Why Do I Love Enamel Pins & Punky Pins?*

12 Feb 2020

On this blog, you guys know that I'm all about sharing the love for local spots, which are usually food-related. Ya girl just loves to eat! But in the run up to Valentine's Day, I figured that it was about time that I dedicated a huge outpouring of love to one of my tip top favourite local brands, Punky Pins. This enamel pin-producing, butt-kicking, fun-loving company have taken the world by storm, right from their humble home in Boro, so let me tell you a little bit more about them and why I love them so much with a little hep from their brand new feminist pin collection*.


When did I discover Punky Pins?

In secondary school (around 2006/2007 time - jeepers), I fancied myself as a bit of a wannabe scene kid. There was no way that I was allowed to cut and colour my hair the way that the Tumblr scenes did, but I was really into all the kitsch and cutesy accessories that dominated the from-above-finger-peace-sign photos that the likes of Jeffree Star posted all over MySpace. At that time, I had a friend who told me that if I was into all of that, I should check out her auntie's business, Punky Pins.

As soon as I flicked on to the site, I was hooked. There were so many pieces of acrylic jewellery, lightning bolt themes and the most adorable wooden pencil necklace that I had ever seen. This was the first purchase that I made - a pink pencil necklace with 'Olivia' written across it, and I'm pretty sure I wore it every day. I felt pretty smart and I got so many compliments on it, which just fuelled me to browse the brand even more.

How have I grown with Punky Pins?

From those days of wearing acrylic jewellery and scrawling across my Converse All Stars, I've developed a style that still has echoes of my wannabe scene days, but has a bit more maturity to it. Every time I apply my eye liner, I say a quiet thank you to my past self for learning to perfect the cat flick after studying the photos of back-combed girls that graced the scenesphere. I still love a little pinafore dress, black and white stripes, and little pops of colour, but now, I'm more interested in their enamel pins*.

It's clear to see that Punky Pins have grown too, so while you can still grab bits of jewellery on their site, their main offering is a vast choice of pins, as well as patches, cosmetic bags, adorable stationery and so much more. They've expanded massively, but like me and my scene days, they've stayed true to their roots and kept their HQ in Boro, despite being a global success!

Why enamel pins?

I'm not entirely sure where my obsession for enamel pins came from, but since it started, my collection has just kept on growing. I absolutely love that they can be put on pretty much anything - a jacket, a bag, a scarf, a tshirt - and it's not permanent. It's like having a way to personalise an outfit without committing to a major, irreversible customisation, like cutting the sleeves off something or tie-dyeing.

Plus, they're just so freaking cute. I am head over heels for a good quirky statement, a pretty image design or something that just means a lot to me, which is why I was so excited when their brand new, never seen before collection* landed on my doorstep. I'm obsessed with the feminist statements, especially 'she believed she could, so she did' and 'feminism is for everyone'. But if this sort of theme isn't for you, you can get pins relating to practically anything if you look hard enough (but Punky Pins have some super sweet ones - check out their dog collection, hilariously sassy sweary pins and bookworm pins).

There's a whole host of other reasons why I love enamel pins so much - they're like little works of art, they represent things that I love and they serve as little reminders. They're just pretty much part of my whole being at this point now!

Why Punky Pins?

This may seem so biased, but off the top of my head, I don't think there are many brands that I can wholeheartedly say with every fibre of my being are favourite in the world, especially not in the way that I can for Punky Pins. I know, I know, could I suck up anymore, but honestly, I'm always waiting with baited breath to see their new collections, I order their products as gifts for other people, not just for myself, and I absolutely thrash the site if there's ever a sale. And there are a few reasons why I feel this way, so let me divulge.

They're a local brand

Obviously, one of the main things I love about Punky Pins is that they're based in our very own Teesside. It could be so easy for them to pick up shop and head to a glossy city like Manchester, but they've stayed right where they started, which is so incredible. Their products are shipped out across the world, so they're one of the brands that are helping to put Teesside on the map.

They're a female-led business

When I first discovered Punky Pins, the fact that they were a female-led business didn't really resonate with me. As a teenager in the 2000s, my eyes weren't particularly open to inequalities or feminism, however, in recent years, I've really learned just how incredible it is for female-led businesses to be making the waves that they do. I totally admire Claire Whaite, co-founder and director, and I'm in awe of the brand that she's developed. She's a total girl boss!

They support other artists

There's nothing more lovely than seeing a creative brand supporting other artists. Punky Pins often collaborate with other artists, illustrators or creatives, like Betty Turbo, Polly from Sighh Designs, and even the minds behind Sanrio characters, Hello Kitty and Gudetama. Not only does this mean that the style of pins gets switched up a little bit, it also gets designers' names out there and in front of people. I'll always love seeing creatives supporting creatives!

They're affordable, but incredible quality

I've seen a lot of people recently buying very cheap enamel pins from Wish, which makes me feel a bit icky. I've owned cheaper pins that have started to flake on me and scratch almost instantly, which isn't what you want. But even though Punky Pins boast affordable prices, their pins are unbelieveable quality. Most of my collection is from them, but not a single one has started to flake or peel. They're really standing the test of time and I can't wait to keep growing my stash!
So there it is, my massive outpouring of love for Punky Pins. If you know me in person, you'll know that this has been a long time coming because I just talk about them all the time! But honestly, it's such a lovely thing to have such a kick-ass, feminist, creative, sassy and successful business of this kind in my hometown, so it was definitely about time that I shouted about them on my blog!

Make sure you keep your eyes peeled in the near future for a little bit of a Q&A with Punky Pins, and for now, check out their website and look out for the feminist pin collection* that has featured throughout this post. I've been told they'll be out during February, so keep a look out - I know these pins will be up some of your streets!

I would also really love to do a post all about my pin collection, so if that's something you'd like to see, let me know!


All items that are marked with a * have been sent to me or gifted by a PR company for review purposes.

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@thenorthernist