Custom BTS Pins: A Galaxy Design Squad Case Study
Just like how the musical pop group is topping the charts with their favorite hits, one of our most beloved and longtime clients is creating unique custom pins for their fans around the world.
Ms. Amy Wooldridge is the owner and creator of BangtanBoysPins – a popular storefront on Etsy where she has become a Star Seller with her custom enamel pin design creations. With more than 12,000 products sold and a solid record of stellar, 5-star reviews, Amy’s pins have brought delight through her designs, adding and growing to the closeness of the BTS Army community.
We spoke with Amy to learn more about her process and her experience working with our team at Galaxy Design Squad. Read on!
Hi Amy! Tell us a little about your BTS enamel pin business?
“Hi! I’m based in North Carolina and I started BangtanBoysPins a few years ago. I started my business from the ground up, by myself, and I’m self-taught in graphic design and illustration. I began my business by focusing on making pins for a specific K-pop group, BTS, and I focus primarily on the seven members and their relationships. I like to create designs that show friendship, camaraderie, and a lot of my pins show that cuteness and affection that a lot of my customers like.”
How did you get your pins manufactured?
“Originally, I was working with a couple of different manufacturers and was communicating with representatives in China, and it was super challenging. A lot of the time, my order would get messed up, and I had no guarantee that my products would even show up even after I paid for the order. They also had a lot of limitations about working with me on some of the more creative aspects of creating pins, and there were even more drawbacks to working with someone on the other side of the world. Unfortunately, there is a lot of scammers and people who steal artists’ designs, and I repeatedly kept finding my designs being copied and sold by other companies on Aliexpress. And sometimes the person you were working with would just disappear! It was really frustrating and I knew I had to find another option.”
Have you encountered other scams working with other manufacturers?
“Unfortunately, yes. There are a lot of scams and people out there trying to get money from artists and businesses. Sometimes they will send you a DM on Twitter saying they’re a manufacturer, and they aren’t! And especially with an international group as popular as BTS – people see an opportunity to take other people’s art and make money from it. You really need to trust who you’re working with in this industry.”
How did you start working with Galaxy Design Squad?
“After a rigorous Google search, I found Galaxy Design Squad, and I did my research! I researched their location to make sure they were truly based in the US, which was really important to me at this point. Even though they don’t manufacture the pins here, it’s a completely different and positive experience having them in part of the creative and ordering process, the service and dedication to getting me a quality product is a guarantee that I had not found anywhere else. On the rare occasion that something didn’t turn out right, they always take the high road and offer a way to fix the solution. This is so important to me, because my business depends on the product and ensuring that my customers get exactly what they expect.”
How does GDS help you in the creative process when designing a custom BTS pin?
“I usually come up with a concept or scene for a pin and sketch it out, and go over it with the design team. They help make suggestions such as finishes, I mostly create enamel pins with silkscreen or glitter, and if I want to change colors or add text or other background elements, they’re really helpful and will do that for me, which I really appreciate.”
Where are your customers based?
“I have sold to most countries around the world, but I would say 50% are in the US, and the majority of the remaining are in the Philippines, South Korea, China, and Russia.”
What would you tell someone who was thinking about starting their own pin store?
“I always tell people that Galaxy Design Squad goes above and beyond to make sure I get my products as expected, and if something goes wrong, they work really hard to fix it. You won’t find that working with someone overseas, at least I never did. Galaxy makes sure I get a quality product with great communication and accountability.”