From books to buttons: K-State senior opens business showcasing Wildcat pride

The 2econd Row is a small business owned by K-State student Kailey Shields. They sell items such as keychains, pins, and koozies and are available on their online website and Instagram. (Alexis Forgy | Collegian Media Group)

Purple and white game-day buttons have become a football staple at Kansas State. These fashionable accessories are popular beyond just the student section, as fans, students and alumni alike include them in their game day outfits to enhance their look and showcase their Wildcat pride.

Kailey Shields, senior in mass communications, started designing and selling her own K-State themed buttons and accessories after noticing the trend.

“Last year my roommates and I could not find any buttons to wear on gameday, so we decided to create and sell our own for students,” Shields said.

Her small business, The 2econd Row, sells handmade buttons, keychains, stickers and more to students and fans looking to showcase their love for K-State. 

“We started mainly from word of mouth to our friends and on social media, along with reposting our own products from the Instagram account we set up, and it went uphill from there,” Shields said. “It really took off this fall with the football season in full swing.” 

The 2econd Row has been getting more business than ever, especially as fans are looking to buy K-State buttons to wear into the stadium.

“We started out at local farmers markets in the Manhattan area, and from there we were found by a local boutique called ‘The Bargain Boutique’ located on Poyntz Avenue, that we can sell from as well,” Shields said.

Shields tries to give the student body a little bit of everything when it comes to designs, offering a range of colors, greek letters, customization options and other inspirations from online.

“We utilize Canva for designs, and we use our Cricket as well for different patterns and aesthetics, but I find it a lot of fun trying out custom orders as well,” Shields said.

Students are constantly checking social media for the latest updates and accounts to pull inspiration from for game day fits, so The 2econd Row uses social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Shopify to reach that audience.

Shields runs the business on top of attending K-State full-time, so she has to maintain a consistent schedule to stay organized. Between maintaining these platforms, restocking inventory and juggling classwork, Shields tries to prioritize some downtime for herself as well. 

“Most days I go to class, come home and start working right away on orders,” Shields said. “I also try to go to the boutique a few times a week to restock our inventory there and put out some new designs, as well as working a part-time job. It is a lot to manage, but as of right now it works well for me, because I stay happier when I am busy.” 

As a senior, Shields is unsure what she will do with her business after graduation. Even so, she has found a lot of joy in creating accessories for people to wear on game days.

To see more about The 2econd Row, go to @the2econdrow on Instagram and Facebook, or visit their website at