Friday, May 30, 2008

I am Loved

Something remarkable happens when you say to yourself, "I Am Loved." And the feeling is infinitely more extraordinary when the sentiment comes from someone else. It’s no surprise that Barnett Helzberg Jr.’s idea for a button, printed with these three words, has been so genuinely meaningful to so many people. I AM LOVED® was an overnight phenomenon that is still popular more than 40 years later. What is surprising is that when Barnett first scribbled down his idea, it was a sentiment so personal and heartfelt that he almost didn’t show it to anyone… it was only by chance that the little button became the icon that it is today.

I AM LOVED® was conceived in 1967 by Barnett Helzberg Jr., the thirty-something, third generation president of Kansas City-based Helzberg Diamonds. A young lady named Shirley Bush had just accepted Barnett’s marriage proposal. To know she said yes…to know he was loved…Barnett was ecstatic! He wanted to tell the world!

In his euphoria, he came up with an advertising concept capitalizing on the wonderful feeling of knowing someone loves you. He drew a lapel button with the words “I Am Loved” and wrote some ad copy that encouraged other guys to either buy their girls a diamond—or give them a button—but be sure to do something to “tell her she’s loved.”

After noodle-ing the idea, Barnett decided it was embarrassing, wadded up the sketch and threw it away. But the next morning he impulsively fished the drawing out of the wastebasket to show to the company’s advertising artist. The artist liked the concept and came up with the button design almost immediately!

Read more about it here.

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