Thanks to Mr. Alax Payan, I recently discovered another new, really awesome vegan-run business in Seattle: ButtonMakers.net.
Not shirt buttons, or keyboard buttons, but those tiny, poky pins that we all use to say a little something to the rest of the world. You know, those buttons that have been used since the late 1800s to make a political statement, and since the late 1970s to let everyone know who your favorite band is. Yeah those.
Turns out that the good folks over at ButtonMakers.net don’t actually make buttons, but they do sell button makers so you can make your own! Which, is way more fun, way more affordable, and way more flexible. (I really like it when those things go hand-in-hand).
Now if you are going into the button-making business, run a non-profit, or are involved in activism or campaigns, then the investment in a button maker (starting around $215) and a paper cutter (around $155), is a very smart investment. The parts to make the buttons only cost about $.06 or .07 per button (depending on size and how many you are making). This means you only have to make 500 or so to get your money back, after that, buttons will only cost you 1/5 what they would cost to have them made. Plus button making is good team building for your volunteers. Word.
Rex Ray and Rebecca Bolte, the two love birds behind this amazing company are not just your average entrepreneurs. They are vegan, active, and generous. They support the vegan community and the artist community via official sponsorships, such as Let Live 2010 Animal Rights Conference in Portland and the 2010 Georgetown Super 8 Film Festival. And they also support the community unofficially by sharing their knowledge via their blog, and being willing to barter or lend button makers for a good cause.*
Oh, and did I mention that they are funny and nice too. Here is proof: we rented* a 7/8″ button maker for the weekend hoping to make Lion’s Share buttons for the launch party. After about 30 buttons we managed to accidentally put in 4 layers of mylar instead of 1, jamming the machine in such a way that it wouldn’t budge an inch. Not a millimeter. Stuck. Jammed. Dumb.
Even tho’ ButtonMakers.net would normally be closed on the weekend, I tried the number just in case and Rebecca answered (phew). She asked a few questions, made me feel better about having broken their fantastic machine, and then CAME TO OUR HOUSE to fix it. That is right. She came over and unjammed the machine. We hardly lost an hour. Totally amazing. AMAZING!
Now, you are probably trying to think of all the fun buttons you could make. But you are not alone. They keep a great blog with craft ideas, how-to-videos, tons of tips, and PhotoShop templates. Seriously. I watched the videos and they were so helpful. And you don’t have to stop at buttons. You can make beer openers, and magnets, and key chains, and all sorts of stuff.
So, if being vegan, generous, successful, nice, supportive, and funny aren’t enough to make you love Rex and Rebecca, let me add one more thing: Rebecca is a mega talented professional photographer. That is right. You can hire a vegan photographer for your events, family portraits, weddings, etc. Some of her snaps are up at Wayward right now. I’ll do a full post on her talents down the road, I just didn’t want to leave this out.
*They let us trade vegan t-shirts to rent a button maker for Lion’s Share Industries.