Each Saturday, we're going to be featuring a different small business owner or content creator! Getting our content, products, and voices out there to the world can be tough, so creating an inclusive and supportive community is incredibly important. As a small business owner myself, lending a helping hand to others is a key part of our business plan - we want to give back to the community that has been so key to our success!
Our eighth installment is with Bailey at Spark of Hope Pins who has been creating beautiful pins since 2021!
Tell our readers a little bit about yourself!
My name is Bailey, I was born, and still reside in Minnesota. I have 2 dogs (Obi- Wan the corgi and Abby our German Shepherd). My daughters name is Leia Jade, and my husband and I have been married for 3 years. I went to school for Music Education (and am proficient in all the instruments), got my BS degree (pun intended?), and now work in a warehouse. I enjoy crime podcasts & shows, as well as Law and Order: SVU and OC. I also love South Park, Bob's Burgers, and quite a bit of Disney.
What are your favorite fandoms?
Star Wars and Marvel are my main fandoms. Jurassic Park, Scary movies... Does coffee have a fandom? I love coffee.
When and where did you start your business?
I started in January of 2021. Between Covid, being pregnant, and having a back injury which prevented me from walking I needed extra income. I had recently discovered the pin collecting group on instagram at the time, and I was blown away by the creativity and beauty of enamel pins. I quickly became enthralled, and the drive to draw my own designs and be creative helped not only cope with depression, but also became my Spark of Hope (along with my daughter). Being pregnant and having an outlet for all the emotions I was experiencing from being injured helped keep me going. I wanted my pins to represent a spark of hope not only for myself, but others. I thought of the name because of Leia, the constant reminder that even when life is difficult, and everything is against you there is always a Spark of Hope.
Talk us through a little bit about your creative process and your products.
I'm weird. My creative process is usually sitting around being incredibly uninspired and re-watching my favorite shows/movies, and then suddenly seeing a glimpse of a frame or a character, and playing around with how to frame them, and how to portray emotion through an image. Anyone can put a character on a circle and make it pretty, but being able to look at a pin and have it speak to you in some way is what I go for. I sell enamel pins, I'm hoping to branch into other things like stickers, but for now I'm happy with pins, and the goal is to make inexpensive but high quality pins.
Where do sell your products?
I have a squarespace (www.sparkofhopepins.squarespace.com)
What have been some of the lessons (both good and bad) that you've learned since you started your business?
Good: The community when you get to know people is incredible, and can be full of incredibly beautiful people and loyal supporters. There is room for everyone as long as we work together to shout each other out. Bad: I learned not to bite off more than I could chew, and so while I am still active I've had to slow down while I balance working a job out of the house overnight, while watching my daughter during the day. It has been tricky to try and balance that and let people know that I'm still "relevant" in the community.
What has been your favorite product to create and why?
My favorite product to create has either been The Maestro, Chiss and Salsa, or my alphabet. While I haven't actually started producing my alphabet pins yet, coming into my own drawing style was incredible, and it was a fun way to make a series that will be inexpensive but adorable. Chiss and Salsa was the pin about a pun that was never supposed to happen, but I let the muses take me, and I'm so glad I did. He's an underappreciated pin, but I love the silly take on such an incredible character: Grand Admiral Thrawn. The Maestro was my passion project. As a lifelong musician, and someone who has always been obsessed with movie music I wanted to a create a pin that paid homage to the man who made Star Wars this glorious space opera. With musical highs, tension, and emotion there is no Star Wars without John Williams. I look at that pin and I can hear, and feel the scene of Luke in A New Hope. Longing for more, full of hope, looking to the horizon. I wanted to portray that moment in movie time, but put John Williams in front of it. Without him there is no Binary Sunset.
What is your favorite fandom to work on?
Star Wars. There is a lot that you can do, versatility, and there's something for everyone.
What has been the most popular product you've created?
My two most popular products were The Mortis Myths, and The Maestro. You are also seeing it here first that for my 1 year anniversary I will be doing another small run on the Maestro so stay tuned for a presale around the New year!
What is one product you've created you wish got a little more love?
Chiss and Salsa, as well as some of my smaller inexpensive pins. They are so lovely, and beautiful.
What is your favorite social media platform to use and why?
Instagram hands down. But it's fun to get lost on Tik Tok.
Where else can we find you on social media?
You can find SparkOfHopePins on instagram. Feel free to follow me on tiktok where I post a random mish mash of art and other things my handle is : @darthiravox
Is there anything else we should know about you or your business?
I am an open book and I love answering questions. I love talking Star Wars and themes. While I do most of the work with Spark of Hope, it is something that my husband loves being apart of, as well as Leia. Stay tuned for more popshops with me as I'll be making my popshops more interactive and turning each one into a themed Jeopardy game!