Humble Beginnings: How PinSource Came to Be

Rob Rothman - Then

Rob Rothman – Then

Rob Rothman - Now

Rob Rothman – Now

After over 29 years in business, PinSource has evolved into one of the most successful lapel pin manufacturers out there. However, like many successful businesses today, this did not happen overnight.

At 34 years old, Rob Rothman was a simple guy, and lived a simple life in Vermont with his wife Lorrie and their newborn, Jessica. He was a man of routine; he would start the day with an early morning run, have his usual breakfast with his New York Times, and then begin his long day as an Agway plant manager. Rob’s need for routine however, coincided with his extremely hard work ethic that he never let slide. He soon worked his way up to general manager at Agway, and began to make a name for himself in the corporate world.



“It was a big deal being a general manager at 34,” Rob recalls as we sit down for tea in his current office, located in his beautiful new home in New Zealand. For the President of an international company, his office doesn’t reside in a high skyscraper or luxury building—it is built into his garage, with a minimalist work space, and desk that faces a wide open window facing the ocean. While this is what one might be able to call the antithesis of corporate America, it perfectly suits the lifestyle that Rob strives for. As we sit in the garage, letting the ocean breeze cool our tea, Rob discusses with me his time at Agway. “I wore a jacket and tie everyday and it made me feel important. But I wasn’t happy.” Like many other things in his life, Rob didn’t feel like he fit into the cookie-cutter nature of the corporate culture, and thus began to open himself up to other options.

It turns out that opportunity wasn’t so far away, as Rob’s wife Lorrie had just recently started selling promotional products out of their living room. When sales picked up, Rob decided to join Lorrie, and together they launched their own business, driving through the Vermont countryside selling hats, mugs, and calendars out of their cars. After a few years business hit a roadblock as Vermont’s economy fell. Rob then decided to make a bold move—to narrow the niche of the business and broaden the marketing. “We decided to concentrate on just lapel pins,” he explained, as they met a wide range of promotional needs. Soon there after, PinSource was born, and neither Rob nor Lorrie ever looked back.

“Business is all about risk,” Rob says as he carefully pours the tea into two small Chinese cups. “You have to be smart, but you also can’t be afraid to fail. You have to accept that you will try many different things, and many of them will not succeed—but it only takes one right move to make it all worth it.” Rob further described how both his mistakes and successes opened up new doors for profit and opportunity in his business. This became particularly true for the international sector of PinSource, as Rob began to travel the world opening new companies in Hong Kong, Costa Rica, and Austria.

Rob always has believed in the power of the individual, and continually strives to never fit the mold of anyone else’s expectations. He wanted to do something that made him happy, but also made him successful. “I didn’t start the business to make money, but instead so I could be independent,” he explains. “What motivates me now is the challenge of opening new markets that promote interdependence among companies and brands.” Rob always has new ventures going on, and constantly tries to keep things interesting and fun. “As long as we keep doing new things, it’s fun. Being successful is just a nice side perk.”

A lapel pin is just a small piece of the journey for Rob Rothman. It signifies both his failures and his successes, but ultimately symbolizes his pursuit for happiness, independence, and undeniable work ethic. While these humble beginnings shaped PinSource’s business track, they have also shaped the way Rob continues to look at the world today, and everyday to come.

The Luck of The Irish

St.Patrick's Shamrock

St.Patrick’s Shamrock

Every year on March 17th, people around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Whether Irish by blood, or Irish at heart, the day has become a celebration of Irish culture, food, parades, and all things green. But how did we come to celebrate this holiday? What many people do not know, is that the day originally started as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, who died on the 17th of March in 461 AD. The day then became an official holiday in the beginning of the seventeenth century when the Catholic Church began to observe it.

Having both cultural and religious significance, St. Patrick’s Day has become a global celebration of the Irish that lies within all of us. But beyond just the multiple celebrations, parades, and copious amounts of green beer had on this day, there are other traditions that take place that are equally as important. One of these is the wearing of the Shamrock.

