Thirty-one-year-old Amalina Naser is the co-founder of PINDEMIC, which specialises in making customised lapel pins. Started its operations in 2015, PINDEMIC has turned lapel pins into a fashion statement, giving those who pin them on a subtle amplification of their real identity. Each lapel pin is original and the quality is impeccable.
In her interview with entrée, Amalina shares how she got PINDEMIC started and the challenges she faced in building a brand that reaches customers worldwide, and more.
“…creatives are very stubborn people.”
What were you doing before starting PINDEMIC?
Three years ago, I was in my first year studying Communication Design offered by The Glasgow School of Art Singapore when I started PINDEMIC. It was an outlet for excess creative thoughts and a great way to apply what I have learnt in school. Before that, I was working as a designer and it was during the break in my career to further my studies which afforded me an opportunity to start something as fun as PINDEMIC.
Can you share with us what is PINDEMIC and how did the idea come about?
I remember my penchant for collecting badges and lapel pins or patterned collar pins whenever I am travelling overseas and when I was engaging in activities in the Book Club in primary school. Perhaps this childhood interest has planted the seed of starting PINDEMIC.
PINDEMIC is the alternative voice. It is the rebel in all of us. It was born of restless minds and an insatiable need to accessorise. There were many ideas and that popped into our heads that needed to take physical form. We decided to work with a product that is very versatile – lapel pins.
What were the reactions from your loved ones when you told them that you are starting your business?
They are quite supportive now and they even help out when they can.
What were the initial challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
There isn’t a market for pins in Singapore. The pin culture is really strong overseas especially in the States but just not in Singapore. It went beyond making what we like to educate the market.
Have you ever thought of giving up?
No, creatives are very stubborn people.
How long does it take for you, on average, to make a pin and which pin took you the longest?
The design process, like all creative processes, is not a fixed one. There are many things that influence and inspire us and we draw from a collective memory bank. The idea for a pin design can come from something as simple as a word that resonates with us or from a drawn-out brain-storming session where we attempt to formulate and capture our thoughts on a little 30mm space. While we are inspired by love and life and certainly pop culture, not all designs translate well into pins and we have had to abandon a few ideas that we were excited about. Once we are satisfied with the final artwork, we send it into production which takes about 2-3 weeks.
What’s your favourite pin and why?
My favourite pin is the statement pin that declares The Future is Female because I feel that if the tide should change, there is no better moment than the present.
What’s your advice to aspiring artistpreneurs?
Persevere. Young people who are talented in the field of design should have a positive spirit in creating new ideas and works of art that can be used by the community. Do not be easily discouraged by people’s criticisms.