Building a business with buttons is always a fun and magical venture full of opportunity to express your creativity and connect with others in a way that only buttons can offer. After all, they are the ultimate conversation starter! When that business is being built with the kind of love, passion and purpose we see in Rapid Fire Industries, we have to take time to share their inspirational story!
We recently spoke to Randy Early, the leader of Rapid Fire Industries, and he was happy to take the opportunity to brag a little bit on his incredible group of student entrepreneurs. Here's what he had to say, "Rapid Fire Buttons is one branch of Rapid Fire Industries, a union of school and community based ventures operated by and for James River High School students with intellectual disabilities. Each student-led venture is designed to teach and reinforce life and vocational skills to assist students as they transition from high school towards greater independence in post-school opportunities. Other ventures include Rapid Fire Potatoes - a weekly potato bar where students prepare and serve baked potatoes to teachers, Rapid Fire Coffee - a weekly coffee delivery service, and yearly community based work experiences. All revenue generated from school based ventures directly supports future student projects."
"In our first year fulfilling orders, Rapid Fire Buttons worked with school clubs and athletics, animal rescues and shelters, local businesses, charities, memorials, celebrity pets, and youth sports programs. Our buttons have been used for fundraisers, awards, advertising, and accessorizing. Our magnets are appreciated by teachers for their utility, and by small businesses for their constant visibility. The button making process has proven to be a great job for the students in our classroom. Because it is so methodical, the process lends itself to students being able to master the steps through repetition. Students work on orders independently or with a team, helping to develop various interpersonal skills. By producing buttons from raw materials to finished products, our students take tremendous pride in the orders they fulfill."
Here's a little video he shared for one of their largest projects where they made buttons for the outgoing seniors this last school year. Just look at those beautiful smiles!
What an amazing business and even more, what an extraordinary example Randy is setting for his up and coming enterprisers. They represent everything we love about what we are fortunate enough to be a part of every day as members of Team ABM. To help Rapid Fire in their quest to spread the button-y love, ABM is sending them 500 buttons to kick start the new school year and hopefully they will share the results with us!
You can read all about the best the button industry has to offer in our Facebook Group, The Pinback Button Making Community. Join your fellow buttoneers in sharing ideas, new products, sales, contest and comradery. We hope to see you there soon but until then....happy button making!
By Brighid Brown, Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM
Share this post