Editor’s Note: This Is Squarespace is our monthly series sharing the stories of employees who are bringing their own creative ideas to life using our all-in-one platform.
By day Social Support Senior Advisor, Morgan Evans, helps Squarespace customers bring their websites to life. By night, she runs her own business on Squarespace called Rogue Pins. The founding co-chair of Squarespace’s Trans at Portland ERG, Morgan made a goal for herself to create pronoun pins that could be used by employees around the office. After creating the pronoun pins along with other designs Morgan eventually launched Rogue Pins on Squarespace.
We chatted with Morgan about the evolution of Rogue Pins since its inception, what it’s like to help Squarespace customers while being a customer herself, and what’s next for Rogue Pins.
SQSP: What brought you to Squarespace as a customer and as an employee?
ME: I started being interested in working at Squarespace after hearing glowing reviews by others that worked here already. Things like the benefits package and community were probably the biggest things that influenced me to want to work for Squarespace. Starting my website on Squarespace was a given. I knew the platform about as well as anyone who works on it 5 days a week for years can. With that knowledge, I couldn’t possibly go anywhere else and have to relearn an entirely new platform. Plus, I love Squarespace’s design-focused starting layouts on 7.1.
SQSP: What inspired you to create Rogue Pins and what have you learned throughout the process?
ME: I think Rogue Pins has been in the works for years. Since designing the pronoun pins that the company gave to employees a couple years ago, I wanted to make my own designs. Once I branched out on my own, I wanted to create a site that had a brand and style that I could fall in love with. So, it was pretty clear that I had to use the one thing that I loved most in this world as inspiration: my cat Rogue the kitty. I took a photo of her that I had shot, made a silhouette of her, and had a logo made.
I would say my biggest lesson so far is this: You can put everything you have into something, spend way too much money on it, blast it everywhere for all your friends to see, and have a really great product, and you still might not get a thousand orders, or any orders. If things are not taking off like you want them to, there is nobody else you can point your finger at because nobody else is obligated to help you out. Being a one-woman show means that everything is on you, especially the hardest parts.
SQSP: How has your business evolved since you first launched it?
ME: Rogue Pins is actually my second venture into enamel pins as a business. This all started as Untitled Pin Project, which I started with a fellow Squarespace coworker. That was a really fun time, and when they had to spend more time concentrating on graduate school, I wanted to completely rebrand and make something that was 100% me. Rogue Pins was born from that desire. Since then, I’ve tried to not only make pins that I would want to rock on my backpack or hat, but also pins that other people look at and want. Rogue Pins isn’t the pin site that’s going to make the biggest, or most exotic pins. I aim to make it the site that gives you amazing quality, really well designed pins that can appeal to a large audience.
SQSP: As a one-person operation, how do you balance running your business and the work you do with Squarespace?
ME: Luckily, I guess, Rogue Pins hasn't become overwhelmingly busy just yet, so keeping up with orders and designing hasn’t taken up too much of my free time. The busier I get, the more I’ll need to rethink my organization with regards to how I fulfill orders and design new pins.
My current system is like an assembly line where I have my pins, card backs that I put the pins on, thank you cards, padded envelopes, and address labels all in the same place in my bedroom. This way it’s easy to grab what I need, fill out the address I’m shipping to, and put it by my keys to take to the post office. I even use one of those shoe organizers that hang on the back of a door to hold the different pins. I always pat myself on the back for that idea.
SQSP: What’s it like to support our customers while being a customer yourself?
ME: I think it actually makes me better at my job because, not only can I test things on my site (to an extent), I know exactly what it’s like to experience issues and the frustration of not being able to figure out how to do something.
For example, I have a Markdown Block at the bottom of my site and I had to learn how to change the colors of just one word or letter, which I had no clue how to do before that because it’s custom code. It was a process and took a bit of time, but I got it done by being patient with myself. I take that kind of understanding into every interaction I have with our customers.
It also allows me to know about new features immediately, which is a bonus if I want to add them to my site once they launch.
SQSP: What’s your favorite feature of the Squarespace product?
ME: While there are a lot of features that I love that I use with my site, and don’t use with my site but they’re on the platform, I have to say that being able to scan my USPS barcode when fulfilling an order makes that whole process so much easier, and it’s something that not all of the platforms have. It’s the little things like that that make daily life easier that I appreciate the most.
SQSP: What’s next for Rogue Pins?
ME: More pins! I’ve actually just designed a couple new pronoun pins that are for folks that use more than just one pronoun. I’m hoping that by the time this posts, they’ll be all ready for orders.
Beyond that, I’d like to get more into animal pins, more Pride pins done in ways that you don’t see around, and then I’d like to get into edgier pins. It is called Rogue Pins, after all.