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Gold Standard: San Antonio-Based Negamidas Pins Its Hopes on Customers Connecting to Classic and Obscure Movie References

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COURTESY OF NEGAMIDAS
  • Courtesy of Negamidas

Film has always been a big part of life for San Antonio native and business owner Gilly Mullenfeld.

“I grew up with a mom who was really into movies,” she said. “I would stay up late with her watching classic monster movies and The Twilight Zone.”

When Gilly met her future husband John on MySpace during high school and found out they both shared a deep love for cinema, there was no turning back. They even named their first-born son Quentin after Pulp Fiction director Quentin Tarantino.

Gilly and John turned their fondness for film into a business. After living together in Southern California for a few years, they had become avid pin collectors and spent time trading them with others at Disneyland. When they saw people designing their own movie-themed pins, they decided to start their own company.

“[John] is an artist, so we thought, ‘We can probably do that too,’” Gilly said.

In 2015, the two created Negamidas, cult classic and pop culture retailer selling custom, high-quality enamel pins. Its moniker is a nickname John uses for Gilly. Because she’s clumsy, John refers to her as the antithesis of King Midas, the king in Greek mythology who turned things into gold with a single touch.

The first pin the couple created was the main character from the 1985 comedy Teen Wolf wearing a pair of 3D glasses. In the four years since then, their catalog has expanded to approximately 50 designs. Those include Bill Murray’s character Peter Venkman from the original Ghostbusters, Leatherface from the 1974 horror movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the DeLorean from sci-fi franchise Back to the Future.

Along with film references most people know, Gilly and John also like to create pins that are a bit more obscure. For example, they designed a pin of the character Walter Seznick and his poodle Queenie from the 1989 Tom Hanks comedy-thriller The Burbs. Then, there’s the one of actress Thora Birch’s character Enid from the 2001 comedy Ghost World.

“We make stuff that we like,” Gilly said. “When Stranger Things came out, everyone was making Stranger Things stuff. It was a good way to make a quick buck, but we never make something just because we know it’ll sell.”

Sporting an obscure pin in public, Gilly said, is an easy way to tell who “your people” are.

“If I’m out and I’m wearing an Enid pin, someone might go, ‘Oh, I know that!’” Gilly said. “I’m like, ‘Cool! They know the niche thing that I’m into!’”

Plus, pins just make people happy.

“There’s so much negativity in the world right now,” Gilly said. “So, it’s been great to find this nice, encouraging pocket of people. It’s like, ‘Wow, this E.T. pin I made five years ago got me a really cool friend.’”

The couple’s merchandise is available at negamidas.com.

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