By Laura Archer, Staff Writer Photographer: Laura Archer
New York City’s first Patches and Pins Expo took place over the weekend on Saturday, April 21.
The event was held in the Metropolitan West, right across from the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. There was a line to get in, with only about a 15 minute wait and groups of ten being let in at a time. Inside, the building was packed.
Vendors from all over the country attended, setting up booths to display and sell their pin collections. One of the highlights of the expo was a pop-up-shop booth set up by Johnny Cupcakes, a company that gained popularity with its bakery-themed clothing and today has over 141k followers on Instagram. A majority of the expo was made up by independently owned stores, most of which have online stores on sites such as Etsy and Storenvy.
There was a wide variety of products on display. The products ranged from Studio Ghibli characters, like Haku from Spirited Away, to trippy cheese-dripping pizza, and even a cute pancake stingray called Flapjack.
While tickets were only $10 on pre sale, it became clear why they were so cheap, as the purchases added up quickly, averaging around $10 per A-grade enamel pin, pin seconds (a term for enamel pins that have scratches or discolorations) selling for around $6 each, and prices for the patches varying depending on the size.
The company’s next expo is set for July 14, in San Francisco. To check out more photos from the event, with links to vendor shops, visit the expo’s official Instagram @patchesandpinsexpo.