Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi! I’m Kate Lind. You probably couldn’t tell from my only one exclamation point, but my greatest strength is my energy – I use this energy to motivate others and get them excited! I am 32 and still very young (affirmation of the day!) I don’t take myself too seriously, but I do take the things I am passionate about very seriously like women’s rights, playing, and entrepreneurship – and most importantly other people.
I studied Dance and Theatre in college, and then got an MBA after three years of working in marketing post-college. I am a proud mid-westerner living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but I grew up outside NYC and Boston, and went to college in the Los Angeles area; the hardest question for me to answer is “Where are you from?”… Everywhere. I live with my partner in all things Nate, who I founded a business with – Pincause – from our 500sq ft apartment.
What exactly is the Pincause?
Only 9 months old, Pincause has morphed from a way to unite people into a professional fundraising organization that has raised over $160k for non-profits. We create wearable Little Works of Art for Big Causes. Each beautiful pin (aka button) sells for $5, with $2 from every pin sold going directly to a non-profit supporting a Big Cause. Even more, the pins give people a way to share and wear what they support, and start positive conversations – art just does that!
What inspired you to start the Pincause?
I was feeling pretty helpless after the elections and wanted a way to unite the many people all over the world who supported women’s rights. Even in December we already knew there were going to be hundred’s of marches across the globe, and I wanted to created something people could wear whether they were marching in flip-flops or winter parkas. I also really wanted to start something that was coming from a place of positivity and love; art has the power to convey all of those things.
How did you come up with the name?
My partner Nate came up with the name. I wanted to sell a few hundred pins, and he brought his vision to the idea and realized we could sell thousands of pins. Not just for one cause, but many… Back in December we started telling people we were going to sell 100,000 pins, and people laughed at us (that’s a lot of pins). But, to date we have sold over 80k pins!
You have different pins for different causes, can you tell us about the Puppy Pin?
The idea for the Puppy Pin came about at the women-centric conference called Create & Cultivate back in May 2017. I met pupfluencer rescue Ella Bean and her owner Hilary Sloan. I proudly shared what Pincause was about and Hilary said she was on a committee at The Humane Society of the United States working to Stop Puppy Mills. Days after this meeting, I began working with the Humane Generation committee on a pin to raise awareness for puppy mills as well as money to support their efforts. This pin launched September 12 and I know it will be a huge success in spreading the #AdoptDontShop message.
Where are your products sold? Are they sold in stores?
Over 80% of our products are sold direct to consumers via our website Pincause.com. The other 20% are sold in retail stores across the country with our biggest retailer being Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.
Is there a favorite pin that everyone loves?
We work with a variety of artists and support a variety of causes, so each person will likely love the pin that most connects to what they are passionate about. We have sold over 50k of our first pin, which celebrates women’s rights and raises money for ACLU and Planned Parenthood (which means we have donated $50k to each of those organizations!). It features the American Sign Language (ASL) sign for “I Love You” illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan. This pin is most recognizable too; Emma Watson wore it at the Women’s March on Washington (it was so amazing!).
How do you spread the word about your company?
We have a few key ways: Influencers, Press and Confidence! We are so lucky to have customers who are passionate about causes and making the world a more beautiful place. Our community shares the pins whether wearing them IRL or posting about them to their social network using #PincauseLOVE – everyone is an influencer of someone. As mentioned before, Emma Watson wore the pin; and that was really powerful too, especially on our main platform Instagram (visual business = visual platform). Press was hugely influential in the beginning and required us being bold and emailing people like Katie Rogers at the New York Times and positioning ourselves as relevant and fresh (“we are aiming to bringing positivity to a negative landscape”). And finally walking and talking with confidence, especially when you have no idea if your idea will work. We were telling people we are going to sell 100k pins and saying things like “O, you haven’t heard about Pincause? You are going to love it!” I went up to so many people and got them excited about Pincause, even on the days when it felt like Pincause wasn’t sustainable.
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?
Stay true to yourself (vs. trying to look like someone else’s Instagram account). For me that means admitting it is really hard, and I take a lot of photos without makeup on and don’t always look polished. Also, entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone and that is ok!
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Like a fun fact or a favorite quote?
My partner and I go by Kate + Nate; it’s coincidence our name’s rhyme!