About 4 years ago, I lost a friend and at the time another friend made a button for all of us to wear and remember him by. I love this button and I wear it constantly to keep that person close to my heart (yes I wear it on the left). So, when I recently lost my good friend Jason Lockwood, I decided that it was my turn to make a button for all of those that loved him as a way to immortalize what he meant to me and the others that love him. I asked a great designer, Allison Graw of Monster Free Design, to work up a design. She quickly donated her skills and came up with a design based off the Unity Crew symbol that Jason used to use for his record label. I have been wearing this new button on my left, close to my heart, since the day I got it.
When I ordered the buttons, I was shocked at how fast they were finished. I had asked around for a good button guy and thanks to Facebook, a friend referred me to midwestbuttons.com, a local button maker that he worked with in the past. I connected with Rob, the owner, and sent my design over to him. A few weeks later I met him and received my buttons (met with him as a way to avoid paying shipping, thanks for that Rob!).
Two things really impressed me about Midwest Buttons and Rob. The first is that the buttons were well made and each one was perfect , no imperfections, nothing off center, etc. Second, the owner is a really cool guy who grew up in Michigan, going to the same shows that I did. Basically, he is one of us. I asked Rob to answer a few questions for me so that I could tell all my friends who are looking to make buttons that this is the guy to go to. Rob was nice enough to share a little about himself and his business.
Hip In Detroit - How long have you been making buttons?
Rob - I've been making buttons for about a decade.
Hip In Detroit - What is your favorite button that you have pressed?
Rob -That would have to be the Star Wars set that Hydro74 ordered.
Hip In Detroit - Yesterday you called yourself a perfectionist, how do you think this helps you when taking someone’s design and making in into a button?
Rob -If an image is sent over that just doesn't fit right. Or just has too much going on that you can't make out what it is. I'll ask the customer to reconsider a design change. I feel that what I press is a representation of me and I want it to be good.
Hip In Detroit - Some companies charge for the use of many colors or other features. When someone orders a button, do you charge a flat rate or do you have different prices based on the design?
Rob - Prices are based off of quantity. Whether you want full color or black and white the prices are the same.
Hip In Detroit - What is the average amount of time it takes from when a person orders to when they get their buttons?
Rob - Turn around is usually 1-2 days.
Hip In Detroit - What do you like more, the one inch button or the 1 and a quarter inch button? Why? What are the benefits to going bigger?
Rob - I prefer the 1 1/4 inch pins. It has one less step in the manufacturing process then the 1". But it also makes the text/logo easier to see. Just that little 1/4 inch makes a world of difference.
Hip In Detroit - Do you ever cut your hands up putting all those pins on the buttons?
Rob - Ha. I do get stuck every once in a while.
Hip In Detroit - You are located in Michigan, but you can do business with anyone anywhere in the world correct?
Rob - I'll do business with anyone anywhere in the world. In the last week I've shipped pins to Ireland, France and Guam.
Hip In Detroit - Since you grew up in Michigan and have been going to shows for a long time, I have to ask what is your favorite local band?
Rob - Bang Bang or The Amino Acids.
Hip In Detroit - How can someone find you online if they want to make an order?
Rob - www.midwestbuttons.com
I cannot thank Rob enough for helping me make these buttons for our friend Jason Lockwood and I hope you will consider ordering all your buttons from him from now on so we can show him how Detroit shows love to someone that helps out one of its own. I call tell you the order for the Hip In Detroit buttons is already in the works! Rob is a great guy, running a good business and making a great product. Remember always buy local!