There was a time, not so long ago, when people waved, smiled and often greeted each other as they passed but in our hurried society, that practice has sadly become a casualty of the times. Now with the addition of most people wearing masks, you can't even see the quick flash of a smile anymore. ABM has been fortunate enough to make a new friend in New York named Claire that is working hard to change things in of all places the NYC subway, one button, one conversation and one smile at a time. We asked Claire to share her inspirational story with us and now we are sharing it with you.
"Have you ridden the NYC subway? If yes, then you likely observed how few conversations take place underground. It’s considered taboo to engage in conversation and the result is generally an eerily packed car riding in silence. But subway etiquette is slowly changing, thanks to the Subway Social Club, which encourages riders to engage in conversation on public transit."
"My name is Claire Feuer. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and have been riding the subway independently for 17-years. Between October 2019 and February 2020, I began a social experiment, challenging subway etiquette, and struck up conversations with over 60 strangers. What I learned is that there are New Yorkers who would love to chat… even on the subway! So, in February 2020 I started the Subway Social Club, so that more people could make meaningful connections."
"Participants wear a pin to signal to other riders that they’re open to chatting and remove the pin when they need time for themselves. The diversity of its riders makes the subway an ideal place to meet someone, because you’re guaranteed to learn something new."
"American Button Machines (ABM) has played such an essential role in helping us grow our club. I love the company for four reasons. The first reason is that the machines and the materials are high quality. The pins are so easy, and fun, to make! They are also durable. I’m constantly putting on and removing my pin. The second reason is that the materials are made in the US. Now, more than ever, it’s important to support local businesses. The third reason is that ABM has the best customer service. It’s a pleasure to be in touch with people who take the time to actively listen and strive to make you feel part of the ABM family (thank you Saskia). And the fourth reason, is Keith and Brighid’s inspiring story about pursuing their passion and helping others to do the same (check out the Our Story page)."
"Thank you, American Button Machines! Together we are changing the world, one button, and one subway conversation, at a time."
Claire is an amazing person and her story proves that if she can start conversations on the subway in NYC, you can start them in your surroundings, too. She even sent us our very own Subway Social Club buttons to make us honorary members! Team ABM is so proud to support Claire in her adventure and honored to be a part of the club. Why not start a club in your city? Who knows, you could make a difference in someone's life and maybe even some great new friends! Until next time, happy button making!
by Brighid Brown, Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM
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