Can I trade your pins in Disney theme parks?
No. Fantasy pins are unofficial and can't be traded with Disney Cast Members or other guests. There is a robust fantasy pin trading community on Instagram, however!
Who draws the illustrations that your pins are based on?
Most of the time, my pins are based on drawings done by my husband, Chris "Lilo & Stitch" Sanders, but I will sometimes commission other artists to draw pin designs for me (such as Kellee Riley's illustrations of my mermaid characters from "Rescue Sirens: Mermaids On Duty"). Artists' names are noted in each pin's product title.
Who adapts the illustrations for pin production and communicates with the manufacturer?
Who designs the backing cards?
Who quality checks pins and ships orders?
Who answers emails?
Who manages the website and social media?
Who run the world?
Why are your international shipping prices so expensive?
In all cases but the UK and EU (see the next question), it's because that's what the USPS charges to ship parcels out of the country. Not only am I not making money on international shipping, but I'm usually losing money. Trust me, I don't like the high cost of shipping, either.
What's up with the $999 shipping price to the UK and EU?
Because of the newly-enacted VAT rules, many pinmakers (myself included) have ceased shipping to the UK and EU until we can get everything figured out. In the meantime, UK and EU customers can still place orders as long as they have a US shipping address (such as a friend's address, or a forwarding service).
Will you combine shipping for me if I forgot to add something to my cart?
I no longer combine shipping if you place more than one order -- sorry!
What's a "minor flawed" product?
See my Pin Grading page!
How do I take care of my new ita bag?
See my Ita Bag FAQ!
Will Chris sign my pins?
Chris is no longer taking autograph requests for merchandise, but we will occasionally sell already-signed items (which will always be noted in the product description).
Did you forget to include my backing card?
Nope! Not all of my pins come with backing cards. Typically, pins 2" and smaller are affixed to backing cards, but pins larger than 2" don't usually come on a card. (Those that do, like the Florida Girls series, will usually mention so in the product description.) Additionally, minor flawed pins will not come on a backing card unless I have extras.
Do you hold presales?
Generally, no; I prefer to self-fund my own pins, since I don't want to hang on to people's money during the occasionally unpredictable process of pin production. I may form a commitment group for a design or series (no prepayment necessary), or take a poll on Instagram to gauge interest ahead of time, but I like to sell my pins once they're actually in-hand.
When do your shop drops go live?
If I'm releasing a new pin or restocking a previously sold-out design, it will almost always happen at 9 AM Pacific (Disneyland) time on a Friday morning. I will announce a shop drop on Instagram on Wednesday, post a countdown to my Instagram Stories on Thursday, and the pins will be made available at 9:00 AM sharp on Friday. If you check in to my Instagram account on a Thursday and there's no new post and no countdown in my Stories, there will not be a shop drop happening that week (unless otherwise mentioned).
Will you please sell or trade me a sold-out pin that I missed?
I get this request A LOT, and sadly I have to say no: I can't save pins for people (not even if you ask ahead of time). All public sales are strictly "first come, first served." Prior to a shop drop, I will make an announcement on the Pins of Steele Instagram account, and I typically create a countdown in my Stories, as well. I want to give people as much advance notice as possible, but I am not responsible if you missed the announcement. I highly suggest turning on Instagram notifications for both my Stories and my regular posts if snagging a particular pin is important to you! Some of my designs have sold out in under five minutes.
Can you help me find someone to trade with if I missed out on one of your pins?
YES! If you create an ISO ("in search of") post in your Stories and tag @pinsofsteele in it (very important, as that allows me to repost it!), I will share your request to my own Stories to get the word out to my followers who might be willing to make a trade/sale.
Can I join your private pin group?
Sorry, not at this time. I have a small private chat on Instagram consisting of people who bought into my Katrina Van Tassel pin presale, which was my first really complex fantasy pin and featured an incredibly obscure character, to boot. As a thank-you to my group for having faith in my ability to bring the pin design to life (and for having such good taste in cartoon characters!), they're now the first to know about new pin designs and sometimes get early access to sales. If any spots open up in the chat, I will announce it on Instagram; until then, it remains closed to new members.
Will you send pins to me for free if I promote them on social media to drive my followers to your shop?
I don't send out free merchandise, but, if you'd like to collaborate, you can purchase pins at full price and I'll give you a coupon code for your followers to use when they shop here. If the coupon code is used 10 times in 30 days (as an example), I will happily refund your initial purchase! Please use my contact form to get in touch before placing your order so we can come to an agreement.
Will you make pins for me?
I'm really flattered every time someone asks this, but I'm afraid the answer is no. I make pins for fun and because there are designs that I want to own, myself; I'm not a middleman or a pin designer for other people.
Will you share your manufacturer(s) with me?
Again, no. The reason why is two-fold: one, I have a good relationship with my main manu and I am generally very pleased with their work, but other people have had negative experiences with them, and I don't want to feel responsible for recommending a manu to someone that doesn't work out; and two, if everyone starts using the same manufacturer, wait times go up and quality goes down. I've seen it happen over and over with other manufacturers. If you're new to pinmaking, your best bet is probably to start out with a middleman (they cost more, but they'll handle any production problems for you), and then go factory-direct by searching Alibaba when you feel more comfortable with the process.
Can I trade your pins in Disney theme parks?