Ohio University graduate student, Jacq Garcia, has created quite a name for themselves with their thriving small business, “JacqPins.” JacqPins is an Etsy shop consisting of enamel pins, jewelry, magnets, jewelry boxes, wall hangings and fake cakes, which are decorations that look almost too real not to eat.
Garcia is the owner and artist of JacqPins based out of Nelsonville and is pursuing an MFA in printmaking at the OU School of Art and Design. They started the business in 2019 to grow their passion for collecting pins into creating their own.
“I used to collect a lot of enamel pins,” Garcia said. “I wanted to take a stab at designing my own, especially because I made a lot of friends within the pin-collecting community.”
With all their products, Garcia works with a manufacturer to design everything, from picking out colors to laying out vector lines. The development process takes anywhere from 1-3 months to complete, with all the finished products ending up on the JacqPins Esty website.
For the majority of the merchandise, there is a set quantity the manufacturer makes. Additionally, under each fake cake listing, customers can choose one of the three varieties shown. Garcia also offers custom products that typically take a little longer to make.
Garcia mainly grew their brand on Instagram, where they post product previews on their Etsy shop. They also attend local markets and conventions where their products are displayed on a table for the public to explore.
“Instagram is where it started, and the pin-making community has a lot of pretty close ties,” Garcia said. “We have group chats and stuff with different pin makers and (we) promote each other.”
Garcia’s pins originally started as fan art for various celebrities, but now the majority of their products focus on body positivity and LGBTQIA+ acceptance.
“In general, what I tend to focus on is fat acceptance, queer positivity and Latina culture,” Garcia said. “It would always have some of that essence just because that’s who I am.”
Garcia hopes to grow JacqPins sustainably and continue to create new products while working on other ventures. While working on their brand, Garcia is completing their final thesis year in grad school and getting involved with their nonprofit, the Fat Artists Network.
“I like doing things in the community; I also have a nonprofit and then a printmaking exchange that I organized as well,” Garcia said.
According to Garcia’s website, the printmaking exchange they are involved in is called Fat Print, and it is a yearly portfolio exchange with a different theme each year meant to grow the skills of fat artists. This goes along with the Fat Artists Network, which is an organization that connects artists with similar values of fat acceptance and body positivity.
JacqPins’ next event will be a free workshop open to anyone interested called “Too Sweet to Eat: Cakes that Last” on March 9, 2024, from 3-5 p.m. The workshop will be located at Majestic Galleries in Nelsonville, and Garcia will be teaching a step-by-step process on how to make fake cakes. The event will be an opportunity for those who are crafty to learn the ways to make realistic-looking cake decor.
To learn more about JacqPins and their upcoming events, find them on Instagram at @jacqpins or email Garcia at email@example.com.