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Pins make a comeback as MKE Buttons combines pop-culture and custom designs

Cassandra's Hidden Gems
Posted at 6:32 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 19:45:34-04

MILWAUKEE — In my never-ending quest to find hidden gems, I came across MKE Buttons LLC.

The history of pinback buttons is long, reaching back to 1789 when George Washington’s supporters wore buttons imprinted with a slogan. They were sewn on or supported by a string. But thanks to Stephan Dean, buttons are making a comeback.

Dean started making buttons in high school. He would come up with comical sayings and put them on a button. His hobby has grown into the business MKE Buttons. He presses his buttons and sells them at fairs and festivals. Dean even has a set-up that allows him to make buttons on the spot, taking photos from your phone and making personalized buttons within three minutes.

milwaukee tonight buttons
Stephen Dean made "Milwaukee Tonight" buttons for TMJ4's Cassandra McShepard.

Dean's weird sense of humor is the driving force behind his button business as he puts his spin on pop-culture and presses it into buttons and magnets.

Learn more about MKE Buttons by clicking HERE.

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