A Starbucks Barista Designs the Holiday Gift for all U.S. Partners

“I went right in with a marker on the cup and came up with the design in 20 minutes. It just came out perfect the first time,” said Lauren Button, a shift supervisor at a Northeastern Pennsylvania Starbucks store.

As one of 1,800 partners (employees) who submitted a design for the Starbucks Partner Cup Contest earlier this year, Button was thrilled to learn she was selected as a contest finalist.

“My store manager posted a big sign in my store congratulating me,” said Button. “Partners and customers all wished me good luck.”

This month, Button’s cup design takes on a special purpose. Partners in 7,000 company-owned Starbucks stores in the U.S. are receiving a reusable cup featuring Button’s artwork. Partners can customize the cup by adding their name to personalize the design.

Using only black and green markers, Button created a Starbucks green apron, utilizing the existing Starbucks logo found on the company’s iconic white cup.

“I wanted to convey the feeling I have when I start people’s day with their first cup of coffee,” said Button. “I made the green apron my subject and employed my knowledge of design to create a playful relationship between positive and negative space, using the apron strings to keep your eyes moving around the cup.”

Button completed two years of art school at Keystone College before joining Starbucks in 2014. One of her close friends at Keystone, a teaching assistant and glassblower, is also a Starbucks partner and encouraged her to apply with the company.

“I love my job and connecting with people every day,” said Button.

Continuing to work at Starbucks and pursuing her artistic career are part of Button’s future plans. She has also considered going back to school to finish her Bachelor’s degree with the help of Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

“I hope that partners are inspired by my design,” she added. “I truly enjoyed showcasing through art how great it is to be a partner.”

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Photo essay: Caps off to the class of 2024