Introduce yourself, who are you and what sort of keepsakes do you create?
Hello! I'm Laura Galloway – mother of two tinies, ex-Probation Officer, and general lover of all things made. I create keepsakes such as my 'brought to life' decorative keepsakes of children's drawings, as well as an awful lot of wedding and Christening canvasses :)
How and when did you start creating what you do?
After making for my family and friends over the years, I first went public in March 2012 and was then nagged by my early customers to start a Facebook business page. Buttons & Butterflies was 'born' on 4th April 2012 and at least half of my creations are simply down to my regulars asking if I can make a certain item. But I never make the same thing twice – everything has a unique tweak!
What are your most popular/ best selling items?
My best selling items are undoubtedly my wedding canvasses, as I think people understand that not only are they beautiful due to featuring vintage buttons, but they truly are a keepsake from an unforgettable day.
What is your favourite item to make?
I adore making my canvasses, as it means I can work with a huge amount of buttons! But I also really enjoy anything involving fabrics, as I love to combine colours and patterns that shouldn't really go together.
What is the story behind the winning item in the competition?
The winning item was a Christening gift from one friend to another, and I remember making a butterfly headband to go with it. It was the first time I'd been asked to create a Christening canvas featuring a butterfly, but as with most of my commissions, I was given relative free rein and so was able to really play with the colours and the detail. That's my favourite kind of commission – one where the customer has a rough idea of what they want but tells you that they're leaving it up to you. That's when I think the end result can be really magical.
Do you have any plans to introduce any new products to your range?
I am FOREVER introducing new products as I'm FOREVER being asked by customers if I would be able to make such and such an item! It's fantastic as it stops me getting restless or bored. My business has been almost 100% commissioned work up until now, but I will very shortly be creating items that will be released into a 'Ready To Buy' album. This will mean that not only will people be able to bypass my usual 3-4 week very friendly queue ;) but that I will be able to continue scratching my creative itch and creating the makes that pop into my head when I wake at 2am!
Do you have an online shop/Facebook page/Etsy shop? Where do you think most of your sales are generated?
I have the rights to a website but have been too busy recently to get it up and running – it's on my To Do list!! But I generate most of my sales through my page at www.facebook.com/ButtonsButterflies and the rest has been through local selling sites on Facebook also. Although it would be wonderful to go bigger, I love the charm involved in it being homemade, handcrafted and created with love and care. As long as I can sustain this principle then I will be happy, and hopefully my customers will be too.