Woman-owned business shines light on classic Vegas signage
By OTS Staff
In another scintillating woman-owned business moment, Holly Vaughn, a born and bred Las Vegan, took her deep dive Into Mid-Century modern design and transformed it into Battle Born Pins, a thriving pin and apparel venture devoted to vintage Las Vegas signage and architecture, that she started in 2017 and sells on Battleborn.shop and Etsy.
“The three defunct marquees and architecture I miss the most are The Stardust, with its stunning atomic era design and whimsy. The Mint, three miles of pink neon monument and The Moulin Rouge, whose 18 feet tall signage typeface was designed by Betty Willis, who also designed the Welcome to Las Vegas sign” shares Holly.
She remains hopeful for her seven favorite “still vertical” attractions. “My suggestions for locals and tourists alike are: The Rio, as the clock is ticking on the post-sale rebranding, The Monterey Motel, that was demolished by its owner Zak Bagans but the sign still remains active on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Then the 123 feet tall clown of Circus Circus legend, Vegas Vickie (Vickie is inside Circa), The Blue Angel, The Flamingo, the oldest operating casino on The Strip. And finally, drive down Fremont at sunset, starting from Eastern and Fremont towards Las Vegas Boulevard.”
Holly, who lives with her researcher husband, Gabriel, in Downtown Las Vegas (DTLV) and studied Fine Arts, is also an active part of the optics of Las Vegas as a part-time muralist: her work can be seen at places such as Vesta Coffee downtown.
One of the best side (but really central) perks of her business is the unison-minded design community she cultivated through the years, in an “I came for the architecture, I stayed for the people” moment.
“Vintage_las_vegas has become a good friend. I can’t imagine Vegas history at this point without the index of photos and information on his website. Also route9signs, Chris Raley makes tiny exact replicas of vintage signs. Merchmotel, by BarKev, is another fellow merch designer on historic places and signs. And finally Heather David, she provided scans of the original Vegas Vickie drawing that I based my pin off of and her website is an amazing resource” elaborates Holly.
A local through and through, she has also been very active on social media in promoting local businesses, which she is lucky enough to be able to patronize regularly within a walking distance from her Downtown home.
“These are some of my favorites: Local Oasis, best place for gift shopping, Neon Cactus Vintage, best place for vintage shopping, Vegas Test Kitchen, my quasi-daily go-to eatery, Loco Las Vegas, the local food delivery coop that will need a lot of support, Ferguson Market/Market In The Alley, with all vendors being genuine small business owners who deserve all the love. And then Lucid Juliet, the coolest new florist in town, Minimal Market to make your home more eco-friendly and Garagiste, the best wine importer in town that got us through quarantine.”
Holly is also actively following the revival of the Huntridge Theater: “I think Dapper has done a great job so far with his other historic properties. It will be great to see the building up and running again. I was secretly hoping for a Trader Joe’s, but I’ll take a brewery (I also think the dormant Crazy Horse Too building would be a great location for a grocery store). My favorite memories of the Huntridge include seeing The Smashing Pumpkins. My mother wanted to come chaperone, but [she] didn’t want to be in the loud concert area, so the owner, who was also our neighbor, let her sit in the sound booth.”
Follow Battle Born Pins on Instagram to stay up-to-date on her latest pin designs.