrigued by how you formulate your designs by creating visuals that look exactly like the logo or picture you are depicting. Do you have to draw the designs first?
What I’m doing is nothing new, we’ve all used to beads as a child. The twist is that I’m using a child’s craft and creating adult accessories. The design process varies. Sometimes I can search the net and find a child’s template and go from there, but most of the time it’s me looking at a picture and playing around. Making curves and shapes was extremely difficult at first and sometimes still gives me problems. But most of the time now-- I just look for inspiration. I may sketch it out, but it’s usually all freehand . I often ask people for ideas of things they think I should make, and the Kappa YO- is the first Greek design I made, and is the one I’m most proud of.
“The Male Brooch Epidemic” is making a HUGE comeback. Last year you could barely get a guy to pin something on his jacket, let alone a tee shirt. However, it seems as if “Freshpinz” has no problem breaking the macho male ego when it comes to openly displaying your product in a stylish sense. Why is that?
I believe the product is just cool. It’s just different and people always want to have the jump on what’s new and fresh. Everyone has a unique style and my pinz cater to that individuality. I think guys or more conscious of what they wear today than ever before. The days of us just walking out the house in some basketball shorts and Jordan’s has passed, it seems that subtlety is the new trend, and guys are just looking for subtle things to enhance their look, and I believe freshpinz does that.
What makes “Freshpinz” so fresh? How is your product unique among other materials like leggo pinz for example?
Lego pins are cool, I’ve seen some people do some creative things with them, but the difference with my product is the attention to detail. I’m able to use different types of materials to create accurate depictions. It’s more like pixel art. When I first started, I just made a few for myself as a hobby, and I enjoyed it. I started to rock them out and people wanted them. So I made some for them and I was just giving them away for free, the idea was that this would never serve as supplemental income, but then people were like, “Yo ..you need to start charging for these!” and I did, and the rest is history.
I've noticed from your most recent instagram uploads (@sofreshnupe_) you’ve started creating 3 dimensional pinz. Is that concept difficult?
Yes lol 3D, the concept was a great thought but it hasn’t come full circle as of yet. I’ve made a few samples but it’s not there yet. The design process is easy but finding the right type of glue has been a problem. So I’m in the lab working and getting it right.
A good designer is always looking to reinvent their product to keep it fresh. What’s new in the works for “Freshpinz” designs?
I’m always looking to create something new. The ideas just steam from everything around me. I’m coming out with some color block pins next, and really digging in to this 3D pins; trying to work the kinks out. The idea is to keep all designs subtle, and never outlandish.
Outside of your 3D pinz, What would you say has been your most challenging design to create?
My original “YO” Kappa pin was the hardest because it was my first Greek pin. I’m so proud of myself for that, because even I didn’t think that I could be that creative. The feedback I got from that and buzz was crazy and I sincerely appreciate it. And to reinvent it I added a bowtie to it and created the “YoBOW” and that really took Freshpinz to another level. When I’m working on a design for the first time, I’m just sitting at the workstation back hunched over and tweezers in hand- moving beads around trying to see what works-- and then when I get the clear vision it’s like EUREKA!
Are you a walking billboard for your product?
Uh….. not so much now, I have so many people supporting me now that I have walking billboards on every coast. I get more pleasure out of seeing other people wearing them. I want to be the designer in the crowd and overhear people giving praise and compliments about my pins asking where they got them from and who made them etc. Not knowing that the person who made them is right behind them lol. If you think about it-- a lot of people wear all these labels and seldom see what the designer looks like. I want to be that type of guy. I’m just laid back and appreciative for people even wanting to wear my pinz let alone pay their hard earned money for, it’s humbling.
Check me out in FRESHPINZ below.
To check out the full freshpinz collection and to inquire about ordering, they can be reached via these outlets:
Twitter: @sofreshnupe_ @freshpinz
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