“We're able to solve each customer’s pain points based on what is most important to them.”

Jesse HaftButtonology

Buttonology is proud to be a third-generation button business.

Richard Levy and Teddy Haft have been friends since they were teenagers. Both of their fathers sold buttons in the Garment District and as they eventually took over their respective family businesses, they kept in close touch. Teddy’s company was focused on bulk and high-volume button retail, while Richard’s family business specialized in high-end European buttons which sold in smaller quantities. As the garment industry evolved and more projects went overseas, they decided to save on costs by sharing an office space. Their lasting friendship would later evolve into a joint company they named Buttonology, which today has a partner network of over two hundred button producers all over the world.

pile of buttons
tools to measure buttons

“I never thought I would be part of this.” – Jesse Haft

Although Jesse Haft grew up in the business, he never imagined he would one day join his father’s company. He did give it a try, making deliveries and bagging orders for a short while, but moved out to Colorado after college to launch a career in the outdoor sports industry. As for Jonah, Richard’s son, he also explored a career outside of the family business, getting into commercial real estate after finishing college.

While visiting his family in 2020, Jesse’s trip was significantly extended due to the Covid-19 lockdown. It was during this time home that his father urged him to give Buttonology another chance. What started as a temporary “gig” quickly evolved into a newfound passion for the intricacies of button customization, problem solving, and customer support. Jonah found himself working alongside Jesse, turning a lifelong relationship into a strong business partnership. As they both say: they used to to play in the yard together, and are now business partners, whose have very different perspectives complement one another. With a smile, they refer to themselves as “buttonologists”, citing a lifetime of education and training to become experts in all things button related.

“We don’t just sell products. We build relationships that our clients know they can rely on.”

As Richard and Teddy begin to consider retirement, the next generation is gearing up for a seamless transition, envisioning a future where technology plays a pivotal role in propelling the business forward. The future holds uncertainties — will production continue to move overseas? Will new avenues emerge? What remains constant is Buttonology’s steadfast commitment to flexibility and customer service. As Jesse explains, “We’re a small team, and are very agile as a result. If we need to pivot, we can easily do it. The future is hard to know, and this industry is changing all the time. We need to change with it to make sure that the next generation remains successful.”

In addition to technological improvements, the company is laser-focused on its clients. Customers know that their buttonologists are there for them. More than vendors, they are true partners, offering support, guidance, and profound dedication: “Our clients know that they can reach out at any time. The close relationships we have established with them are so rewarding because we can problem-solve and find custom solutions for them.”

Thanks to its unwavering passion for the industry, its commitment to its clients, and its readiness to embrace change, Buttonology continues to thrive in the ever-evolving ecosystem of garment manufacturing.

custom covered buttons

Q&A with Jesse Haft


What work have you most enjoyed?

Problem solving and building relationships with our clients.

Best compliment received from a client?

People like being in our office because of how we interact and our family dynamic. People have a good time and we make it more than just a buying experience. Our clients are everything and it means a lot that they enjoy the experience of working with us.

What’s your advice to someone starting out in this business?

It’s an ever-changing industry. You have to work hard to keep up and evolve in order to stay successful, so be as dynamic as possible.