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Posted under: Life Style Fashion

How one creative is using custom pins to start conversations and display cultural pride

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Essence Hayes is no stranger to creativity. In fact, she is the face behind the dope jewelry line that enables women to wear their magic boldly and unapologetically.
custom pins
custom pins
Photo: EssanceMurjani

I chatted with Essence one-on-one and she introduced her new line, Coloring Pins.

Valerie Robinson: Why did you start making pins?  EH: "The reason I started making pins was because I didn’t see myself in them. The same reason why I created my jewelry line. There are dope pins out, but I wanted to rock something that truly resonated with me and others that looked like me. I also wanted to use pins to make statements and start conversations."
Photo: Coloring Pins

The first pin collection features the Original, G.O.A.T and Culture pin.

On her Original pin:

"Cornrows have been a staple for me since I was a child and even for my mother. Cornrows have been part of the black and even native American culture. People of color are often stereotyped for wearing such styles, while European publications praise celebrities for the same hairstyles. On them it’s the “It” new hairstyle, on us it's 'ghetto and unprofessional.'"
The first pin collection features the Original, G.O.A.T and Culture pin.
The first pin collection features the Original, G.O.A.T and Culture pin.
Photo: Coloring Pins

On her G.O.A.T. pin:

"The G.O.A.T pin pays homage to some household hair staples, JAM gel, the toothbrush, the beloved bobos and the greasiest of them all, pink lotion."
Photo: Coloring Pins
Photo: Coloring Pins
Photo: Coloring Pins

On her "culture" pin:

"The culture pin features bantu knots, which some tried to rename twisty and mini buns. People love the culture and condemn its people."
Photo: Coloring Pins
Photo: Coloring Pins
Photo: Coloring Pins

On Coloring Pins:

"Coloring Pins will be a company that represents the under and misrepresented. I want to add more color to the pin game. People of color will be able to rock enamel pins and soon patches that they can relate to. I feel everyone should see themselves represented and I aim to do that. I hope this inspires other designers, graphic artists and creatives of color to create more pins for us!" You can find Coloring Pins on www.coloringpins.com, Instagram and Twitter.

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