Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Artsist of the week - Lou from ButtonsByLouLou

This weeks fab artist is Lou from Buttons By Lou Lou, she is a Melbourne girl who I think has such adorable products.
Lou's passion for her self covered buttons started when she was seeing them everywhere, and became intrigued as to how they were made. She started making some as gift ideas for friends and family, and started becoming as she describes somewhat obsessed.

What I love about Lou's buttons, is her attention to detail. She has clearly thought about every fabric selection she has made, making sure the placement of each design sits perfectly within the button shape, and product design she has conceived. The packaging of the some of her products are so cute, I love those tins, I can see why they were such successful gifts. Best of all she has buttons for BOYS!!!!! Who would have thought self covered buttons for boys could be so cool.
Do yourself a favour, please look at her Etsy shop and think about her buttons for you next gift, craft project that needs a super cute finishing touch.

Keep on reading to get an insight of Lou's inspiration and other thoughts.....

1)Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am usually a mum at home with my 2 little boys - almost 3 years old and 8 months old. We do every day stuff at home, go to the library and playgroup and other kids bits and pieces. I'm having a break from my usual work for a while - not sure for how long. I will have to see how my 'buttons' go. I live in Melbourne, although grew up in country Victoria. I like chocolate and lollies, my hot water bottle, handmade things, nice friendly people, eating out, movies, and plenty of other things I'm sure...

2)Where did your business name come from?
I came up with my business name in about 2 seconds because I was never really expecting to become a business. Sometimes I regret that I didn't put more thought into it but I don't know what I would call it otherwise. Very self explanatory - I make buttons and my name is Lou.

3)Tell us a bit about your business?
I sell fabric buttons for people to use for their own sewing projects. Also accessories made from fabric covered buttons. Hair accessories, earrings, rings, brooches, magnets, and other bits and pieces. Lots of fun and bright designs for children - robots, babushka dolls, cupcakes, and polka dots. And plenty of things for adults as well. I love buying the fabric and I always buy too much. I can't sew so this is the perfect outlet. It all started very spur of the moment as I mentioned above. I started making some button accessories eg. hair elastics and clips for my niece and some of our friend's children as gifts. My sister said that she would buy some to give as gifts and then suggested I list some on Etsy so I could show some interstate or overseas friends in case they were interested. Well that was it - it was off. It was nice to have started just before Christmas because it was very exciting having regular sales while people were doing their Christmas shopping. So, now it is expanding from there. I am learning SO much and having a great time doing it (most of the time). I have a few retail stockists, an online Etsy store, and am selling at a few markets in Melbourne this year. It's all happening!

4)What inspires you to create what you make?
I love the fabric. I could buy and buy fabric and always have too much. I love giving my little creations as presents so often picture particular people when I make new products. I try one to them and make a couple of extra to sell. I want to keep making new things so people don't get bored with my buttons. They are just perfect to add something a little different to an outfit, project, etc. They are just fun. I also like that although the whole business is very time consuming, each button is not so I can fit my making into the little pieces of time I get between children things.

5)What do you think is the key to achieving successful sales?
Not sure I am an expert on this just yet but so far there are a couple of things that have helped me. For selling on Etsy - regular listing is important so people can find you among the huge number of things for sale. Joining an Etsy team such as the Australian sellers DUST team is great for networking as well as support and advice. I have also found that retail stores have approached me after seeing me on Etsy. I started a blog at the end of last year and it has given me a few sales, not heaps. I think it has also been important for linking me to other people that have the same interests and goals, keeping me motivated and getting my brand name known amongst others. A quality product is very important but also good photos that can make your products look as good as possible. This is an area I am slowly improving.

6)What is your favourite music/artist/movie/book/website?
At the moment my favourite CD is a 'Joan as Policewomen' CD. I heard it playing in a shop, asked them what is was, then requested it for my birthday. Not sure it is just one website, but I am enjoying blogger at the moment - so addictive! I am also enjoying Etsy - not quite as obsessed with my shop anymore but am loving shopping!! Not sure about the others just now.

7)If you could interview anybody in the world who would it be?
Staying around the current topic. I would like to interview some successful business women who have started with a small handmade business, as a mum at home, and made it work well enough to pay like a 'real job'.

8)Where is your next holiday destination?
No big plans - Easter in Heathcote (Central Victoria). Contemplating Bali for a cousin's wedding later in the year.

Thanks heaps Lou for telling us all more about yourself and you business.

If you would like to keep up to date in the world of ButtonsBy Lou Lou you can find her also at the following links;

Her Etsy Shop of course -
Bye for now,
Ky x

1 comment:

ButtonsByLouLou said...

Thanks Ky - lovely words. Sorry I missed you at Flemington. Will see you soon.