Buttonistas are the creative core of Via Delia. Like Baristas, who steam artful foam designs on lattes, and Fashionistas, who sport enviably-stylish clothing, we are Buttonistas. We take buttons to new heights: out of the mundane, where every button is exactly the same, into the realm of celebrated individuality. Via Delia buttons share a message, but each one has a unique decorative background, which reflects the singular style of the person who has chosen to wear it.
Via Delia buttons complement your fabulously particular style – whether you are flashy or understated. But perhaps more importantly, they are truly effective at jump starting the meaningful conversations you want to have. Many customers have written to tell us about amazing interactions they had, which started with someone leaning in to admire their Via Delia button. We love hearing that.
In addition to making our own line of spectacular campaign buttons for the causes and candidates Delia supports, we also produce custom products using our customers’ logos, text and/or graphics. We take these black elements and combine them with myriad decorative backgrounds, using our proprietary technique. The result is delightful one-of-a-kind buttons, refrigerator magnets, key chains and holiday ornaments. Our custom products can be found in retail gift shops, museums, aquariums, zoos, adventure parks, bookstores, and colleges, to name a few.
About Delia Paine
I have been a self-entertained, artsy-crafty person as far back as I can remember. I attended Metropolitan Learning Center, an alternative public elementary school in Portland, Oregon. In that world of few rules, I had time on my hands and a healthy supply of of crafting materials. Along the way, I crossed paths with about every art medium. You could say I have always “played art.”
Via Delia was established in 1986, originally as a handmade greeting card company, supplying over 40 gift shops in the Puget Sound area. The business name tagged along with me, as every few years I would discover something new to make and sell at craft fairs and local shops.
In 2002, my husband and I moved to Oregon to raise our youngsters. Along the way, I bought a manual press to inexpensively “frame” my tiny watercolor paintings, by turning them into buttons and fridge magnets. I began messing around with the press to see what else I could do, and soon discovered my own technique. I started supplying gift shops with “Bend” fridge magnets (Bend, being our home town), where they became popular with locals and tourists alike.
On a lark, in 2008, I began making presidential election campaign buttons with the same process, where every single item was delightfully different – and fun.
In August 2008, I went to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where I walked the streets for a week selling buttons, “cigar/cigarette girl” style. I was mobbed with customers everywhere I went. Then my phone began ringing with orders… a lot. Soon I was supplying Democratic Party offices in Oregon, California and Washington, as well as multiple gift shops and book stores along the west coast. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, stopped to admire a Via Delia button being worn by an Oregon delegate, who generously gave it to her. That fall, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi was photographed wearing a Via Delia button. Our buttons were getting around!
We worked at a frantic pace for months, and in December 2008, I relocated to Washington DC to sell buttons during Obama’s Inauguration. Our shop was open 12 hours a day, seven days a week. It was a wonderful time, filled with profound interactions between complete strangers, coming together to celebrate and witness an historic and momentous occasion. On our last day, I was invited to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, where the Senior Curator of the Politics in America Division selected Via Delia buttons for their permanent collection. We now have a total of eight campaign buttons in their vault!
As the election season began to wind down, a wave of new requests started coming in for non-political, custom-logo products. That part of the business took off, and we just kept right on going. We are happy to have a full-time employee (an art school grad), who runs the studio and makes our lovely products. And I spend most of my time now creating new designs for shop owners and political candidates. I also take every opportunity to ferret out amazing papers to surprise you with. Life is good.