Student turns Instagram trend into viable business promoting Liverpool brands

Student turns Instagram trend into viable business promoting Liverpool brands

LJMU marketing student, Amy Collins started making pins as a side project but her creations quickly became sought after by many well-known brands across the city and further afield. 

Pin Head pins

Amy Collins hasn’t even finished her course yet and she’s already building up an impressive client list for her creative business. Amy, who studies on the Marketing course, has established herself as a custom designer of enamel pins and embroidered patches and, so far, her venture is expanding at a fast pace.

Amy CollinsAmy started making pins as part of the Instagram pin movement merely to satisfy her artistic leanings, but before long this side project grew into something substantial and sustainable.

Selling under the name Pin Head, Amy’s unique designs soon got the attention they deserved with commissions coming in fast from businesses across Liverpool. Mattas, the Bold Street international food shop, was one of the first to approach her to promote their business. Amy recalls:

“I did it as a favour! But before you knew it, I started seeing them dotted across town on lapels and backpacks, they became quite sought after.”

Amy took advantage of the gap in the market. Building on the skills she’d learned on her degree and taking up help from LJMU’s Centre for Entrepreneurship – she was able to marry online and offline communities and recognise the business potential in the pin culture trend. She has created her wearable art/adverts to promote many well-known Liverpool brands such as: Ghetto Golf, Love Thy Neighbour, Santa Chupitos, Lost Art and many more.

But it’s not just local businesses who are taking an interest in her products. Amy has attracted attention in the US after collaborating with Atlanta-based illustrator, Arzie, on Wes Anderson inspired pins based on the filmmaker’s style of characters for Fantastic Mr Fox and Isle of Dogs.

Fantastic Mr Fox pins

“A few cinemas in the States reached out to me so that they could sell my Isle of Dogs pins and raffle some off as prizes too.”

Amy’s creations have also benefited charitable causes. Collaborating with illustrator Johanna Wilson, the pair designed a limited edition pin for the Whitechapel Centre. Amy has also worked with Brad Hurley on a memorial pin to commemorate the life of his sister Megan who tragically lost her life in the Manchester Arena attack of 2017. Brad provided Amy with a photo of his sister and the two worked out a design that has been spotted on the likes of Simon Cowell and Jamie Carragher. Funds raised from sales of the pin are going towards establishing a memorial garden in Megan’s memory.

Collaborative work of this nature captures the Pin Head philosophy and keeps Amy looking forward to future projects:

“Local collaboration is the heart and soul of Pin Head and I look forward to connecting with and collaborating with all the exciting emerging and established businesses in Liverpool and further afield.”

View more of Amy’s designs on the Pin Head website or via Instagram.

If you’ve got a great idea for a business, why not find out how studying a marketing or business degree could help you? You can also find out about the support available through the Centre for Entrepreneurship.


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