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right on the button

My very first interview! I edited a few things. For example, that is not the photo that was used in the article. I couldn’t get the actual photo. The rest of the story/interview is as it appeared in the newspapers on Thursday, May 15, 2008 by Suzanne Bourret of the Hamilton Spectator.

His name is Olusola Adade. His business is buttons. Not just any old buttons, his have a noble mission. They bear the national flags of different countries to promote multiculturalism. And they are an avenue to show support for war-torn countries.

Olusola, 20, is a McMaster University student who hopes to go back to his native Nigeria to serve as a doctor. Since he launched his button business in late January, he’s become known as Mr. Buttons.”It gives people from different countries the opportunity to be ambassadors, proudly representing and celebrating their countries on a daily basis wherever they are,” says Olusola, who came to Canada two years ago.

A year before, a close friend talked about a Nigerian button for their country’s independence day. Olusola suggested they make them for every country, but the means to make them was not possible in Nigeria, he says. This past year he remembered their idea, did research and contacted his Nigerian friend. But he had lost interest. So Olusola decided to do it himself. He started by making a group of buttons on Facebook, but the flag idea didn’t really fly with the younger set. Many who responded asked for personalized buttons.

Shortly after, the All-Me Buttons were born. They are custom-made, created to individual taste and specifications. Now he sells both kinds. And at a toonie for the national flags and $2.50 for the All-Me, the one-inch buttons are definitely affordable. He keeps the price low to give everyone the opportunity to be patriotic in a simple way.

In just a few short weeks, loads of people ordered them, says Olusola. It became difficult to balance the buttons’ production with his health studies and psychology course, and with “old school” equipment, he says. So he traded it off on eBay to find someone who could make them at a discount until he can save up to buy better software and up-to-date equipment. Alice from the U.K. surfaced and they have been a team since March.

Now he sells both personalized and national flag buttons at events, such as last week’s Tiara Festival. He’s also seeking interest from different ethnic groups.”My initial idea was to provide the buttons to all the different embassies all over the world so they can give them out to their nationals, especially on occasions such as independence and flag days. I will definitely get there soon by God’s grace.

He finds it amusing that a lot of people wanted to invest. “That is funny especially since I can’t give dividends and I’m not ready for a hostile takeover just yet!” For more information, go to pearlcreations.org or e-mail Olusola at mr.buttons@live.ca.

Link to the Original

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