“I owned a button press for years and would use it to make pins for bands. People often asked if I could make them buttons, but I figured it would be a lot easier if I just designed a dedicated work-space with instructions so anyone could make their own. I used restaurant steam pans, the same that you find in salad bars, as drop-in containers for the button components. They are easily removable and allow access to the inside of the cabinet for storing supplies and the tapered legs that unscrew for safe travel. I also added a small metal plate and slot for donations. I would set the Button Bar up at Brainfreeze on the weekends and people came by to make buttons. I provided a template online for anyone who wanted to print their designs ahead of time and also had art supplies available for those who preferred improvising.”
“When word spread about the Button Bar I started getting calls from businesses and brands interested in renting it for special events. After working a couple of these events it became apparent that I could improve on the original design. I needed a Button Bar that was that was taller, with a larger work-space and even easier to transport. I designed the second Button Bar in a 3D modeling program and was able to export cut-sheets for CNC directly from Rhinoceros. I updated the directions from the original and worked with Grand Palace, a silkscreen shop in Nashville, to have them applied perfectly. I finished the construction off with aluminum extrusion, the same kind used on instrument road cases, for increased durability. The steel folding legs were special ordered from a manufacturer in St. Louis. When attached to the false bottom they fold-in flush so the case can lay flat during transportation. The lid hinged up to display the Button Bar logo and a magazine rack was added for extra storage. The second Button Bar was finished in July 2016.”
“The Button Bar soon turned into a whole other business. I hit a point where I had to file a patent and hire an employee to help run events. The Button Bar has been hired by a variety of clients for parties, anniversaries and openings. We also do brand activations and consumer engagements for corporations all over the Southeast. Some of our largest clients include Red Bull, Jaegermeister, Tennessee Titans & RJ Reynolds. We have also produced 4 custom made button bars for Devil's Backbone Brewery in Virginia. Although I originally intended it be a fun fixture in my shop, and it’s become something a lot more complicated and time consuming, I still enjoy it. I’m proud of it. And I doubt I’ll ever get tired of watching people make buttons for the first time."