We Have A New Home and We’re Still Your Neighbor!
It’s easy to call work your home when it resides in such a thriving and friendly community. That’s why it was a no-brainer for Christen Carter to move Busy Beaver to a bigger home just down the street to keep it a neighborhood business. Over a year and a half later, through the hoops of inspections and remodeling, the Busy Beaver family is happy to call 3407 W. Armitage our new home!
It got to a point that Busy Beaver was just growing too fast to stay in such a compact space and a business improvement was needed. Boxes to be shipped often lined the desks in the office during busier times. Tours for the museum were often prefaced by “Please don’t mind us, check out the museum! We’re used to it!”
As Christen recalls in her Crain’s interview, there was a time we had a busload of seniors in town to view the Button Museum and because of space restrictions we ushered the group outside. As the buttons were being passed around and discussed Christen felt the need to disclaim, “Sorry we’ve outgrown this place.”
After a successful loan application through Wintrust Bank, our new building was purchased in early 2015 after looking at about 10 buildings in the surrounding area. The new spot was perfect—or it would be prefect with the addition of a complete restoration of the twice fire-scarred building. Construction began in October of 2015 for Busy Beaver and the apartments upstairs.
It was important for our team to stay a locally owned business— as a lot of our staff lives in the neighborhood works at Busy Beaver. With the relocation down the street and twice the amount of space, we’re finally able to have separate spaces for the office, museum, and production with even enough space to grow and expand our business services.
Busy Beaver staying local also meant that a once abandoned and rejected building in a commercial district could finally be brought back to life. With the support of our Alderman, we were able to rezone and remodel this building to make it applicable for commercial and residential use. This also meant that our old building could be rented by another local, small business to only create more economic improvement into this business district of Logan Square.
The separating of production and office has not only given us all a little room to breathe and less button-clanking noises during phone calls, it has also improved communication inside and outside the beaver dam. Inside our abode our Design and Print Specialist is now in the heart of the production half of the building and can be more hands on in the process of making your buttons.
The divide of administration and manufacturing also simplifies your order pick up process. In the old building because of only having one door for any entry, all pick ups and shipments were handled through one entrance. Now with more space we’re able to hold all the orders for pick up on our office side for Customer Service to quickly and efficiently find your order so you can get your buttons out into the world!
The christening of the new space happened at our 2016 Button-O-Matic Artist Series Release Party. The event happened before the core of the business had moved in, but was the perfect venue to celebrate in at the time. We invited neighbors, local businesses, friends, family, and the random passer-by to be the first to see our brand new spot before the official open a week later. With the additional room at 3407 W. Armitage, we plan on hosting more community focused and local events.
Keeping the neighborhood business in the neighborhood was the simplest solution to solve all of our problems. We need more space to make more buttons, solved. The old building was beginning to feel a little cramped, perfect we now have a individual spaces for the office, museum, and production. And above all, we needed to keep our company local, for our employees, customers, and community.
Feel free to see our new space any time (we’re happy to show it off!) 3407 W. Armitage Chicago, IL 60647!
Every summer the APIC, American Political Items Collectors, hosts the largest convention celebrating the art of gathering paraphernalia. The non-profit organization founded in 1945 originally sparked the interest of history buffs, political junkies, and scutelliphiles (collector of badges, buttons, and patches) but now has a much broader appreciation. During the week’s convention you can attend guided tours, attend exhibitions, and of course buy, sell, or trade your collectables.
Busy Beaver’s own Christer Carter attended and came back with a box full of buttons to add to the Button Museum. Check out a few of our favorites:
1. “No More Pills Doc!”
2. Stop Time
4. Friends of Mary Jo and Ann
5. KYYX 96.5 FM Rock of the 80’s
6. Learn about the Birds and The Bees…But Don’t get Stung!
7. Puerto Rico
8. Get Off Dead Center
9. All power to the Thinking People
Look forward to these gems being added to our online chronicle of the Button Museum!
We’re always keeping our eyes peeled for more buttons to add to our Button Museum. Recently we’ve picked up a plethora of new pinbacks ranging from a McDonald’s “Super Size Me” 3 inch beauty to an additional “Legalize Streaking” button to add to our collection. The jackpot of this haul however came in the form eight 2×3″rectangle movie buttons from our favorite titles in the years of 1999-2001. We’re so excited with this score, we’d like to reminisce with you these cinema treasures.
1. What Woman Want (2001)
This is not a new plot device. This is an old one. The character Nick (Mel Gibson) thinks he is a gift to women; a ladies’ man but he is just a man’s man who does not understand women. After a freak accident, Nick has the ability to read the opposite sexes’ minds. We actually haven’t seen this movie but we’re told Nick abuses this new power and cheats his way to a higher position, learns how to treat people nicely, and then is forgiven at the end of the film for saving a life or two. We think we now know what women want though.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%
Busy Beaver Score: >54%
2. Cast Away (2000)
If you haven’t had your annual Netflix re-watching of Cast Away I highly suggest this film if you have been questioning your hope for humanity and where your FedEx packages usually end up. Tom Hanks delivers a solid performance that is only comparable with his role in You’ve Got Mail. Hanks will make you cringe one moment and cry the next. The ending is realistic, but not too realistic because after all cell phones are everywhere now, probably even a deserted island.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Busy Beaver Score: One Wilson friend out of one Wilson friend
3. Galaxy Quest (1999)
Coming off the success of the beloved sitcom “Home Improvement”, Tim Allen takes the role of a lifetime in this coming to age satire that we feel is not nearly quoted enough. The story follows the lives of five dissatisfied Sci-Fi actors from a since cancelled series who are recruited by an alien race to save their kind. Allen has a couple heartfelt scenes and you’re sure to laugh at the parody of the entire movie. Oh, and the CG holds up pretty well 17 years later.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Busy Beaver Score: 110%
4. Coyote Ugly (2000)
Tyra Banks acting. Need we say more? It’s hard not to smize at this romantic drama surrounding a Jersey girl’s dream of becoming a songwriter. This dream somehow turns into a saloon dance off, but, whatever, Tyra Banks. John Goodman saves the day by being John Goodman.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22%
Busy Beaver Score: All the Coyotes
Not to be confused with 1997’s George of the Jungle, Disney’s Tarzan tugs on your heartstrings with cinematic excellence while serenading you softly with the sounds of Phil Collins. This in fact was your average millennial’s introduction to the Genesis’ drummer and Rosie O’Donnell. A legend of a man raised by gorillas only to be inundated with an identity crisis when more humans enter the jungle. This is indeed the prequel to the future summer block buster being released this year, The Legend of Tarzan.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
Busy Beaver Score: Shooby doop dobby dop dobby doop dobby dah dah doo dap