Everyone has a backpack or a bulletin board to which a pin will bring some much-needed cheer. At a price point of around $10, an enamel pin is an inexpensive way to be thoughtful. People make pins out of most everything these days, and there’s likely a pin for that very specific inside joke that reminds you of your sister or best friend. There are Pickle Ricks and Prison Mikes and Zebra Cakes. It’s easy — and fun — to get lost down the rabbit hole of enamel pins on Etsy or Instagram.
To get you started, here are 17 pins made by women.
About the pin: “[This pin] stems from an experience I had as a freshman in college where I was losing a game,” Archer says. “It left me sitting there naked in front of a room full of people. I was scared, nervous and embarrassed, sitting hunched over and trying to cover myself up with my hair. Fast forward 20 years later, [and] I look at that experience with a lot more confidence. I wanted to take back the control that I felt I didn’t have at the time, being young and following ‘friends’ that I’d never see again. I see a girl that’s sitting there not caring about what anyone thinks. She’s waiting for the bus. She’s waiting for the barista to call her name for her latte. She’s not fully aware that she’s naked. The few articles of clothing that she is wearing is because she’s from Brooklyn and prefers sneakers over heels.”
Made by:Kayleigh Hart of Hartiful
About the pin: “The enamel pin was inspired by the typical ‘loves me, loves me not’ daisy but with an alternative, humorous twist,” Hart says.
Made by: Kathy Clark of Lace & Whimsy
About the pin: “The slogan ‘The Future Is Female’ dates back to the ’70s, but has had a resurgence in recent years,” Clark says. “Framing the phrase with a crystal ball just seemed like a perfect way to blend the saying into wearable art. I’m no clairvoyant, but the only future I care to envision will have a lot more female leadership than we are seeing today.”
About the pin: “I recently got into perler beads and making cute little pieces of art with them,” Kay says. “By nature of the beads, all the art looks very pixelated. I made a David Bowie piece and thought it would look great as an enamel pin—because so many people love David Bowie and pixelated art.”
Made by: Seltzer Goods
About the pin: “‘I’m a Business Ma’am’ is our spin on the term ‘Business Man,’” explains Alexis Tomrell, a content strategist at Seltzer Goods. “At Seltzer Goods, our team is 90 percent women, and our boardroom is the dining room table. Many of our customers are ‘Business Ma’ams’; whether they are our retailers or women starting their first business.”
About the pin: “The ‘I Believe in Science pin’ was born out of a frustration in seeing so much science denial from the current administration, and as a way to show my appreciation for research and evidence,” Berg says. “Twenty percent of the sales of this pin are donated to Girls Who Code.”
Made by: Emerald Pellot of GRL TRBL
About the pin: “The ‘Solidarity Pin’ is what started GRL TRBL,” Pellot says. “Devastated after the election, I took to art as an outlet. I created this pin because it represented my fantasy: a world where all women could work together for justice. To my surprise, the pin was a hit. The support I received allowed me to create more pins with my intersectional feminist values. Thus, GRL TRBL was born.”
Made by: Desiree Gutierrez and Rod Nunez of Enchanted Thoughts Club
About the pin: “Who doesn’t love the dancing hot dog?” Gutierrez asks. “Enchanted Thoughts Club added a little magic and the Mouseketeer Hotdog Pin was born.”
About the pin: “Baking is one of my biggest loves, and I love the alchemy that turns humble flour into so many different things,” Ketterman says. “It is to bakers what a white canvas or a hunk of clay is to an artist, and I want to celebrate that.”
Made by: Shannon of Radical Dreams Pins
About the company: Radical Dreams creates “socially-conscious lapel pins and accessories,” according to its Etsy page.
About the pin: “LastCraft is interested in incorporating magical objects into everyday life,” Stilwell explains. “These pins were created with the idea that one could display their witchy proclivities on each lapel or share with a best friend.”
About the pin: “I grew up in the ’90s watching movies from all eras and felt that even though the princes often ‘saved’ the day, more often than not, my heroines in these movies saved themselves — and there just happened to be a Prince hanging around,” Jennings says. “Princess Leia is the epitome of that sentiment. Yes, sometimes we need help, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be self-rescuing. We’re huge fans of the late Carrie Fisher, who taught us all so much about being women in a man’s world and being independent. We’re honoring her memory and her power, and reminding ourselves that we have that sass, spark and self-rescuing within us too.”
About the pin: “I designed the ‘Fake News! Sad!’ pin to celebrate those who dedicate their lives to revealing the truth and to protest those who would stop them,” Cuevas says. “We know our liberty depends on the freedom of the press; this is my small way of adding some humor to the resistance. Nasty Women and Bad Hombres unite!”
About the pin: “The Bow Tie pin was inspired by Art Deco design and a love of colorful accessories,” Berg says. “Fun as a collar pin, brooch, or hat accessory.”
About the pin: “This pin was inspired by my struggles with mental health, anxiety and depression,” Kutas explains. “I wanted to create something that could serve as a little reminder to people that they can get through whatever hardships they are facing. That every time they look at it, they are reminded that they are indeed a Tough Cookie. Something that could be bought as a gift to someone you’d like to support. I know it would have meant a lot to me if someone gave this to me when I was going through a difficult time.”
About the pin: “I was inspired by the Cinderella movie when Ella’s mother tells her to always ‘have courage and be kind,’” Ericksen says. “To me, this sentiment means so much in today’s world where people are quick to be judgmental and harsh to others before knowing what is really going on. We must always have courage to be our true selves while also being kind to those that may be different from us. Something that we should reflect on not only during the holiday season, but all the time.”
About the pin: “I’m forever inspired by pop-art, classical Hollywood, nouvelle vague and iconography,” Hemmes says. “This particular pin is actually inspired by Irving Penn’s image Bee from 1995 and the Lana del Rey Interview magazine cover from 2012. A Sassy Girl is smart, stylish, confident and energetic. With the brand, I want to empower girls in mind, life, body and business. I believe every girl is endowed with an ungodly amount of cool—we only need to address it more often.”
Typography by Simi Mahtani for The Lily.
Photos by Linda Wang for The Lily.
Hand-drawn elements by Rachel Orr.