We delve into the world of pin badges with Aaron Ashmore, Founder of Etch & Pin, talking about entrepreneurship, the creative process and the future.
We love celebrating our city’s history and culture in fascinating and unique ways, and that’s exactly what Aaron Ashmore from Etch & Pin is best at.
Aaron’s brand, Etch & Pin, dubbed Coventry Pin Club, is the ultimate embodiment of Coventry’s rich culture and deep history.
The brands creates pin badges inspired by everything Coventry – from the regional phrase ‘batch’ (never bap) to Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom (see their full offering pictured below).
Etch & Pin releases a brand new pin badge every month, each with a different local focus. Aaron said
“I think people like the surprise each month as people who pre-order the badge receive it in the post before it is revealed on social media.”
Collectable pin badges have had a resurgence in the past couple of year, and Coventry certainly isn’t missing out.
The newest pin badge, released for April, is based off the elephant, a majestic animal and an iconic symbol of Coventry that is included in the city’s Coat of Arms. The pin badge is specifically inspired by the iconic black and gold Elephant Bollards that appear across the city centre.
Etch & Pin’s tenth pin badge, inspired by the iconic Elephant Bollards around the city centre.
Aaron told us a little behind his vision and where the name Etch & Pin came from
“The idea of the name came from having products that felt like they were made with love and affection which is something the word ‘etch’ symbolises to us (just like etching the name of a loved-one on the trunk of a tree for example) and we always knew that badges would be our flagship product hence the ‘pin’ in our name!”
Being such a unique, original endeavour, naturally the creative process of a pin badge is something we were keen to learn more about. From design to production to release, the entire process takes around nine weeks in total.
The idea of the badge is initially sketched out by hand and then converted into a designed vector in the badge format, and then tweaked to perfection. Once it’s up to scratch, the design gets send into production.
Being a collectible item, the Coventry pin badges for sure seem to be very popular with both locals and tourists alike. They show the pride people have being from Coventry and make a great souvenir.
Not only do the pins look great, but they do some good too.
Etch & Pin donates £1 from every online pin badge sale to a different local charity every month, to date raising almost £2,000 for good causes. This month they are supporting Valley House, a community-based charity supporting vulnerable and isolated individuals and families. Aaron told us the reason behind their supporting of local organisations is that
“There is so much hard-work and commitment from charity and voluntary organisations that it is our little way of giving something back!”
We applaud you there.
Feeling inspired by Aaron’s story? You’re not alone. We asked him for one piece of advice that he would give to creative entrepreneurs in the city.
“Start small and grow gradually. We initially only produced the first three badges at a small quantity. This meant that if the badges didn’t sell well, we hadn’t committed a huge amount of money which was wasted. It is always sensible to test the concept first and then expand if it does well.”
The future looks bright for Coventry, Aaron and Etch & Pin, with the city set to become the City of Culture 2021 in just a few short years, there’s plenty more to explore and celebrate in pin badge form. Aaron told us that
“To make sure we don’t run out of ideas, the monthly badges will pause for a while after the first year of 12 badges.”
But won’t worry, you’ll still be able to get your fix of pin badges with limited edition ‘one-off’ badges that will be released every couple of months in the run up to 2021, when Aaron has “something exciting planned”.
We’re not ones to speculate, but we’re so excited to see what’s to come.
You can pick up your Coventry Pin Badge online via Etch & Pin’s Etsy store, or from local stockists in the city including Coventry Cathedral, The Herbert, The Transport Museum, Coventry University’s Inkwell and more.
We’re all about supporting local people and independent businesses. Know of an under-the-radar local brand that you think is making a positive impact on the city and is worth sharing? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.