In the beginning
As I write this, my husband is in the studio punching out circles for my buttons. It used to be that with each whack of the button press, the cats would further furrow their brows or creep to safety below the bed. Now they’re used to the daily punch and bang of the press. On any given day, we’re churning out brightly colored packs of cat magnets, sweet english bulldog magnets, or schnauzer pinbacks. Over at GoodAfternoonan I sell hundreds of cat and dog buttons each year.
It’s hard to imagine that buttons weren’t even a consideration 2 years into my business. For the first few years, I only sold custom portraits. People loved getting them as gifts, but I began to realize that they were a bit too expensive for everyone. I knew I could delight so many more pet owners if I offered something more affordable.
And so, I borrowed a button maker from a friend
A friend had a one inch button maker stuffed in a box in the back of his closet. One Saturday, I took the long train ride from South Brooklyn out to Williamsburg and borrowed that beast of a button-maker. Although I’ve added other button models to the studio along the way, this first one is still the trusty machine that I use to make my button 3 packs.
I made buttons and more buttons
For years I made only 1 inch buttons – precious little cat and dog portraits on a tiny candy-colored button.
And I sold them to hundreds of people
But even while button making was starting to pick up, I was simultaneously making those more intricate custom pet portraits. Each funny pug with a crooked smile or custom cat with wispy ear hair beckoned me to create an affordable gift item that captured even more of the personality and detail of my drawings. By the time we moved last fall, I had hundreds of scanned cat and dog drawings, and I was itching to get them out into the world for more people!
I was making prints but people really loved buttons and magnets. They were affordable for everyone! And they’re wrapped in cute packaging, making them an attractive, easy, and personal gift.
So I introduced 3 inch buttons
After moving, I knew it was time to increase my studio equipment and a 3 inch button maker was first on the list. As I got ready for last fall’s Christmas markets, I vowed to create at least 40 new button designs. I went crazy drawing and designing week after week.
But I’m not done
After testing these large buttons out in the shop for the last 6 months, I know they’re a keeper and so I’ve decided to add to the current offering. Before this holiday season I have plans to add 35 more breeds to the shop!
Do you have a type of dog that I haven’t drawn yet? How about one with unusual coloring or eyes! I love drawing quirky pets. Let me know in the comments, so I can add them to my list.