Made in the Midwest: Project Turns Into Button Success

Posted at: 11/06/2012 7:47 AM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Political candidates have been preparing for months for  election day, but so has one Rochester company.

One that makes a piece of campaign material that's been used for years to spread a specific message. Buttons.

It sounds like thousands of screeches. But its actually the sound of thousands of buttons being made.

"Whether it's for a birthday party, special event," said Linda Christopherson, owner and founder of Affordablebuttons.com

There's a good chance they're made in Rochester.

"Its just amazing the joy buttons bring to people," said Christopherson.

If you're sitting in Marsha Loving's seat you've got to be quick.

"I can do 1,000 an hour," said Loving.

A job she loves, no pun intended, because like many people in recent years, finding a job hasn't been easy.

"When I was living in Indiana I was having a hard time finding a job and I moved here and I started working here and I'm going to stick with it," said Loving.

There are 40 employees at the company and everyday more than 50,000 buttons are shipped out everyday.

The first button was made by Christopherson and her kids 18 years ago as part of a a home-school project.

Now she and her team have created a multi-million dollar company.

"Little did we ever imagine that it would turn into this large of a company nationally," said Christopherson.

Each one is made in Rochester. From the design concept to the packaged product.

"We have a saying that buttons walk, talk and sell and they really really do," said Christopherson.

So much so, the company sold more than 12 million buttons last year. But this year involves an election, so the work is intense.

"I think everyone that works here one of the things we thrive on is a little chaos," said Christopherson.

Chaos to make something so small, but something that holds a powerful statement.

"They work," said Christopherson.

A statement for proud wearers and those who have a hand in the process, like Marsha Loving.

"I love this place," said Christopherson.

When we visited the plant in early October, workers were already busy making holiday buttons.

Right now the company is looking at expanding its product line.