Meet a MN Maker: Gigi Berry of Prince-Themed Pin Brand, Cherry Moon Press
all images Courtesy Gigi Berry
Designer Gigi Berry at a recent Cherry Moon Press pop-up at B. Resale in Minneapolis
One year after the death of Prince last April, lifelong Prince fan Gigi Berry commemorated his death with a pin inspired by Prince's gold star at First Avenue. Cherry Moon Press, a line of pins dedicated to the Purple One, was born.
Since then, the Atlanta native expanded to include a Minnesota license plate reading "PRINCE," an homage to Prince's 3121 fragrance from 2007, a pin depicting the shirtless singer on the cover of his debut album; and even one inspired by a 1995 Prince cameo on The Simpsons. Rose-gold plated and covered in glitter, the high-polish, enameled metal pins are a little bit glam, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll—just like His Royal Badness himself.
In advance of her pop-up show this weekend at independent Minneapolis gallery, The Future, Berry opened up about the inspiration and design process behind her buzzworthy pin line.
You’re a lifelong collector of pop culture pins, from Prince and beyond. What do you love about pins?
"I love that a pin/button/patch basically any type of flair can talk for you before you talk yourself. It’s like the perfect ice breaker. I love spotting a pin on someone and saying 'OMG I love that episode of The Simpsons!' and there’s like this instant connection. I like to call pins 'wearable art' because you can put them anywhere and get a reaction from someone. I also love building a collection and sharing it. I like pointing to a particular pin and knowing how I felt when I saw it, who made it, if it’s limited edition—everything really! My current pin board is about 24x36 filled with my favorite pins. Only the best pins make it to my board. I don't even wear them, I have a box of duplicates of my most favorite ones specifically to wear or pin on my purse."
How did you decide to start creating your own Prince-themed pins?
"I have been wanting to make my own enamel pins for awhile, and I wanted to make them pop culture-inspired in some way, but didn't know what direction to go. I love collecting Prince pins, but they were pretty much all the same love symbol or just his fluffy blouse look from Purple Rain. I wanted to make pins that had obscure references that fans would get. I also wanted them to know these pins were being made by a fan because only a real Prince fan would obsess over something as minuscule as a bottle of perfume released with an album years ago or the significance of mashing up “She’s Always In My Hair” with his 3rd Eye era."
How do you get inspired to create new designs?
"Everything really! I think about iconic Prince images, song titles, and lyrics. I literally look at my pin board or at old tour badges and buttons I've purchased over the years. If it's been made before I don't want to touch it. If it has been made before I'd like to make it better."
Gigi berry's personal collection of pins, image Courtesy Gigi Berry
Can you tell me about your design and production process?
"I either sketch it, or just play around in different photo apps like Pic Collage. Then I pick Pantone color options and I send it off to my manufacturer. They make sure the pin is actually able to be made into the enamel pin mold to be printed."
It seems like you really get into the details of these pins—rose-gold plating, glitter—and there’s clearly a lot of thought put into them. Would you consider Cherry Moon Press more of a business, a labor of love, a side hustle, a creative outlet, or a combination of those?
"Really is a bit of all of them. I really take time to think about the details because I know what I look for when I buy pins, so I can only imagine others do the same and respect my attention to detail. I go back and forth with designs and will only put them into production when I know they’re right. The new Scroll pin, for example, was gonna be a book like an ode to Prince Interactive, but I thought maybe a scroll would look better because I don’t see many scroll pins. Essentially, they’re little pieces of art that I think of in my head and gets made into something tangible that people buy and love. It makes me happy seeing members of my Purple Family with my pins on!"
Can you tell me about any designs you are working on now that have yet to be released?
Right now, I’m working on an 'Irresistible Bitch' pin and I will hopefully have another variant of my sold-out 'Shockadelica' pin soon for Halloween! I have so many things I want to put in production. I really love surprising folks with my designs so I can't tell you everything! I plan on dropping more pins throughout the fall and winter as jacket/coat/hat/beanie weather approaches. I’m even considering doing a monthly pin subscription for super limited edition pin designs.
Join the Cherry Moon Press mailing list at cherrymoonpress.com/mailing-list and follow Cherry Moon on Instagram and Twitter @cherrymoonpress to stay up to date on new designs and events. Pop-up event: Saturday, September 2 from noon-4 p.m. @ Seen the Future, 2223 E. 35th St., Minneapolis. Shop online at cherrymoonpress.com