We’ve come full circle. Rather appropriate for a button company, right?
Twenty one years ago Just Another Button Company launched a tiny company in answer to a designer’s question. “Can you make enough buttons to sell to the shops that carry my cross stitch charts?” We bravely (or blindly, perhaps) said “Yes, we can!”
Fortune smiled on us as we added talented craftspeople to our team. We found friendly voices to handle the phone and steady hands to slice and drill the buttons. A building was found—and filled—and as we made button after button, more designers found us. There are now over 5000 published designs in the needleart and crafts industries that call for our buttons. That’s 5000+ different patterns that you may have in your stash to make someday—and we still carry the button pack!
Twenty years of making buttons evolved into making more buttons… and Just Pins… and pincushions… and patterns—all in the name of adapting to the market. We began to say “At Just Another Button Company, we are MORE than just buttons.” Change is good!
At the start of 2016, my children, with spouses and their children, gathered at the same little table I used long ago as a work space for my new button hobby. We played with clay and I told them I wanted to share pictures with my button friends as a way of celebrating our 20th anniversary in business. The kids grew up with the button company and each had their own memories. I was determined to mark the occasion with a blog post at least. (Yes, there is Play Doh in some of the photos, and no, we don’t use Play Doh to make buttons.)
And then life happened. We learned that my friend Theresa Stelter had passed away, leaving the future uncertain for her Hillcreek Designs hand-dyed button company. Our friends Janice and Janet promised to keep the business going in California, and Rachel and I became long-distance owners of another busy button company. Thoughts of celebrating an anniversary were pushed back by trips across country to learn to dye buttons, sort through paperwork and inventory, and to plan an eventual move.
By April 2017, over 5000 pounds of buttons, dyes and supplies had been relocated to Illinois. JABC made space for a dye room in our already full building and we added our own twist to colors and packaging. Customers of both JABC and Hillcreek Designs have been very kind as we’ve polished product lines and ironed out the never-ending bookkeeping issues.
The 20th anniversary celebration of 2016 never happened, but that’s okay. Sometimes life makes us re-evaluate plans—and sometimes the results are really good. We are delighted to offer both handmade and hand-dyed buttons, and appreciate the trust put in us by Hillcreek Designs. Here’s Hillcreek’s lovely Janice with us at Quilt Market. We make a great team!
At Just Another Button Company, 21 years later, we are Back to Buttons. Thanks for being a fan, a consumer, a designer, a shop, or a distributor. We appreciate every one of you!