This is D3 The Concrete, bringing you fashion from the street!

On my illustrious trip to Long Beach, California for AGENDA 2018, I had the chance to meet plenty of brands, companies, and organizations. One brand that really stood out to me was @NERDPINS.

So, you know me, right? I had to get a business card and reach out. Once I did, it was like our conversation at the convention continued from the stopping point. Joe is such an endearing person and you can tell that he knows his brand like the back of his hand.

Below, we talk about how Joe draws EVERY single PIN; when he met Andre 3000 of Outkast fame, and how to get into the business.

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Tell us who are you and where are you from?
My name is Joe VanDyke, and I’m originally from Jacksonville Beach, FL. I’ve been living in downtown LA for three years now.
Tell us about @NERDPINS and how did it get started?
I’ve grown up playing and touring in rock bands, and collecting pins and merch was just part of it all. After moving out to LA, a good friend of mine (Preston Nettles) and I started making pins together under the name Divided Youth in early 2016. We still release products together seasonally, with new stuff on the way. I started Nerdpins in August 2016 to be able to launch anything I felt like creating, with no real boundaries. When it started taking off, I released an average of two new pins a week, creating a catalog of around 150 different pins as of now. I’ve been branching out with different products as well, I currently have a line of t-shirts, patches, keychains, calendars and a few other things on the site.
What’s interesting about your pins is that they are from all different allusions in pop culture.
What do you see that sells best on the site and how does that influence your pin creation?
About 70% of the pins on my site are pop culture references, 30% are not from something. I draw all the designs for the pins myself, so whatever is inspiring me in the moment may become a pin. The top 5 best selling pins I’ve made are the Mendl’s Box from Grand Budapest Hotel, the original tiki drink design, the champagne glass with seahorse from The Life Aquatic, the Beetlejuice House, and the Sphynx cat pin. The pins that sell higher than others may influence in some small ways, like how I made a Mendl’s delivery truck pin to follow up the bakery box, or a handful of different tiki designs now that the first one was a hit.
Tell us the story of the Andre 3000 pin. I DEFINITELY am a huge fan of it. Thank you for my copy, by the way!
I ran into Andre 3000 at Agenda in Vegas early last year and was showing him some pins. He loved them and started looking through, and choosing certain ones to put [right there] on his backpack. He loved my Nirvana In Utero pin, he said it was his favorite album. After we took a photo, I told him I’d make a pin of him based on the photo, and he laughed and didn’t think I would actually do it. He was a really rad guy in person, and everyone loves that pin!
Anything new on the horizon? If so, where can people buy your pieces?
I’ve got a bunch of pins in the works right now, and some limited t-shirt and flip-flop releases for spring. I’ll be updating the @nerdpins IG as the releases come up, and everything is available to purchase at www.Nerdpins.net.
Advice to a young person that is aspiring to get started in the business of pinmaking?
If you have some pin designs that you love, make some! They might not sell very fast at first, but if you love to design and follow through with the details of having a business, keep at it!
Check out more pieces from @NERDPINS at www.nerdpins.net and tell us what you think in the comments!