Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sponsor Spotlight: Button Up Creative Designs

Name: Jacqueline, Jessica and their mom, Cheryl of Button Up Creative Designs
Location: Seattle, WA
Website: etsy.com/shop/ButtonUpCreations 

Tell me a little bit about what you make.
We make handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry created with our collection of new and vintage buttons. Each piece is unique and features our distinctive technique of stringing the buttons to achieve our desired look. We are a family-run business comprised of two sisters and their mother, all bringing their specific talent’s to the table to produce this craft which we love!  

How did you decide to start the business?
Fifteen years ago, my older sister, Jessica, encountered a very serious illness. While recovering in the hospital she filled her time with crafts and made our very first button necklace as a gift to our mother who remained at her side throughout her stay. The necklace has always been my Mom's favorite piece of jewelry in part, I believe, because it reminded her to be grateful for my sister's recovery. It also didn't hurt that strangers would approach her to admire it and ask where she purchased it, every time she wore it out. It seemed to always be a conversation starter…

…Fast-forward fifteen years later, when Jessica got engaged, we decided to make more necklaces in our small effort to help pay for her upcoming wedding. That is when the business truly got its start. Although Jessica is now happily married, we have continued making necklaces and even expanded our button line. 

 Why buttons?
As a child, I remember often getting in trouble for rummaging through our recycle bin to find materials to craft with. I loved turning old, useless items into something artistic and special. I think this trait has made its smooth transition into our current button business. We create beautiful pieces out of a collection of buttons that are primarily recycled and/or vintage. We are often gifted a box of buttons someone may have had in their attic for decades which, in my mind is just like creating treasure from the items in the unwanted recycling bin all over. This approach to our creations gives us an opportunity to turn “trash” into “treasure”, so to speak and to create something new and wonderful out of often old and unique materials.

What makes your creations unique?
Without a doubt, our materials. I like to think that each of these vintage buttons we use has its own story and at one time belonged to a very special garment. Some buttons look as though they must have come from an army uniform while others I can imagine lining the back of my grandmother’s wedding dress. Pulling these materials together into one piece is what gives them their distinctive special look.
One of our favorite projects is to take the old buttons from an individual's loved one who may have passed and create a special necklace for them from these buttons as a piece that will act as a reminder of their love for that individual and their gratitude for having them in their life, much like our original necklace served to do for my mother.


I love the idea of a female family business- how would you say that your relationships have changed? 
The three of us actually live in different areas scattered throughout the west coast. Yet despite our geographical locations, our business helps to bring us together. We meet up to represent our creations at selected handmade craft shows throughout the year and we talk often to discuss our inventory, new ideas, sales, etc. It has been a very fun experience working together and continues to give us an excuse to gather. As I mentioned we all bring different skills to the business; my mom being the most creative one, my sister the most web-savvy, and me with the wild-card ideas and creations. I think our unique combination has absolutely helped to shape our business and the products that result from it. In addition, my sister and I represent a different generation than our mom, so our ideas and tastes often vary, just as our those of our customers.
Is this your full time work? If not, do you have any tips for fitting a creative side endeavor into a busy schedule?
We each have separate full-time jobs and view this side job more as a hobby. Viewing it as a hobby allows us to enjoy creating button jewelry rather than looking at it as a job and as something that eats up our free time.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear, I love this. Buttons are my favorite thing in the whole world.