Looking for a way to proclaim your Richmond pride, show off your fashion sense and do some good for local kids, all at the same time? Get your lapels ready for #rvaPins, a fashionable venture between The Crystal Press blog and Visit Richmond VA (Richmond Region Tourism) that launches at Pasture on Wednesday evening.
Conceived and brought to life through a collision of art, fashion and hometown pride, #rvaPins are small accessories, hand-painted with iconic Richmond scenes and landmarks. The #rvaPins series will include several designs, to be rolled out over several weeks at area businesses.
"The series of #rvaPins was inspired by the combination of pins coming back into style and the unique character of Richmond," say founders of the Crystal Press blog, Catherine Pfab and Rebecca Piersol.
The first pin in the series shows the A-Line Bridge in rich colors, with the James flowing beneath. The pins were created by Visit Richmond creative services manager Mat Nicholson, with direction from content specialist Greg Houser.
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The first in the #rvaPins series depicts the A-Line Bridge. (Photo courtesy Mat Nicholson/Visit Richmond)
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(Photo courtesy Mat Nicholson/Visit Richmond)
"Each pin is actually pretty easy to break down process wise," says Nicholson. "First, Greg and I talk about what we think the pin really needs to exemplify or represent. Then I do some really quick representative mockups in [Adobe] Illustrator."
After the initial planning of the pin, Visit Richmond creative services manager Mat Nicholson says he creates "some really quick representative mockups in [Adobe] Illustrator." This is the start of the A-Line Bridge pin's design. (Photo courtesy Mat Nicholson)
"Once Greg approves the rough idea for the line work, I get to ink and color it in," says Nicholson. "For the bridge, we knew that we wanted the pin to have a unique organic shape so I got to play with that on the bottom here."
The A-Line Bridge pin, before it was sent to the printer. (Photo courtesy of Mat Nicholson/Visit Richmond)
The process of conceptualizing, designing and printing the pins takes two to three weeks in total, says Nicholson.
The pins can add a touch of class to any ensemble, say fashionistas Pfab and Piersol.
"They are a great way to maximize the pieces you already have in your closet, all year round. With interchangeable pins, you can switch them up easily and add a little personalized [RVA] flair to that denim jacket or vest that you just got!"
(Photo courtesy of The Crystal Press)
Though they're a great way to show Richmond pride, buying #rvaPins will also bring cheer to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. "The proceeds will go toward providing Birthday Bags for a local foster child through Connecting Hearts Virginia," reads the Crystal Press blog.
Pasture is a good fit for the #rvaPins mission and its launch, and not only because it's an uber-popular restaurant. "Connecting Hearts is a charity that Michele [Jones] of Pasture works with a lot and their mission is incredible," say Pfab and Piersol. "Greg at Visit Richmond said Pasture was a natural first choice for the #rvaPins series because Jason [Alley] and Michele are such great ambassadors of the region and do so much great nonprofit work." Among her many charitable works in the community, Jones is the founder of Case for Hope, an organization that collects suitcases and gives them to foster children in Richmond. Alley is no stranger to work that benefits the community, either. This past fall, he and a group of Richmond chefs/restaurateurs traveled to Washington, D.C. to discuss GMO food labeling and its effects on their businesses and customers with Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.
Only 200 pins will be created for each #rvaPins design, and its creators anticipate a quick sell-out. Next on the agenda? "The second series of pins will be sold at the RVA Street Art Festival and we will be releasing details about that soon," say Pfab and Piersol.
The #rvaPins series launch and happy hour is Wednesday, April 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pasture, 416 E. Grace St. Each pin costs $10, and all proceeds will benefit Connecting Hearts Virginia. For more information, visit the Crystal Press blog or see here.