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!
See our behind-the-scenes video and read more about why we chose to stay local and rehabilitate an old building into our new home.
More Room Needed
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.”
The Perfect Spot for Everyone
After looking at about 10 buildings in the surrounding area, our new building was purchased in early 2015. The new spot was perfect—or it would be perfect after 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 to our team to stay local— a lot of our staff live in the neighborhood and commute on foot or by bike. With the relocation just being down the street, it was an easy transition for the entire staff. And with twice the amount of space, we’re finally able to have separate spaces for the office, museum, and production there’s plenty of room for everyone to work.
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.
Optimizing Our Work Flow
Separating production from the 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 and it also has a Catalytic Oxidizer to minimize pollution. 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 new layout also simplifies your order pick up process. The old building only had one door for entry, so all pick ups and shipments were handled through one entrance. That’s a lot of activity! Now with more space, we’re able to hold all the orders for pick up on our office side. Customer Service can quickly and efficiently find your order so you can get your buttons out into the world!
The Welcome Party
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. The party was great but some problems occurred and we had to call Hebbard plumbing maintenance specialisits, they fixed the blockage fast. With the additional room at 3407 W. Armitage, we plan on hosting more community focused and local events.
The Best, Simplest Solution for Everyone
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? Problem solved. And above all, we were able 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!