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Back when the store was just an idea and I was left to my own devices to dream up what we’d sell and how we’d pick the items, I honestly didn’t have a game plan. I did have a few criteria, though. I wanted all the e-commerce partners we worked with to be MailChimp users. I wanted them to be unique and interesting. I wanted them to make something that could appeal to large groups, not just niche audiences.

Odd Pears was the first partner I lined up, and today I get to introduce you to the second! This story starts a few months ago, with a conversation...

One day I was talking to Tom, MailChimp’s CMO, about the enamel pin craze of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Enamel pins broke out in a big way during the ceremonies — people went nuts for them! I see ’96 Olympics pins at thrift stores and antique stores all over the state, but I never knew the significance of them until talking to Tom.

Apparently, there were pins for different events, for specific athletes, promoting certain countries, portraying the highly bizarre Atlanta Olympics mascot.

Atlanta Olympics mascot, Izzy

One thing people loved about the pins is the way they brought strangers together. People from all over the world come to see the Olympics, and mentioning someone’s pin was an easy way to start up a conversation. There was even a recurring meeting at The Varsity (a legendary burger-and-shake drive-in joint) for people to trade or show off their collections. And it’s still going on, all these years later!

After I learned this, I knew I wanted to make enamel pins for our shop. At MailChimp, we love our city. Paying tribute to it with pins seemed like an easy choice. But then David and Austin had the great idea of making pins inspired by Atlanta’s influential rap scene!

While searching for a product partner to make the pins, I discovered MailChimp user PINTRILL. PINTRILL always has interesting, of-the-moment pins up for sale. They’ve made pins representing political candidates, emoji, PB&J sandwiches, and internet memes — all the good stuff. Andrew, the co-founder of PINTRILL, helped us turn our crazy ideas into these beautiful custom pins. LOOK OMG SO EXCITING!!

Our pins

I’m also excited to share our nonprofit partner for this collection, re:imagine/ATL. They host an annual summer camp where they teach kids about video production and make music videos with local artists. I attended the camp last week with some co-workers, and it was so inspiring to see all the kids working and being creative together.

We launched the collection last week via the Freddie and Co. email list (Sign up here!) and some social media posts.

Some of Freddie and Co.'s social media

I was expecting the pin launch to surpass the socks, but so far, I’ve just been watching a slow and steady trickle of sales. It’s been a week, and we’ve still only sold 99 pins total! I’m a bit disappointed, tbh.

I think it’s safe to say that the sock launch day was much more successful because it was Freddie and Co.’s grand opening. Hopefully we’ll be able to increase sales through a few marketing pushes. Speaking of which, we actually have a cool video in the works that I’m going to tell you about next week! In the meantime, go support re:imagine/ATL and get you some pins!

-meg
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