Me and My Button Story...

The story of My Buttons and Me, is not a long story - although it feels like one huge, long, winding story that has both thrilled and exhausted me! I thought about it all this morning when i received a beautiful handmade cupcake card through the post from a button customer... it thanked me muchly for accomodating her button obsession and getting the goods to her etc... and there were a million things i wanted to say in reply...
So i thought i would say it all in my little Blog!
BUTTONS are really really very important to some people. I am one of those people. I remembering finding some incredible buttons at a huge Craft Fair, years ago. The buttons inspired me so much that i made lots of new buttony accessories and felt decorations...

I began selling my button covered goodies alongside my cards (that i already sold at Craft Fairs) and they soon took over. Everywhere i went with a buttony Brooch, people asked me about it...
I wore one of my button brooches into an independant local gift shop and, give or take half an hour, i walked out of that shop with a wholesale order for buttony brooches! Feeling a bit happy with myself :) i couldn't believe my craft empire was actually 'launching' so to speak - without me really trying...

I began buying Craft Supplies in BULK as i took on more wholesale orders and opened a shop on 'etsy'. It seemed the best way to increase my profit margins - i couldn't keep buying in small quantities from HobbyCraft anymore.
My first wholesale Button order was £70.00 and i remember SWEATING with fear that i was spending so much on buttons!!! By this point, i had resigned from my Part-Time job and i knew i wanted to be a 'stay at home Mom' but i also wanted to make stuff and try to earn some money, so i had to take big steps....



My need (ok, obsession) for new buttons kept growing and i thought "where do other people buy their buttons from?" Where were crafters buying beautiful buttons from and where could they buy in bulk numbers and not individually or 'on cards' from out-dated haberdashery shops...?

I realised there might be a little space in the market for me to sell some buttons on to other button lovers, but i was worried of course. Would people buy from me, should i open a new 'etsy' store, etc...
What is the worst that could happen - i asked myself? I buy loads more buttons and have to KEEP them all if they don't sell!? No great hardship hey??? so i launched BigFish.etsy.com x


Obviously, if you read my blog at all, you know that the "Button Shop" has not fallen flat on it's face x and i love all of you who have shopped with me. I sort of want to tell you all that:
a) i really care about you and your buttons because they are MY buttons too! That is the joy of buying from an independant dealer! I handpick your buttons myself....
b) it is crazy busy and TIRING and exhausting - searching for new button suppliers / searching for the supplier of a particular tiny button i found somewhere / ordering / finding the money to pay! / organising stock so i can find it all in my tiny home / BAGGING THEM!! can you imagine the time spent weighing or counting these bug..... beauties by hand!? (deep breath Kirsty, and relax...)

SO, when a customer sends me a handmade cupcake card that 'Thanks me' for spending the time finding what she needs and trying to fulfil her button requests... then it means so much to me!
My last button invoice cost me £600. It frightens me silly still, to spend so MUCH money on buttons (they are 'just' buttons after all) but you can understand a little, of how much of my crafting soul goes into buttons...

Thankyou for reading the abridged story of My Buttons and Me x

12 comments:

Post Pals said...

hiya, it was really interesting read your latest entry (although all your entries are good of course!). I don't have many buttons but do have a secret love of them, I blame my Grandmother for it as she used to have a few big tins full which i loved going through as a child! I've recently started making and selling baby and wedding gifts and had the "omg am i really spending this much" moment too, so thanks for the inspiration that it can work out :)

Pomona said...

I remember the joy and fascination of my mother's button box, and I have been lucky enough to inherit a couple of button boxes. Have you ever read Kidnapped? There is a very important button in that novel, so I am sure that you would enjoy it!

Buttony love and all that
Pomona x

Susie said...

Thanks for sharing this with us . I really enjoyed to read how your passion for buttons started and how you started with Etsy .
I really enjoy reading your blog , it always makes me smile :-)
Susie from Spain x x x

Victoria Ann said...

I am button obsessed, your buttons that I won in your blog will be a feature on a skirt I am making (I will blog it when its finished). I have little old tins of buttons full of history and nostalga.

Knowing how much sewing, blogging and now sorting out all those buttons has made my head hurt!

you are fab!

mad-boo x

bex said...

that was a great post! ive just opened a shop selling hnad made lovelies...some of which are button jewellery and ive been pulling my hair out trying to find a supplier of yummy buttons! thanks for the advice! im very glad you took the plunge!!

DawnWillBreak said...

I have a HUGE button obsession too, I don't know if you have seent the button bobby pins I make. www.dawmwillbreak.etsy.com
Buttons mean so much to me its funny. I just recently found some awesome vintage ones at an antique store.You have some really cool ones in BigFish.
I enjoy reading your posts :)

Emma Loves Stitching said...

I've been away from blogging for a bit, and now getting back into it. I can really empathise with you, starting your own business and maintaining it is always difficult add to the mixture looking after children and running a home I think you're doing a fab job.
I love buttons and think its fab that you have a business which makes you so happy, keep up the good work !!
Emma:)

Mrs Gibson's Atelier said...

I would DIE without buttons, well maybe not die but my business would certainly suffer! Keep the buttony faith!

Linda said...

I love the buttons I have from you so thank you! (I live down the road from the button co. and can't go in there, its just too fantastic!!)

noelle said...

I love your button story. I am a bit of a button addict and use them alot in my sewing, i know where to come now!! x

Rachel said...

i love buttons to, i heart them i heart them i heart them! hope you dont mind me adding you to my blog feed thing x

Judith said...

I am new to this and you. But have to say That I also love buttons and I think it all started as a child. I love the treasure that was to be found in that old button tin. x

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