Ever find someone cool on Instagram and 'go down the rabbit hole'? Meet the fabulous vintage pins maker, Holly
Off The Strip Staff: Hi Holly! Will you be our Insta BFF?
@BattleBornPins (Holly Rae Vaughn): I would be honored!!!🤩
OTS Staff: By day, you are …
Vaughn: By day, I am Holly Vaughn, owner of Battle Born Pins and vintage Vegas enthusiast 🙂
OTS Staff: By night, you are …
Vaughn: Literally, at night I take care of my cactus collection🌵 Haha, and spoil my dog Coco 🐶
OTS Staff: That’s awesome! How did you get into collecting cacti?
Vaughn: [It happened] kind of by accident actually! I went to a cactus nursery in LA a few years ago and picked up some tiny cacti, and a friend who knew more about plants than me saw them and FREAKED out because apparently the ones I got are super rare, so I started learning more about them and collecting more and now I am haunted by the fear that I’ll accidentally kill them 😂
“A lot of my favorite memories in Vegas are about how when you live here, it’s like knowing where all the back doors are at a theme park.”Holly Rae Vaughn, founder and owner of Battle Born Pins
OTS Staff: I love this story! Sounds like a serendipitous moment.
OTS Staff: How would you describe what it’s like growing up in Las Vegas? Is there a certain hometown memory that you love to revisit?
Vaughn: Growing up in Vegas feels really unique, it’s like living in a small town that happens to be world famous😅
Vaughn: A lot of my favorite memories in Vegas are about how when you live here, it’s like knowing where all the back doors are at a theme park. My sister worked at the original Wet ‘n’ Wild on the strip and knew how to sneak in if she was late for a shift and needed to bypass the gate. My mom worked at the Forum Shops and as a kid I would go with her through the employee entrance and see the back of [the] house. There was always someone who had free tickets to events or shows, always someone had the hookup. It was a lot of fun!
OTS Staff: I love the way you compare living in Vegas to being an insider of a famous attraction, “knowing where all the back doors are at a theme park.” It’s spot on! The OG Wet ‘n’ Wild was the best! Vegas is full of surprises.
Vaughn: Yesss, RIP Wet ‘n’ Wild 💔💔
OTS Staff: Speaking of Vegas staples, you’ve created such amazing tributes to iconic Vegas signage and significant cultural landmarks. Is there a certain pin you’ve made that is extra special to you? If so, which pin and why?
Vaughn: Oh wow, that is so hard 😅 It’s a tie between the Lady Luck and the El Cortez carpet. The Lady Luck is so cool because I got to work with the person who designed the real sign, Jack Dubois. He sent me original renderings of the sign. I was able to trace and make the pin design from it. Really incredible.
Vaughn: And the El Cortez carpet was just such a bizarre, but beautiful uproar from the locals when they tore it out😂 That pin has been in high demand ever since, and the El Cortez asked me to design their 80th anniversary pin after that as well. That was a real honor. ♥️
OTS Staff: That’s incredible! Both pins have such incredible backstories, too.
Vaughn: I agree! I’ve been really lucky and seen a lot of support from this city. It’s pretty amazing.
OTS Staff: As a local, small business owner, how has having a presence on Instagram been helpful? How many years has Battle Born Pins been using the platform?
Vaughn: Instagram has been crucial for building my business, I posted my first pin design in early 2016 and it’s been a runaway train ever since! There are people who have been following my pin collection for years and always buy the new designs and it’s all 100% because of this platform.
OTS Staff: It’s great to hear that it has served as such a crucial tool for connecting with your audience.
OTS Staff: What is your top performing post? And why do you think it almost broke the internet?
Vaughn: My top post is actually from a giveaway I did! I think it did so well because I was giving away a total of 80 pins😳 Two banners that had 40 pins on each. So people had two chances to win. It is still the biggest giveaway I’ve ever done!
OTS Staff: Wow! I can only imagine how many people must have entered to win your amazing pins. That was such a cool thing for you to do!
OTS Staff: What is the secret to having a great Instagram?
Vaughn: The thing that has helped me is having a grid planning app, where I can plan ahead for what needs to come next. It keeps everything on brand and I don’t get flustered about what to share, because I know I have a backlog of options to post about.
OTS Staff: That sounds like a great way to stay organized and save time.
OTS Staff: TikTok has become such a popular platform. Would you leave Insta for TikTok?
Vaughn: I’ve actually been working on my TikTok account for a couple of weeks! It’s been a learning curve going from a totally photo-based platform to totally video-based, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. I think Instagram will always be around, it’s still a great directory. I am loving the creative challenge that TikTok is bringing me though and I’m feeling inspired to share stories that I haven’t shared on Instagram before! 🙌🏻
OTS Staff: We can’t wait to see what you’ve been creating on TikTok!
OTS Staff: What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve ever been given?
Vaughn: OK, this sounds kind of intense, but one of my favorite quotes is “destroy what destroys you”. What I mean is that if there is something in your life that you want to do, but you’re not doing it because you’re afraid, you should find a way to destroy that fear. Because that fear is destroying YOU! It makes me feel powerful 🔥
OTS Staff: That is such a powerful quote! Thank you for sharing it with us.
OTS Staff: Tag a bestie or give a shoutout to an account you love!
Vaughn: I have to shoutout @localoasislv, Abbie is doing an amazing thing bringing a lot of local artists and creators into her shop! She’s so cool.
OTS Staff: Thank you so much for chatting with us today!
Vaughn: It was a pleasure. Thank you for having me! 😍