LOGAN SQUARE — For vaccinated folks looking to proudly declare their inoculation status, Logan Square’s Busy Beaver Button Co. is selling “I Got Vaccinated” pin-back buttons meant to last longer than the stickers given out at some vaccination sites.
The longtime button manufacturer last week launched a collection of pins emblazoned with messages like “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine” and “Vaccinated Against COVID-19.” A pack of six 1.5-inch buttons costs $15. To buy a pack, go here.
A large portion of sales — about $10 from every pack — is going to My Block, My Hood, My City, a local organization that has helped older people and other Chicagoans in need during the pandemic.
Busy Beaver owner Christen Carter said the buttons felt like a natural fit for her company, which has been making pin-back buttons in the neighborhood for more than 25 years and is home to the world’s only button museum. Busy Beaver operated out of a small facility for years before expanding to its current location at 3407 W. Armitage Ave. in 2016.
“We’re all getting vaccinated at work right now, so part of it was like, ‘We need buttons for us.’ Also, we just haven’t been seeing a lot of vaccination buttons,” Carter said. “It’s such a perfect use of a button. People can wear them in public, inspire others to get vaccinated.”
So far, Busy Beaver has sold about 75 of the “I Got Vaccinated” packs, which is more than any other button pack the creators have launched on their own, Carter said. The button manufacturer typically makes custom buttons for clients across the country.
Carter said her small team is able to make more vaccination buttons if demand grows. She said they’re interested in partnering with hospitals and other organizations on custom vaccination buttons, which clients can personalize.
Unlike stickers and Band-Aids, which are being given out at some vaccination sites, “buttons have a longer life,” Carter said.
“I think people are going to want to wear these buttons for the next couple of months,” she said. “There is a history of buttons that say ‘I’ve Been Vaccinated’ for polio and [other diseases]. I love that there’s a history of people using buttons in this way.”
The “I Got Vaccinated” buttons represent a “joyous moment” in what has been a long and difficult year, Carter said.
Busy Beaver has struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic like countless other small businesses in Chicago and across the country. Carter said they’ve been able to retain their staff of about 14 and keep operations going thanks to small business loans, including the Paycheck Protection Program.
Carter said they’ve also pivoted to making stickers, which they used to outsource to other manufacturers.
Neighbors who want to make sure Busy Beaver sticks around should spread the word about the company on social media and buy buttons, stickers and other customizable products, Carter said.
“We’re going to survive it as long as we can end this thing in the next year,” she said.
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