{un}convention Sponsor // Punky Pins

Claire Whaite is the boss babe behind the British enamel pin, patch, and sticker empire know as Punky Pins! We are THRILLED that she is one of our goody bag sponsors for {un}convention London on Friday, 21 April. So if you love feminist community, and really want a badass enamel pin or sticker, then register for {un}convention!

Keep reading to find out more about Claire and her business.

1. What made you say yes to being a sponsor of {un}convention?

OMG, I just got the email from Jen and I knew I HAD to be involved. I love weddings, (but only anything that goes against the grain of “boring / run of the mill / generic weddings”) and female led businesses so this seemed a great opportunity. Plus anything that Kat Williams is involved with is bound to be full of fun and colour! I heard about Catalyst from the Girlboss website originally, so I was really excited at the prospect of working together. 

2. How long have you been running your business, and what motivated you to start a business with a feminist mindset?

I started this business way back in 2005, and never actually intended it to be a ‘feminist’ business. I just design and create products that I would like and stuff I’m into – and for some reason, other people seem to be too! At the time I set up, I was (and still am) very inspired by Courtney Love, the whole Riot Grrrl scene, and girl heroes in comics. I loved the whole DIY attitude of Riot Grrrl music and fanzines, and got the itch to create something of my own! I stared off making button badges and iron on transfers on pants with riot grrrl slogans; all using a teeny secondhand desktop printer.

3. What are three ingredients for your perfect work day?

Coffee, Cake, A totally clear mailbox

4. What challenges have you faced due to being a woman-owned business? What do you find most rewarding about being a woman-owned business?

Oh, too many challenges to mention! My biggest by far has been managing the work life balance. I have 2 young children and although I would love to spend more time with them, I also love my business and want to be a positive role model for my kids. It is really hard to juggle running a business and having kids. I am totally shattered after a full day getting the kids ready on a morning, work, and then seeing them on an evening and keeping a tidy house! I rarely sit down before 10pm, and even then I’m forever checking my emails and Instagram! Luckily I have a really awesome team at work now, and I can pass some of my workload on. I have taken on a PA this year and I don’t know how I managed without one now!

The most rewarding part is also having total control over my life, and of my kids’ lives too. Yes I’m mega busy but I have the privilege of doing the school run, and taking whatever time off I need to go to sports days and school plays and the like, without having to report to anyone. The other massive reward I get is when I get really nice feedback from customers who tell me how much they love my work. I know it sounds cheesy, but it really does make my day and always puts a smile on my face to know I have created products that people can’t live without!

Well, we LOVE your work, too, Claire! So head to Punky Pins to start shopping!