Spreading Smiles at the Ronald McDonald House

The crew at Affordable Buttons volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House near the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, before Christmas.We cooked lasagna and French bread for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House, and we even brought some of our button machines so the children could design and create their own buttons!

The Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, Minnesota, provides a safe, comfortable place for the families of pediatric patients to stay while their child receives treatment at the Mayo Clinic. The Affordable Buttons team had a great time volunteering, and the children had plenty of smiles to go around!

Congratulations to our 2011 iPad 2 winner!

In December, Affordable Buttons held a drawing to give away a free iPad 2 to anyone who filled out the entry form on our website. The lucky winner was Ray W. from California, who placed an order for 300 buttons and ended up taking home an iPad as well! According to Ray: “Affordable Buttons understands business better than most. I talked with people who obviously know the business, learned exactly what I would need, and received my order on time as promised. Affordable Buttons can count on me as a vocal advocate for its products and services!”

Congratulations, Ray!

Random Acts of Smiles in NYC

Last month, Affordable Buttons was in New York City celebrating our founder Linda Christopherson’s nomination for the prestigious Women in Business Stevie Award. We were honored to be a finalist!

Tom and Linda Christopherson, founders of Affordable Buttons

We brought our trusty pal and company logo (“Smiley”) with us as we toured New York City—visiting Times Square, Central Park, the World Trade Center, Broadway, and more. Our buttons certainly attracted attention! Complete strangers approached us wondering about our Smiley buttons. What does Smiley stand for? Why were we wearing them?

We explained that Smiley is more than our company logo. It is a symbol of the good our company does for our customers, our employees, our community, and the world. Before long, people were asking if they could wear a Smiley button, too!

Smiley at the Empire State Building

By the end of our trip, we had distributed over 300 Smiley buttons to NYC natives and travelers alike. Smiley buttons went out to wait staff, police officers, a group celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday, a family visiting from South Carolina, a group traveling from overseas, and much more! Perhaps we met you?

Smiley at Rockefeller Plaza
Sharing Smiley with NYC residents at Rockefeller Plaza

No matter the person’s background, language, or age, Smiley was always received with a genuine and warm smile back. It’s remarkable how easily a smile can lead to further random acts of kindness and helping others. It could lead to volunteering where you’re needed most—or just how your gift of a smile could be exactly what is needed for a precise moment in time.

Sharing Smiley with Fellow Travelers

Smiley may started his journey in NYC and he’s off to travel the world! You never know where he’ll show up next, it could be in a location near you. If you get the chance to meet Smiley, please pass him on to others and if you’d like to share it with us through tagging us on Facebook with stories and pictures, we’d LOVE it!

Using buttons to spread smiles!

Taking our Production Line Efficiency to the Kitchen: Free Lunch Wednesday!

Epic bowls of chili. Elbow-deep buckets of potato salad. When you have a crew of hungry button makers to feed, get ready to serve seconds. Every week, Affordable Buttons sponsors a free lunch program for our employees. Whipping up 55 servings of our CEO Linda’s famous beef stroganoff? That’s nothing compared to the 50,000+ buttons we make and ship every day. Join us each Wednesday as we take our production line efficiency to the kitchen.

What’s going on in the kitchen?

Every Wednesday, our CEO, Linda Christopherson, can be found in the Affordable Buttons’ kitchen, flipping through a cookbook for the recipe of the day. And then tripling it.  Linda implemented a free lunch program for Affordable Buttons employees last year.

“I saw some of our employees shelling out eight or nine bucks every single day, just to buy lunch,” she explains. “We have a lot of young people working in our button factory, and I really wanted them to see how cheap and easy it can be to make a healthy, home-cooked meal.”

The Free Lunch program is about more than saving money. “Once we started doing it, it really started to build community,” Linda says. “Everyone eats together, and we do the dishes as a team. We all look forward to Wednesdays.”

“My favorite recipe was the almond-crusted chicken,” says Danielle, a graphic designer.

Cody, a button maker, disagrees. “The Pasta Alfredo is my new favorite,” he says, dishing himself another helping.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo


2.5 packages linguine noodles

5 cups fresh broccoli

10 tbsp butter

5 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

5 cans cream of mushroom soup

2.5 cups of milk

2.5 cups grated Parmesan cheese

1 2.5 tsp of pepper


1. Cook linguine according to package directions.

2. Add broccoli for the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain.

3. Heat butter in a skillet. Cook chicken until brown.

4. Add soup, milk, cheese, pepper, and linguine. Mix and heat well.