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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

BLOG FEATURE: Meet Tessa Ann of the Button Shop

Thanks for entering.  Winner will be announced later today.

I am excited to feature an extremely talented lady.  Please say hello to the extremely talented and creative, Tessa Ann.  I have been a fan of hers for a while now and wanted to share her creations with you.  Tessa Ann is the designer and creator of gorgeous, unique, whimsical buttoms and appliques.  Her entire store is 100% eye candy!! Her great photography really does capture the beauty of her creations.

I mean....who wouldn't want some of these (for my photoghraphy readers):

or these:

or these (my personal fave):

Before I completely distract you with her talent, let me share a little info about Tessa Ann. 

1. Please tell us about your business (i.e., how long you have been doing it, how did you get started, etc...)?

I grew up being surrounded by crafty women. My Grandmas, Aunts and Mom all were very creative in their respective talents. I dabbled in many crafts throughout my life, really enjoying scrapbooking, drawing and sewing. Naturally, I stumbled across polymer clay in my local craft store and picked out a few colors and forgot about them for some time. I needed a special button for a project and I just wasn't finding what I wanted in my button stash. My husband had the brilliant idea to put that polymer clay I had purchased to use, and make my own button. Well, that took some trial and error, before I had a button that was functional and could be used on my sewn project, but a lot was learned in the process ;) I started my Etsy shop after such wonderful feedback locally about my little button creations. Etsy has been an amazing place to get my little business going.

2. Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

I live in beautiful Bend, Oregon with my adorable husband, Steven of 11 years. We hope to have a family soon, but now have 3 furry-babies. My husband is amazingly supportive of my crazy need to create. He helps me out in any way he can and I really appreciate him for that :) Before starting my button business I spent the last 10 years working as an office manager in a Physical Therapy clinic and part-time at my local scrapbooking store. I am forever grateful that my little business has grown so much in this last year that I've been able to work at home on it full time!

3. Where do you draw your inspiration.

I find inspiration everywhere I go. My usual resources are online. I love looking at fabric and decorating websites like Decor8, Michael Miller Fabrics and Martha Stewart.

4. What goals have you set for your business for the upcoming year?

I am still working on my goal list for the upcoming year, but one thing is for sure.....find a way to get more done in less time. Either that or entertain the idea of hiring a someone to help me :) I also would like to set up a website for my Button Shop. That's a start! ;)

5. Do you sell on other venues other than Etsy?

I have recently joined the Universal Mama congo at

6. Any advice for other designers and crafters out there who are looking to start their own business?

My best advice would be don't give up easily. Sometimes it takes a while for your business to take off. I didn't receive my 1st sale until 2 months after I opened shop. During that time, I promoted my shop on Facebook, Twitter, Flicker, hosted giveaways on my blog and featured designers that I adored. I sent them my buttons to review and I would post their creation along with their feature. I believe all of this combined helped in gaining my customer base. Another important piece of advice is to always communicate with your customers. At times, you will have many sales a day and your time becomes limited. I feel it is so important to personally confirm and thank each customer's order. This builds a relationship with the customer and they feel like they have spent their money in a place that is appreciative of their business. It just takes a quick simple moment to say, Thank you! I believe my thinking and follow through with this practice has largely impacted my return customer base. And...that's what keeps my business going.

Tessa Ann has graciously agreed to give away to one lucky winner these gorgeous buttons:

All you have to do to enter is visit her shop and leave a comment as to which buttons are your favorite.

To earn extra entries (one entry per item):

1. Follow my blog (follow button located at top left column of my blog);
2. Follow Tessa Ann's blog;
3.  Follow me on Twitter;
4.  Follow Tessa Ann on Twitter;
5. Tweet about this giveaway;
6. Blog about this giveaway.

Be sure and leave a COMMENT for every item you do.

A winner will be picked and announced Monday, Januay 4th.