“I’m just making this up.” That phrase is one of my favorites that I frequently hear from Julie Young, long-time product developer for pins with Disney Theme Park Merchandise. When Julie says that phrase, it is typically followed by some rough pencil sketch (to which I save on the back of my office door), and an idea that will soon become the next highly-desired pin. Following a recent business trip, Julie was inspired to create some of my new favorite pins using a classic icon everyone knows and loves.
“When I joined Disney in October 1994, I started as a fine jewelry buyer for Resorts and shops like the former 24KT Precious Adornments store at Downtown Disney Marketplace,” explained Julie. “So naturally, I’m drawn to jewelry. I like designing pins that can be used for more than just trading.”
Julie joined the Disney Pin Team in 2002 and has developed everything from limited edition to open edition pins and accessories. I’m continually amazed at her ability to create fresh, exciting and (the most important ingredient) fun Disney pins. In recent years, she has created several Mickey Mouse icon pins featuring everything from animal prints to pumpkins. There is something wonderful about simple designs that have the ability to effectively convey a story. In fact, one of our most popular and longest selling open edition pins is the Mickey Mouse icon featuring the American Flag. It’s a simple design and Guests have loved it for years!
“After a shopping research trip to Manhattan Beach, California, I began wondering what else I could do with the Mickey Mouse icon shape that had not been done before,” continued Julie. “An overall theme I saw in the marketplace was homespun design – using fabric, wood and other materials to give items a handmade look. I wanted to find a way to apply that idea to the next Mickey Mouse icon pins.”
Of the new homespun designs coming in 2010, I asked about her favorite. “I love the buttons,” exclaimed Julie. “There will be four different colors used for the ears and three different colors for the center circle. This means each button pin will be a unique handmade piece of art.”
I have to agree – those pins are as “cute as a button!” (which is another phrase that Julie loves to say and probably why she loves them so much). Look for these designs on coming to Disney Parks later in 2010.