Interview with Onetenzeroseven – The world of enamel pins

I’m so excited about the launch of Sophie’s new enamel pins. They’re such unique designs and really stand out from other pins. I’ve already put an order in for both designs and can’t wait to wear them. As soon as the collection dropped I asked Sophie to join me on Prettygreentea and share a little more about her collection and creative process.

I love supporting small businesses, especially when they’re run by my friends. I especially enjoy finding out about the story behind a biz or a specific collection and I know many of you do too. I hope you enjoy today’s interview and if you’d like to hear more about Sophie’s biz journey then check out her Behind the Biz interview.

For those who’re new to the world of Onetenzeroseven please tell us a little about your biz and the products you create.

Everything I do is around the idea of having more fun, whatever that means to you. For me fun is being more out there and having the confidence to do something different, wear bold colours and break out of the restraints I put on myself.

I was wearing one of my (yet to be released) new statement teapot necklaces last week and a guy yelled “why are you wearing a teapot round your neck?” to me. We ended up chatting about business for ages. That’s my idea of fun – a conversation point, products with a story.

I want my products to be affordable and to give people the confidence to be themselves.

When did you create your first enamel pin and what inspired it?

I designed my first enamel pin just before Christmas last year. The rise of enamel pins was at it’s height and I was concerned about jumping on the bandwagon. Everything I do is for a reason and what might seem like trends from the outside I choose to pursue for other reasons. My pineapple obsession is from the TV show Psych who would hide a pineapple in every episode and tea is such an important feature in Onetenzeroseven because it reminds me of my Nan. She always had a cup of tea in her hand and she was not afraid to be herself. So it took me a long time to finally put a pin into manufacture – I’d been back at the home I grew up in for the weekend and I came across my old pin collection from when I was a kid, you know the ones you would get from paying a pound to charity – it was then I decided to give a shot and naturally my first pin had to be tea related.

Please could you tell us a little more about your 2 new cheerful designs.

For these new pins I wanted to move away from trends and create something that would make people laugh. I always get such a great reaction from the goggly eye earrings in my shop that I thought they would be the perfect addition to the more traditional cactus designs I have and the moustache was the icing on the cake. I giggled so much when designing these pieces that I really hope that spreads out to the people buying and wearing them too. Trends are great, but I genuinely wish life was just more fun.

Where did your inspiration for these designs come from?

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my brand’s purpose and my purpose as a designer and writer. I got some great advice recently from the lovely Kayte who runs Simple & Season and she told me that your purpose should exist whether you do or not, which is what got me thinking about making life more colourful and encouraging others to live it to their absolute best. This is the inspiration behind these and all of my new designs going forward, simply to make life more fun!

Where can we buy your pins and see more of your work?

My pins are available just in my Etsy shop for now where you can see most of my work. I also sell on Notonthehighstreet and my own website and soon my products will be stocked in a number of shops across the country – how exciting is that!? Make sure you follow me on social media to find out more about my new stockists as my designs hit their shops.

Enamel pins have always had a place in pop culture but what direction do you see the current trend in enamel pins taking?

I’m really loving the community around enamel pins at the moment and how easily accessible they are to get ordinary folk into doing more design and starting their own businesses. I really hope we move away from the copyright infringement that I see so much of in pin designs and towards a more original and unique trend. If you’re involved in the pin community on Instagram you’ll see how much makers and designers are swapping pins with each other and sharing their favourite pins from other shops. I absolutely love the genuine support there is in the handmade community!

What’s next for Onetenzeroseven?

Right now I’m pausing to regroup after a hectic couple of weeks doing my first trade show and deciding which direction to take next. I’ve always got too many ideas and so little time so I always need to plan my next move carefully or I’ll get carried away. I’ll be concentrating a lot on organising our local Etsy Made Local Christmas market in Leeds (which will take place on the 2-3rd December at Leeds City Museum) and getting all stocked up for Christmas for the second half of this year, but there’ll be lots of new designs coming out too!

You can find Sophie over on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and of course, in her shop.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this interview and have learnt a little more about the world of enamel pins. Leave a comment below and let me know if you’re team pineapple or team cactus!