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An Interview with Elizabeth Estes of Buttons and Badges
Finding quality material for crafts is not as easy as you might think. Too many are looking for commercially made items that are produced in bulk and just don’t have the quality that many that are made by hand have. I found some quality craft supplies. Let me introduce you Buttons and Badges.
Buttons and Badges
I was roaming through Etsy.com trying to find some items to use in my crochet projects. I stumbled across this site with the most unique flat back buttons. I couldn’t resist buying some. I discovered a great vendor with quality material that I can use in so many projects. I decided to tell others about this great site and what wonderful things they can find at Buttons and Badges.
Meet Elizabeth Estes
Meet the owner of Buttons and Badges, Elizabeth Estes who is from Boise, Idaho and Provo, Utah. I interviewed her about her business and her inspiration. Read on to see what Elizabeth has to say about her Buttons and Badges Etsy.com shop.
What got you interested in buttons?
A few years ago my daughter made buttons at a friend’s house for a local craft/art show. So, for fun we decided to put a bid on eBay for a button machine. I had never bid before and much to my shock we won! So, we were out a few hundred dollars. I panicked a little because I had not told my husband about the bid and I thought “how can I explain spending this money on a button machine?!” I told my girls that we needed to figure out a way to pay for the machine. So, we started making button accessories with the machine and selling them at the farmers market, local craft fairs etc. They kept selling really well and so slowly our little business evolved. We opened an Etsy.com store selling the accessories and then I had a customer ask for just an assortment of the buttons only. I thought “if one person wants them I bet others do too”. So, we started selling an assortment of flat back buttons. Those started selling really well, so we decided to open another Etsy store just for the buttons as supplies and it has just grown from there.
Where do you get your ideas for the many different styles of buttons?
I don’t spend the time designing button images right now because I am not as experienced in that and there are so many talented artists who are, so I purchase a lot of my images from other Etsy shops. Sometimes I just browse and pick images that I like, but often I have a particular idea in mind. I follow a lot of design and craft blogs and get a feel for what seems to be popular. I find that crafting and design is a lot like fashion in the sense that there are definitely trends.
What inspires you?
My girls, pretty paper, reading design blogs, and vintage/retro design.
How long have you been making buttons?
About 4 years, but we just opened our Buttons and Badges shop a little over a year ago.
Do you have any other shops aside from Etsy?
I use to have My Button Boutique were we sold earrings, pocket mirrors, bobby pin etc, but I found more success with selling the buttons as a supply and have since turned my focus completely on Buttons and Badges.
What attracted you to Etsy?
It was so easy to start selling and test the waters so to speak. I was inspired by others stores and their success. I have always enjoyed making things and so it was fun to see a whole community of people enthusiastic about what they do and make.
Do you know what most people use your crafts for?
I would say that the majority of people using them are making their own hair accessories, such as bows. I also have a lot business with those that scrapbook. I have had people buy buttons for cupcake toppers, at their wedding, for invitations, and even party favors.
Do you ever get to see where your buttons end up?
Yes, I do! Sometimes I have customers send me pictures and some even sell their creations on Etsy . It is always fun to see others creativity!
What makes your buttons so different from all the others out there?
I try hard to first make very high quality buttons. I like my images to completely wrap the sides of the buttons, which make them look much nicer and gives them a tighter crimp. The second thing is to have great customer service. I try to respond to customers as soon as possible and answer any questions they might have. Even though we have an internet business and it can seem very impersonal, I try to create a personal experience for every customer.
What advice do you have for others thinking of using their skills and branching out?
Just go for it! If you love it and feel passionate about it then the challenge of branching out is fun.
Check Out Buttons and Badges
Doesn’t this sound interesting? Want to see what products Elizabeth has at Buttons and Badges? You need to see her shop at Etsy.com. You won’t be disappointed. I know I haven’t been.