I am an enamel pin, and I replaced a lapel pin, who replaced a cloisonné pin. We are all the same, just different names and maybe a slight difference in how we are put together. But those small details aren’t important, we like to keep some things private.
Each generation of custom pins wants to make their mark, and this generation has adopted “enamel pins” as their name of choice. I personally like the name, but some of the older generation lapel pins have gotten a little worked up over it. We are patient though and will get them to change eventually.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I am made of metal. Iron to be specific. But I have enamel pin friends that come in brass, copper, zinc alloy, or even stainless steel. All my enamel pin friends are made of different kinds of metal but you’d never know it as we all do the same job, look similar, and all perform very well.
I happen to like iron, its magnetic and more importantly it is the least expensive. Quite frankly, it makes me very attractive for most jobs. Other enamel pins made of brass or copper might argue, and claim to be more durable, but I think that is all subjective.
We all know that what’s inside matters most, but I must admit my outer coating has a pretty nice shine. It’s only a thin coat of gold I wear, but boy is it impressive when polished. Many of my enamel pin friends wear silver and some (the cartoonish ones) even wear a coat of black or blue or green. These color coats are kind of cool, but only in certain settings.
I don’t like to brag too much, but color is really my thing. You can tell by my name, enamel, that I like color. We call the color enamel as it has a nice ring to it, but it’s sort of like paint if that makes more sense. The great thing about enamel is the unlimited colors available to get all dressed up in.
I personally shop at the Pantone Matching System (PMS) store for my enamel. They are the fashion guru’s and trend setters for enamel. Best of all they have thousands of colors to choose from.
I’d love to wear 10 or more colors at a time, but I’ve learned over the years too many colors and most of them don’t really show. So, why waste the money. I personally try to keep my colors to around 4-6 max. On special occasions a few more colors don’t hurt.
Because of the colors, I like to go to the design shop, and get expert advice from experienced designers. You see the designers know exactly what colors work well together and exactly how to wear them. I can’t remember the last time I did my own colors. Once you’ve had an expert design your look, you just keep coming back.
I think I’ve described myself pretty well. But, there is one more thing I need to talk about. It’s sort of sore subject for some, and that is the nail on the back. Yes, the nail.
I have this beautiful coat of gold, 6 vibrant colors, and then the nail. What do you do? I have to remind myself that a pin is a pin is a pin, and without the nail, I’m just a pretty thing, not very useful. So, I tolerate it.
I sometimes have to convince the owners that yes, I poke a hole in their clothing, but for the most part, the hole closes in after a little bit. If I can’t convince the owners otherwise, I let them know I’m happy to attach a magnet, which is less disruptive to clothing.
You might wonder where enamel pins hang out. Well, lapel pins used to hang around older people, businesses, suits and ties, and the like, but us new age enamel pins we are too trendy for that. So, you’ll find us congregating on Etsy, Pinterest, niche websites, Instagram, and blogs. That is were the cool enamel pins hang.
We like to make a stand, make a statement, and hang out with other enamel pins that think like we do. We are not afraid to say what is on our mind. I’ll admit sometimes it can get a little offensive, but I guess it’s all in the name of freedom of speech -- right?
As an enamel pin we get hired out for jobs like promotions, trade shows, recognition, awards, causes, charities and the such. There are so many of us enamel pins that we are everywhere. I’ve been called a mini billboard of all things. I don’t take offense; I just see myself as making a difference in the world. Not too many other things get to voice their opinion no mater where they go. Us enamel pins speak up any time we are in public, no matter the situation, like it or not. I always try to be respectful though.
I guess the one grievance I have as an enamel pin is the amount we get paid. Seems we always get hired in batches and no one will hire us unless we have at least 50. I really hate that because it keeps our pay down when you have to split the money 50 ways. Sometimes I wish I could go it alone and make the full price, but everyone wants to divide it up. Pretty cheap if you ask me.
Well, enough about me, I am an enamel pin and proud of it.
My job though is really to help you. I tell stories and darn good ones, but the stories aren’t about me, they are about you. You are involved in things, and as an enamel pin I try to capture those things in my design – I guess that’s why I spend so much in the design shop – I want to represent your story perfectly.
If you notice when you're out and about with me, people tend to stare at me. What they are really doing is wanting to know what I’m all about. Some will ask you what the enamel pin is about, and that is when the magic happens. I become the trigger for you telling your story.
It really is about you, your story, and me helping you tell your story.
So, get out there and invest in me an enamel pin.