The Shamrock is undoubtedly the most treasured symbol of Ireland. During the time leading up to St. Patrick’s day, shamrocks can be seen decorated, displayed, worn, and cherished by both Irish and non-Irish alike. Most notably, people wear fresh Shamrock’s on their coat lapels, as a sign of both honor and respect for the Saint.

However, it is not always possible to wear a fresh shamrock (especially for those of us who are stuck in an infinite winter.) Not to worry though, because while the snow may still cover any sight of green, there is always the shamrock lapel pin! With the high quality nature of the hard or embossed enamel technique, you can now show your shamrock pride today, tomorrow, and for many years to come.

Let Pinsource help you show your Irish pride this March 17th.

Black Market Lapel Pins in North Korea

North Korean Lapel Pin

North Koreans have to wear lapel pins with the faces of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. It is common for these lapel pins to have one face or the other, unless you are a high ranking official. High ranking officials have special pins that show both faces, while the average person will have a different pin. Due to their rarity, these pins have grown in popularity amongst the population. People who can afford it are going to the black market to purchase one for themselves. To them, it is an investment that they can use when low on funds. They can trade the pin for drinks, food, board, or other services if they have no cash on hand.

Going to the black market is the only way for the average North Korean to get these lapel pins. While there are a few pins available, this is one that only high ranking officials can have. Military leaders and high ranking executives in office are the only ones to receive this special pin. People who have these pins are high up on the social hierarchy, are trusted and respected. For the average person, having this pin can make them feel as if they, too, have a high rank in the country. It is only one motivation for the increased sale in the black market.

Another motivation is to have an item that one can trade for items or services. Years ago, the item of choice to have instead of money was methamphetamine. After the government began cracking down on the sale and use of methamphetamine, however, it was no longer a viable option. These double portrait pins of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il became the popular alternative soon after the December 2011 death of Kim Jong Il. Only a handful of people could have them and there were not many for sale on the black market.

At first, the price of these pins reached 130 Yuan. Over years of continued circulation, use, and popularity, the price dropped to 40 Yuan. Part of this is also because the sale of these pins is illegal. The reason that people have to go through the black market is the fact that the government does not want the average person to have this pin. This does not do much to hinder the popularity or sale of the pins, though. Citizens continue to use these pins as a way to invest their money in items they can later sell or trade.

Presidential Lapel Pins

The White House

Presidents and Their History Wearing Lapel Pins
The American Flag may have found its birth in the independence of the United States of America but its presence on the lapels of American patriots was established much later. Irrespective of its origin, the American Flag Lapel Pin today is the most common accessory among politicians and citizens wanting to express their patriotism for their nation and their unity against national adversities. On Presidents Day, it can be seen on the lapels of every patriotic citizen.

Flag Pin- Powerful Symbol of American Solidarity and Patriotism
Adorned with the stars and stripes, the American Flag Pin has come to be known as a powerful symbol of patriotism. So much so that when President Barack Obama appeared in a debate against Hilary Clinton in 2008, he was posed with a voter’s question asking why he wasn’t wearing the Flag Pin on his lapel! While Obama smoothly replied that he wanted his beliefs and deeds to reflect his patriotism, he soon started wearing the Lapel Pin daily, clearly having understood its significance and power.

Interesting History of Flag Pin
The stars and stripes of the American Flag first found popularity during the Civil War when the Northerners started flying the Flag as a sign of their pride. This gesture initiated a series of similar events which have resulted in the American Flag becoming the object of utmost reverence in the present times.

Barack Obama isn’t the first President to don the Flag Lapel Pin; the tradition was started much earlier by President Richard Nixon during the cultural wars of 60’s and 70’s. Acting on the advice of his Chief of Staff, Mr. Nixon and his entire staff started wearing the Flag Lapel Pins as a symbol of their patriotism and solidarity. Apparently, Mr. Nixon’s Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman, had stolen this idea from the movie, ‘The Candidate’ by Robert Redford.

