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An Interview With Jessica Marshall, President Of All-Star Trading Pins

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Below is our interview with Jessica Marshall, President of All-Star Trading Pins:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?

A: All-Star Trading Pins designs and manufactures custom sports trading pins. Based in Portland, Oregon, we focus exclusively on pins, unlike our parent company Custom Comet, who makes other merchandise as well. While we launched back in 2019, our team has decades of experience in the industry working for and even owning other pin companies.

Q: Who is your average customer?

A: We make pins for teams of all ages, youth sports are where we see most of our business. Pin trading has been a huge part of their tournaments and is a fun social activity for the kids to participate in-between games. And while this tradition has been around for a long time, it’s really ramped up in intensity over the past few years.

Our average customer is a parent in charge of getting trading pins for the team. Most are completely new to this, and we help guide them through designing and ultimately ordering those pins.

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Q: How does the design process work?

A: We’re really proud of the fact that we hire actual artists in the United States with experience designing pins. Unlike other companies that are leaning heavily on automating this process, we feel that using real artists helps capture the heart and soul of each team.

There is an initial questionnaire we send out to customers that asks them some basic questions about their team, logos, and what features they’d like to see on the pin. We encourage teams to send in social media links and other information so we can really nail down what they are about. Little details are what turn a standard pin into a memorable keepsake.

With the information in hand, one of our talented artists gets to work creating a fully custom design. Nothing is recycled. Each team is getting something truly custom.

After completing the digital proof, the customer can approve the design or follow up with changes they’d like to see. This can go on for a bi,t but ultimately ends up with a design that the customer truly feels great about.

Q: Can you give us more insights into your current offering?

A: Right now, we offer two types of pins: soft enamel and offset printed. The most popular option is the soft enamel trading pin. This is a metal pin that is typically made of iron or zinc alloy. Recessed areas of the pin are filled with enamel paint and followed up with a polish. The pins have a quality look and feel to them that is popular amongst everyone.

Our alternative option is the offset printed pins (sometimes referred to as photodome). This style takes a flat piece of metal and prints the design directly to the metal. The print is then covered with an epoxy dome for added protection. These pins are a bit cheaper and can be produced in less time. A nice choice for teams with tight deadlines or budgets.

Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?

A: We are currently winding down the busiest part of our year, which is baseball and softball season. Following that, we go over the season to see what we can improve on and begin preparing for the next.

Our goal for the next six months is to develop fresh pin ideas for next season. As I mentioned earlier, pin trading has really taken off, and teams get competitive about bringing the coolest pins to their tournaments. We try to push the envelope and provide some options that no one else is offering. This means prototypes are made, and designs are tested till we feel confident in offering that feature to our customers.

We are also working on creating an express pin that can be made in a quicker time frame, but still have a level of customization that will appeal to a sports team.

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Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?

A: Our company genuinely cares about our customers and the products we make. Making a product that kids will use is a huge responsibility we don’t take lightly. We want every kid to have a cool pin they can be proud of when trading at a tournament. Unlike some of the other companies out there, we will actually turn down orders if we do not think we can get them to the kids in time.

So I would say that when you do business with All-Star Trading Pins, you’re dealing with an artist who is putting their creativity into your team’s design. You’re working with customer service people who will go the extra mile to ensure you’re receiving something special in time for the event. And we try to price our trading pins so teams with all sorts of budgets can participate in this incredibly fun activity.

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