Roaring Into the Twenties
Feels like it was just yesterday that we crossed over the Y2K scare, yet here we are living in this crazy data age where there’s adults living now who weren’t even born before the year 2000. I hope the end of the two-thousand teens was kind to you. I spent it in Astoria, with my husband, soaking up a rare moment where we got to enjoy each other’s company uninterrupted, and soak in an evening of good food, Star Wars IX, and a ginormous bathtub at a secluded beach cabin.
That was the last splurge of living it up before dive bombing into making buttons my full time everything. I’ve been making buttons for nine years now, but never once in that nine years did I ever make buttons my sole focus. There were definitely years where I could have made the transition easier than now, but I didn’t and the past is what it was. So the week before Christmas, I said goodbye to my life of chaos and danger as a Union Journey Level Laborer/Gradechecker and hello to the zen I have always found in button making.
For those of you who have been here since the beginning, you know that this is the fourth rendition of the business. I think this name suits me best, because it’s not going to change regardless of what’s going on in my life and it’s also an LLC now instead of a Sole Proprietorship. And look, DINOSAURS!!!
A lot has transpired over the years. I finally have a solid website that works awesome (thanks to Annika with Artkore Multimedia) and about four or five years ago I started vending events with a DIY Button Station. It’s a creation station where I pass my passion along by teaching all the patrons how to make buttons. In my own way with this, I am changing the world one button at a time, by inspiring creativity in children and the young at heart as well as providing a safe space where friends and family can gather to build memories at a low cost. If I could do it for free, I would…but food hasn’t seemed to grow legs and walk up onto my table just yet…but boy if it did, I’d probably make a killing at the sideshow it could produce. (Get it, food…produce…lol I’m so punny).
This was an earlier version of the booth, it’s grown exponentially since then, but I need to get some new pictures up. Anyway…let’s showcase the first buttons made this year!
The first was actually a donation for a bad ass memorial for a Tacoma Local Legend, David Takata, guitarist and shared vocals for Cody Foster Army.
While I didn’t know Takata personally (think I’d met him twice that I remember, briefly when my old band, Bastard Child, shared a bill with CFA), his stage antics were memorable and he was a long standing staple to the Tacoma, WA, music scene. A lot of my friends knew him and if you didn’t know him, you probably knew of him if your band ever played a show in T-Town in the last twenty plus years or so. Not to sound morbid, but memorial buttons are my favorite to make, even if their purpose is difficult to swallow at times. I often get some strange looks when I tell people I love to make them. I don’t think any button I make ever holds more value than the value of someone’s memory and the impact they had on your life. It’s an honor to make them when an order is placed, and it’s an honor to be of service when I’m able to donate as well. It means a lot to me to help bring comfort and joy to the grieving. Takata was quite the character, and when Reno Dave sent me a slew of images to choose from, I had to make them all. Buttons, magnets, and key-chains galore. I wanted everyone who wanted one to have their choice of how they remembered their friend.
There were two other designs, but I didn’t take pictures, but if you have them, you know, and I’m glad they resonated with you. ::hugs::
First paid for order this year was from a long time customer, Amanda Bestul from Wisconsin. I think she’s been purchasing buttons from me since 2013 or 2014. She is playing upright bass in a new bluegrassy, all female project called The Outskirts. She bought a mix of all the sizes I offer from the 1″ button to the 2.25″ key-ring bottle opener. I really love the logo a lot. It makes me excited when an image feels like it was made for the little round circles I press.
While I was pressing her buttons, I almost started tearing up thinking about her and the customers/friends like her I’ve had that have made me their go-to person when they need buttons for whatever reason. It’s a loyalty and respect that can’t be bought. Buttons are a cheap addition to any merchandising entity, band or otherwise, and there are hundreds, if not thousands of us button pushers out there. My customers and friends have a lot of options for who they can go to, but they still choose me and keep choosing me over the years. Even when I was a drunk mess (sober now since July 9th, 2012), even when I was on tour and couldn’t process orders immediately, and especially going through times of crisis when I couldn’t muster the strength to advertise. You guys still believed in me. You still asked me if I was willing, and you all helped to keep my business going when I was facing some of the hardest periods of my life. I don’t take that lightly at all. Thank you for believing in me and for trusting me to keep doing what I love to do. You kept me going, and as I face forward and embrace the business fully, I hope you keep coming back for years to come. I love you. For a time, button orders were my only social outlet aside from the construction job I just left behind. For some it’s just buttons…for me, it’s my life. I don’t know anymore where I end and buttons begin and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Unfortunately, I could not find YouTube video of The Outskirts, so please click here to watch their video on Facebook. For whatever reason, WordPress is not liking the link.
That’s Amanda on the far left, she’s awesome people.
The order I just got back from shipping is for my long time friend, supporter since my early performance days before I was even legal to drink in bars. Since the day I met her, Sheri has been there, actively involved in just about everything I’ve ever had my hand in. She often texts me band names she comes up with randomly. It’s something she’s done for years and it always brings a smile to my face, even though I never use them. I even wrote a song for her once.
We’ve shared many a crafting party table, and it’s awesome she’s stepping out and sharing her crafts with others. I touched up a design she had, to make these for her new entrepreneurship, Sheri’s Handmade Stuff & Things. She’s just getting started on putting it together, so when I have more in the way of a website or something, I will post. For now, you just get to see this beautiful art piece she chose as the foundation for her logo.
There’s more coming…I’m vending an event in Ocean Shores on the 18th and 19th this month…but I’m out of time, so I will leave you the flier with a link to the Facebook event attached and will touch on it more in the next blog. Whatever you love to do, stay true to your heart and make it the focal point. Trust that the path you take will give you what you need as you go. I look forward to serving all of you with beautiful buttons today, tomorrow, and all the days of my life that my hands will allow me. Tell your friends, tell the bands you love, tell everyone who needs buttons that I’m back in this full time, with better focus, and eager to serve.
Until next time,