The Flag Pins were again donned by President George W. Bush and his administrators after the horrific incident of 9/11 as a symbol of their solidarity against terrorism and their commitment towards protecting the nation.
Customized Versions Also Available

When Mitt Romney sported a bigger pin with a Secret Service star logo engraved on the stripes for a debate against Barack Obama during the 2012 Presidential Elections, the customized versions of the Flag Pins started attracting attention and demand. Customized Flag Pins look unique and attractive and carry a special identity of their own.

At Pinsource, we offer all kinds of Flag Lapel Pins and even customize them on demand. On the upcoming Presidents’ Day, wear Flag Pins on your lapels and let your patriotism glow in a subtle and sophisticated manner

Precious Metal – A Perfect Gift!

Precious Metal Lapel Pin

Lapel pins give you the opportunity to show others how successful they have been and how much you appreciate their contribution to the workplace. When you want a way to show your gratitude, a way to offer high end awards that you can afford and that the employee will enjoy, the use of pins is the perfect option. Precious metal pins can have the design, fit, and general appearance that you want while blowing others away. Thanks to their quality, the amount of detail, their durability, the options available, and the gems that you can add on, too, they are the perfect gift for any employee.

It is important to understand that lapel pins appeal to a large audience. While much of their popularity comes from the workforce as gifts to employees, plenty of people collect and adore them because of their quality and beauty. People of all types find themselves attracted to pins made from precious metals that have astonishing quality and attention to detail. This is the reason they make such wonderful gifts, especially in the workplace. They can send a simple message that has an amazing effect. What makes them even better is their durability and the options that are available to you.

As you might expect, precious metal pins come in all types of precious metals. You have sterling silver, 10 karat gold filled, 10 karat solid gold, and 14 karat solid gold. They can also have diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires added to make their appearance truly pop. Having such a large selection of wonderful precious metals and gems makes it easier to fit this into your budget and to show how much you appreciate the recipient. With the small acrylic or velvet boxes they come in, the presentation will absolutely match the aesthetic appeal of the pins themselves.

No matter the recipient, lapel pins can help you to send a clear, positive message. When you feel that someone has continued to offer excellence and do their best, offer excellence in return. Precious metal pins are a simple, effective way to tell someone that what they have done matters. If you want to show your appreciation for an employee who has worked at the location for a long time or who has done a great job recently, or if you want to show appreciation for someone who has helped the community in some way, these pins can do the job and more. They stay with the person and they can leave a positive impression.

To receive additional information from PinSource about precious metal lapel pins you can email us at or fill out our contact form.

Custom Lapel Pins for Fundraisers

Tufts Medical

When schools and non-profit organizations hold fundraisers, there are many different ways they can go about it. Some organizations hold dinners or other fun events, while other organizations prefer to partner with local businesses and sell food or other items. When it comes to charity, there are no wrong ways to raise money – it’s all going to great causes. Here at Pinsource, we applaud any effort to raise money for charity or schools, and we are always thinking of ways to help in any way we can. One of the ways we can help raise money for your organization is with our custom lapel pins.

At Pinsource, we can customize every style of lapel pin to be in support of your school or non-profit organization. All you need to do is send us your designs, or you can work with one of our professional graphic designers to help you design an attractive lapel pin. We can even create lapel pins that commemorate a specific fundraising event, like a 5K race or auction. Not only can these lapel pins be sold to help raise money, they can also serve as a small advertisement for your charity. When it comes to fundraising for charitable organizations, you want to be sure you maximize your fundraising potential – let Pinsource help you continue to help others!

History of The Flag Lapel Pin

American Flag

One of the most popular lapel pins is the U.S. flag lapel pin. Popular with politicians, public servants, and patriotic citizens, flag lapel pins are part of our nation’s iconography. Despite their ubiquity, few people know the story behind the lapel pin. The history of this instantly recognizable lapel pin isn’t clear, although one thing is for sure – it wasn’t a common accessory before World War II. Although there exist other accessories, like jewelry, featuring the flag, you’d be hard-pressed to find an actual flag lapel pin from before the 1950s.

