Disney Pin Trading started in October of 1999 with loads of publicity surrounding the launch. However, pins date all the way back to 1950’s. Pins were original created as keepsakes to commemorate special events, and even though they date back to the 1950’s it was Disney that made them popular.
3 Young Entrepreneurs turned their love of Pins into a successful business, and that business keeps on growing. They have found a gap in the market which keeps on growing. Although they said they started their business by accident, their business GoPinPro keeps on growing and has become very successful.
GoPinPro, recently hit the headlines with news of their first US Patent for their PinFolio® pin storage and display books. So, we decided to get together with the team and find out how they started their business and how it has become so successful. This is what they had to say.
1.You run a company with two other young entrepreneurs, can you explain when the three of you decided to launch GoPinPro? With GoPinPro, we didn’t set out to start a business, everything just happened organically.
I, [Alex] started pin trading at the age of 3 when my family and I went to Disney World on vacation. Our Grandma bought us our first pins and a lanyard. From there, every trip we took, she would purchase more pins for our collection. It became our tradition.
As we got older, our collections grew, soon we had 100s of pins. With this, we started noticing problems; For instance, the most popular method of storing pins at the time was a lanyard. This didn’t work well, because pins would fall off, you’d lose precious pins, anyone with more than 10 pins has to own multiple lanyards, plus, it doesn’t offer protection for pins, which is a huge problem, as many pins are extremely valuable.
As we noticed these problems, we started looking for better ways to store pins. There were not many options to satisfy the needs of pin traders.
Eventually, enough was enough, we decided to make our own pin book, the first made with pin traders in mind. We compiled a list of common problems the pin trading community was having, and we slowly started to create a pin book that fit the needs of the community.
We would use our hands made PinFolios at the Disney Parks and received a lot of unexpected attention from guests and cast members asking where they could purchase our pin books.
Our mom listed 20 them on eBay and they sold and we continued to make more to sell.
So, we decided to launch GoPinPro and start our own website along with etsy after being approached by so many inquiring about where to buy our PinFolios.
2.So what is the idea behind GoPinPro? The idea behind GoPinPro was to create a better, safer, and more efficient way to pin trade.
Simply pushing your pins inside our revolutionary Stick’N’Go PinFolios makes pin trading more family friendly because everyone can participate. With PinFolios it is a safer and easier way to pin trade, store, and display your pins. (Traditional pin books and lanyards require pin backs and most experience the what has become known as the “PINjury” (poking your finger with pin backs while attempting to put pin backs on the pin to attach to book or lanyards.)
3.You have just announced your first US patent for your PinFolio pin storage and display books, how did you find the patent process?
Well, getting our patent was a long process. It took lots of time, effort, money, and patience. We think it was really interesting to learn about the whole patent process. We learned so much about intellectual property, prior art, patents, etc. It was definitely a learning experience for all of us, and we are so honored to have gotten to the finish line with our very first US patent. At times we were a little doubtful in ourselves about getting a patent, but our amazing customers and friends had so much faith in us, and it really helped keep our faith and determination strong throughout the lengthy process.
- Why was it so important for you to apply for a US Patent? We thought it was important to protect our idea, and be sure that if we go to retail stores someday down the road, they won’t be able to take our idea, which we worked hard to create.
- Are there any plans to further develop PinFolio, or GoPinPro? We are always looking to evolve, improve, and better our products and company. We are constantly improving our PinFolios the best we can to fit the needs and requests if our customers. We love hearing feedback and reviews from our customers, and we always try our best to listen and work on their requests. Our PinFolios have changed over the years, we love looking back and seeing how much we have evolved on our products and business.
- You have seen a big demand in pin collecting, can you explain what has resulted in this huge interest? Pin collecting & trading has only gotten bigger over the years. The Olympics began the popular pin trading hobby. Disney Parks took notice of this fun hobby as a way to have more positive interactions with cast members. With more guests going to theme parks like Disney, SeaWorld, Knotts Berry farms, Universal, and many more, this popular hobby will only get bigger. Pins are often perceived as an inexpensive and tiny souvenir to remember a trip or event. Before long, a few keepsake pins turn into a big collection.
With pin trading at theme parks, events, and with online pin trading, it can become a hobby and challenge to find that last pin to complete a set! Plus, there are more and more pins are released every day.
- Some people thought that pin collecting would be like Pokémon cards, where the craze would quickly die down. However, it seems to be growing from strength to strength, how do you see the future for pin collecting? Well, I only see pin collecting growing and becoming more popular. Pin collecting is extremely addicting. Unlike most Pokémon cards, pins hold special memories. We like to describe pins as little pieces of art. Their values go up, and it makes the hunt more exciting. Pin trading is getting more and more popular throughout so many different companies, shop, fandoms, pop culture, sports, and competitions. We are excited to see what the future of pin trading/collecting looks like.
- Pin trading & collecting has become popular all around the world from the US to Australia, are you able to ship your products to other countries? Unfortunately, due to COVID we are currently only shipping to the US. We are hoping international shipping will become available again soon! We do have a distributor in the UK, Stewpins.com, which is a convenient way for our customers to receive the most affordable and timely arrival of PinFolios!
- What would you say is your current best seller? Our best seller has always been the PinFolio Classic Black, and it’s so nice to see because that was the first PinFolio design that we made. I would say that our big PinFolios, the PinFolioPro and the PinFolioPro Show are also up there in the bet selling products list. We have a PinFolio to meet all types of pin trader from the beginner to the pro and everything in between!!
- You are raising money for Give Kids the World, can you tell me more about the charity and why you decided to raise money for them? Give Kids the World is our favorite charity because they are a non-profit organization that allows kids with life threatening illnesses and their whole family be treated to a week long stay in their villas and tickets to local theme parks. It’s a whimsical village where you can have ice cream for breakfast and each week they celebrate Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, and are able to make a wish, like to meet Snow White, or visit Disney parks. They are such an incredible organization, and we have been raising money for them since before we started GoPinPro. Each time we visit GKTW village, we leave inspired and wanting to help more.
GoPinPro launched to a warm welcome by creating and selling pin books invented by avid pin traders. More information on the product line, as well as the backstory of the brand, may be accessed by visiting https://gopinpro.com.
Company Name: GoPinPro
Contact Person: Julia Hevier
Country: United States