These name badges would be worn by employees at Steketee's to help customers identify the staff. This has had a name removed from it. A sticker on the back identifies it as having been made by The Badge Company in Ada, Michigan. This item is significant for its historical association with a downtown Grand Rapids department store. The history of some of Grand Rapids' long-time retailers still resonates today because of the active role these businesses and their owners played in contributing to the development of the city, its economy, arts, and culture.
Paul Steketee & Sons Steketee's was a department store in Grand Rapids that opened in 1862. It was started by Paul Steketee and John H. Doornich. In 1872 a fire destroyed the business and Doornich sold his part of the business to Steketee. He recruited his family to help rebuild and run the store. They opened an 8 story store on Monroe Avenue in 1915. Over time Steketee opened more stores throughout Michigan. It became one of West Michigan's oldest retailers, closing its final store in 2003.
The Badge Company The Badge Company, founded in 1978, is a company that produces name badges. It is still in operation as of 2019.