During the tumultuous time of the late 1960s, the flag lapel pin’s popularity grew. Many politicians wore them to display their solidarity against the anti-Vietnam War protesters. Once Richard Nixon, taking a fashion cue from the Robert Redford film The Candidate, started proudly displaying the lapel pin, they became almost permanent fixtures for those in public office.

The flag lapel pin often sees surges in popularity during unfortunate moments of crisis. During the Gulf War, flag pins, along with other patriotic items like patches and yellow ribbon, were sold and worn by many people to show their support of the troops. After the tragedy on September 11, 2001, flag lapel pin sales rose as citizens looked for a way to show their support and love of their country.

If you’re interested in getting some flag pins, contact us at Pinsource!

Why use Lapel Pins for Employee Recognition

Employee Recognition Lapel Pin

Employee Recognition is the best way to boost morale of employees. And, customized lapel pins are most effective in showing that you are concerned about your employees. You can get custom lapel pins designed for employee recognition at different moments like successful project completion, best performance, program participation, job anniversary, successful training completion, etc. A custom lapel pin helps an employee to feel different from other employees and this is where he feels proud to be a part of an organization. And, not only the employee who has been awarded feels well but also other employees learn from him and try to achieve the same as well. This way, small, customized lapel pins are offering many benefits while boosting the morale of employees. When a company appreciates the effort and contribution of its employees then a considerable improvement can be noticed in those employees as well as other employees.

Another benefit of using Lapel Pins for Employee Recognition is they are much cheaper than distributing costly gifts. Moreover, they help make an identity among others and this is what every employee wants.

Here at Pinsource, we believe that nothing works better than a custom lapel pin when an organization needs to make an employee feel that he is the best and his performance is outstanding. Writing an email to him or awarding him with a notepad might not work in the same way as a lapel pin can do. We have different types of lapel pins like hard enamel, embossed, photo etched, years of service, cast lapel, PVC, etc. These are very popular types of lapel pins among employees and organizations.

We assist you all the way to select the best lapel pins for employee recognition. We listen to you and then design lapel pins for you accordingly. Even if you have some ideas, sketches, designs, or even if you want us to use your company logo, we do the same and design lapel pins. We provide lapel pins at factory price; hence, we are always reasonable. Whichever type of lapel pins you want us to design and create, we can do it. Whether your order is small as few hundred pieces or large as thousand pieces, we will do it in a short duration.

Contact us and let us know the purpose you need Lapel Pins for and we will suggest you some nice designs to choose from. Or, if you already have a design, we will create lapel pins using that design.

Buying A Dog Tag From Pinsource

Dog Tags
There are many companies all over the world which deal in the business of manufacturing lapel pins and other promotional product such as dog tags, etc. Each one of them claims to be the best in the work. In such a case it becomes a difficult job for the customer to select the most appropriate alternative of them all. If you want to purchase a promotional product for your company but are stuck in the same situation mentioned above, then do not worry. PinSource is there to help you out. PinSource is undoubtedly the number one ranked company in the world which manufactures supreme quality promotional products such as Lapel pins, Dog tags, key chains, wrist bands, magnets, etc.

Choose from Variety of Dog tags at PinSource

Anodized Colors: These types of dog tags come in different vibrant colors. In the manufacturing process of these dog tags the aluminium material is passed through an acidic electrolyte bath. It produces a coating of aluminum oxide on the surface of the material which eventually gives rise to colors.

Stampings: The Dog tags made from stamping are also quite popular among the people. They are much thinner than the others. Soft enamel is the most preferred option among the stamped dog tags. They are great to look at and are easily available in various designs. The thickness of these dog tags lies in the range from 1.5mm to 2.0mm.

