Field Trip: Tender Buttons, NYC

We almost went right by it, my sisters and I, as we walked along 62nd Street in Manhattan on a humid morning in July. Luckily, the golden button hanging above the storefront caught our attention and we found ourselves on the doorstep of Tender Buttons, a shop that's been beloved by button collectors and needle artists of all sorts for more than five decades. 
I first learned about Tender Buttons in the 1980s when I was working as an assistant copy editor at McCall's Needlework & Crafts magazine. Before each issue's photo shoot, the fashion editor would make the short trip from our office on 53rd Street to Tender Buttons to select the perfect buttons for the knit and crochet sweaters that would be featured. Back in the copy editing office, we made sure Tender Buttons, along with the yarn companies, was credited in the captions. After the issue was published, I was responsible for sending tear sheets to each credited vendor. Although I found the buttons that came out of…

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