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Artist Spotlight: Rachelle Letain

Rachelle Letain gives us the ins and outs of her upcoming pin business.

Heather: When and why did start your business?

Rachelle: I've been on and off Etsy for a few years now, dabbling in a variety of handmade, side 'passion

projects'. Perhaps most notably, I made hand­painted, colourblock, antler tip keyrings and necklaces under the name NORTH. I've changed directions since, and have gotten involved in making objects that feature some of my design work (I am a graphic designer by trade) ­such as the pineapple enamel pin "Think Sunny".

H: Did you find it difficult to start up your business?

R: Not difficult at all. I let passion guide me in terms of what I wanted my first product to be and put trust in the fact that if I wanted this pin to live, someone else hopefully would want it to as well. I was right... It's been rewarding to watch the pins ship out to places all over the world. I am fortunate to have many creative friends and connections and was able to lean on them for supplier leads, both locally and overseas.

Rachelle looking cute!

H: Any tips for upcoming entrepreneurs?

R: 1.) Don't be afraid of reaching out to other entrepreneurs/creatives you admire!

2.) Believe in the power of social media communities. I have received so much support from people I don't know/have never met but am friends with on Instagram.

3.) Work hard + stay humble.

H: Do you plan on selling just pins? If not, what?

R: After a few additional pin designs, I would eventually love to expand to prints, zines and cards.

H: Would you do anything different in terms of starting out?

R: It would have been great to have jumped in headfirst, so to speak, and made a series of pins that worked in conjunction with one another. A broader offering is always better than a solo one. But all in all, I've been happy with the feedback I've received on my first pin endeavour.

H: Who inspired you to start your business?

R: My friend and fellow designer Marta Ryczko and I had endless conversations about designing enamel pins before we both decided to 'just do it already'. I credit her with kicking me into gear + getting me thinking seriously about designing "Think Sunny"

H: What inspired the designs for your pins?

R: I designed the pin kind of at the end of winter/start of spring so I was really looking for something that would remind me that summer and sunshine weren't too far away. Hence, 'think sunny thoughts' ­ and the visual of a pineapple in sunnies.

H: What’s next for Rachelle Letain and her business?

R: This fall I am going freelance, and am looking forward to hopefully finding time than to grow my 'passion projects'. I'm 1 part nervous and 2 parts excited about all the unknowns in my near future... But to me, it's all just empty space for new, creative, and exciting things to happen.

[The "Think Sunny Thoughts" pineapple sunnies pin has made a home on my denim jacket! -Heather]

If you’re just as excited as I am to see the projects Rachelle Letain has up her sleeve, visit her (soon­ to come) website: or her fab instagram: @rachleta


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