Compound Mold: The dog tags are made from a 2 Mold combination procedure. One of the sides of the dog tag is embossed whereas the other one is kept debossed. Both of them are placed on top of each other with the metal piece in between. The materials are then compressed together. The dog tags contain patterns embossed on the front side. The back side though remains plane. These dog tags are usually quite thin. Their average thickness lies between 0.3 mm and 0.7mm.

Offset Printing: These dog tags are a special feature of the PinSource Company. You will not find a high quality offset printed dog tag at the other stores around. They comprise of fine graphics which is well supported with stunning colors. Only the offset printed dog tags of PinSource have 250 lines per inch resolution on the metals. The look and feel of these dog tags is stylish and well suited for all those who love creativity.

Die Casting-Zinc Alloy: The alloy of zinc is also used in the manufacture of dog tags. The dog tags made from the zinc alloy appear a class apart from the rest due to the patterns present on them. The pattern on these dog tags is a realistic 3D one which adds a whole new feature to it. You will surely be mesmerized by the looks of this dog tag.

Engravings: The PinSource Company also manufactures dog tags with the help of engravings. There are four types of engravings used. These are the Laser Engraving, Black Laser Engraving, Photo Engraving and Mechanical Engraving. The style and attributes of these have been discussed here. Laser engraving is a popular form of engraving done on the dog tags. Using lasers logos, artwork, text and fonts are engraved beautifully onto the dog tags. The second form of engraving i.e. Black Laser engraving makes designs and logos on the dog tag material with dark colors. It is used frequently used with materials like brass, zinc, alloy and copper.

Photo engraving has a wonderful printing effect on the material. Such dog tags are gradually gaining popularity among the people. The last form of engraving is the Mechanical engraving. It has been developed recently by the manufacturers. It is mostly used with enamel. Only a small number of dog tags have been made till now using mechanical engraving technique.

Custom shaped dog tags: It may be possible that some of the clients might not like the dog tags present at the company’s store. They would rather want the dog tag to be built and designed in a particular way. The clients should not hesitate to consult and tell the officials about their exact requirements. The clients should give them a good idea about the type of dog tag needed. The officials would listen to you and manufacture the dog tag as demanded. This way you can even get a special custom dog tag built on your own terms.

Photo Etching: The process of photo etching makes use of chemicals. The dog tags which are already engraved are then dipped into the chemical solution for some time. The result of this is that fine colors are added to the dog tag. It enhances its character and style to a great extent. The dog tags boast of good strength and do not break down easily on the action of force. The thickness of these dog tags varies between 0.5 mm to 2mm.

Ball Chains: Pin Source also makes ball chains in various sizes which can be used as dog tags. The most popular of them all are the 60cm and the 10 cm ones.

Silicon Jacket: These are amazing form of dog tags which are also known as Silencers. As the name suggests they are made from the material silicon. They are present in various colors and patterns at the store.

Therefore, there are plenty of options in front of the clients. The clients would find it easy to select the best one out of these all. Buying promotional products such as dog tags, hard enamel pins, lapel pins, wrist bands and magnets from PinSource is beneficial because of the services and assistance that the company provides to all its customers.

Why Buy Lapel Pins From Pinsource

Pinsource Team

A Lapel pin is a special kind of accessory that is used widely in the corporate world. Different multinational corporations and business organizations have their own uniquely designed lapel pin. The most common use of lapel pins is to identify the workers of a company. You must have noticed employees wearing shirts and jackets with a lapel pin on top of it. The lapel pins on their shirts signify the association of the person with an organization. Besides being used for identifying workers, lapel pins are used extensively during various events, fund raising activities, promotional activities, branding of products, etc.

Well if you’ve recently launched your business company, then make sure that you purchase a lapel pin quickly. The lapel pin you select should be an impressive one as it will represent your business and promote the brand among the people to a great extent. There are many companies in the market which manufacture a wide variety of Lapel pins. However, the best option still remains to be the PinSource. PinSource is a world leader when it comes to the manufacture of high quality lapel pins. You can also buy wristbands, hard enamel pins, dog tags, magnets and many more amazing promotional items.