Buying Buttons in New York City and Learning of Rumi

This is the story of my seeking special buttons for grandbaby knitting projects, (completed and on the needles) while visiting NYC over Spring break.

My sister guided me to the button store I’d found online.

Oh no, bad news.

We got to the address and there was paper covering the windows and the security grill was down-


I can’t tell you how disappointed I felt.

Fortunately,  a man on the sidewalk  saw us staring at the storefront in disbelief and he pointed to the place next door.

Lou Lou Buttons had moved just one number over, due to a malfunction of errant sprinklers and being flooded out. Lou Lou Buttons store Phew!

Turned out it was the store owner, Ross, who invited us into the button store. And I found so many interesting buttons. They are from all over the world, Japan, France…you name it!

He said every Broadway show and  opera production has come to his store to buy buttons for costumes.

I believe it! Some people replace every button on garments they purchase, to improve and upgrade the look.

Here are the buttons I bought

and here is the owner Ross, photographed by my sister Mary. I was in the photo but the image looks better with myself cropped out! IMG_8442     Lou Lou ButtonsI took this one with more buttons in the background to give you the idea of the inventory.

When I asked about the origin of the store name Lou Lou Buttons, turns out Lou Lou is like the Boogeyman, so when a child is called in from playing outside the mother might say, “Come in now, or Lou Lou’s going to get you.”

We heard Ross tell The story of the merchant to whom the parrot gave a message for the parrots of India on the occasion of his going (thither) to trade. by the Persian poet Rumi.  It’s here if you don’t know it. Be sure to scroll down for the translation in English.

It was a day when the universe rhymed- the button store still there (just one door to the lef) cute buttons for the baby sweaters and my sister and I were enthralled as we listened to the wonderful story by Rumi. 

It’s said he’s “the best selling poet in the United States.”

Buying buttons and hearing Ross tell Rumi’s story of the parrot was a New York City experience.

We left his store with a lot more than just buttons.

12 thoughts on “Buying Buttons in New York City and Learning of Rumi

  1. What a lovely way to start my day- your story and the photos- My neighbor who loves sewing would have to be preyed from this store.

  2. Loved seeing this button store…glad it was still there. Isn’t there still one in Pittsburgh also? Used to buy rhinestone buttons years ago! Parker Button??? I know everything is better in NYC! Hugs

  3. A day of logistical and emotional success! Those buttons are adorable, the selection is staggering, and Rumi is SO wise (and beautiful).

    I had no idea about “Lou Lou” as the name of a boogeyman. We just always called him, “The Boogeyman” – never thinking what his first name might be. 🙂

  4. Have a collection of my grandmothers beads. Starting collecting as a child. The jars are color coded and my grandkids love to string them like necklaces. Happy Ruth & sister enjoyed the day at Lou Lou.

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