Get to Know Our Insta BFF Battle Born Pins Creator Holly Rae Vaughn

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.

Courtesy of Holly Vaughn

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!

Courtesy of Holly Vaughn

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!

Courtesy of Holly Vaughn

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! 😍

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