This week I had the pleasure of interviewing @misterbnation
1.Tell me a little bit about your business.
” My business is designing and selling enamel pins inspired by John Waters’ movies and other cult characters and personalities.
I also sell designs on tshirts and accessories and those are created through Print On Demand in the States where 99% of my customer base is located (I’m in Canada). I have a parter in this business who deals with all the technical side of my store and who encourages me to be more ambitious with my plans.
2. How did you come up with your business name?
“My business name of Mister B Nation has a long history starting back in high school (1995) where I gained the nickname Blondie. This became Blondie Nation (the Nation coming from Patricia Quinn’s character in Shock Treatment) and online the name Blondie Nation looked like a Debbie Harry/Blondie fan site, so the Blondie became a B and Mister was added so people would know I was a person. People have assumed the name is a play on ‘masturbation’ but that is incorrect. I’ve been Blondie since I was around 12, so it feels like a very personal name to me. My name is actually David.”
3. What have been the more popular items in your store? And why do you think they are so popular?
” I still struggle to predict what people will respond to, I will have strong doubts that a design will be popular but then it’s an instant sell out item. I try to keep the designs around 75% John Waters related because that is what I want for my own collection. Rather than attempt to predict or target towards any particular group I just design for myself and hope that others will agree. I’ve made a few missteps along the way with that strategy such as when I wanted to try more mainstream horror pins with tributes to The Shining and the IT miniseries which didn’t strike the chord that I’d hoped. My most popular pin has been The Cocksucker pin based on a scene from Serial Mom but recently my Grace Jones inspired pins have proved to be far more popular than I had expected. “
4. What pop culture thing has been your recent reference in creating your new item(s)?
” I’m still trying to keep a good schedule with pin releases so I’ve tried to plan ahead a lot of John Waters based designs but I still like to stay flexible about the 3rd pin, I have tried to keep that position in the release of the 3rd pin to be for women I have long loved and admired such as Catherine O’Hara and Michelle Pfeifer’s Catwoman. I don’t choose the 3rd pin until its time to order and I go with my gut always with the assumption that if I love her then my followers and customers might do too. I have Ideas on future icon women but it has a lot more to do with who has been on my mind that week. I then check if other people have made pins of the same person and what I like and don’t like about those designs to make sure mines is different and hopefully better. “
5. Do you have any exciting news or promotions that you would like to share?
” Going forward I will continue to do the once a month pin release, prior to the pandemic I was releasing a pin every 2 weeks and when the lock down started I made it once a month so I would just have to visit the post office once and ship it all together rather than my usual daily trips. So what started as a practical move to avoid interactions has turned into an unexpectedly successful move. The small quantities that I produce and the small window of time to sell them means the demand on that particular weekend spikes and I get sell outs in days rather than weeks. The instant results of those weekends allows me to quickly pay for the next months pins and keep the momentum.”
If you like more information:
Thank you for the interview!
Until next time!!!