Tell us about your business.In 1985 Ronald Reagan was president, Windows 1.0 was introduced and the first cell phone call was made in Great Britain. My husband and I had just built our house on my family’s farm and I had the crazy idea of turning my grandmother’s many boxes of buttons into jewelry. Fast forward through these almost 30 years, and you’ll find a company that has amazingly kept its focus on those evocative little artifacts of the past: antique and vintage buttons. We still transform thousands of buttons from the late 19th to early 20th centuries into jewelry every year, and find our customers as entranced as ever with their intricacy and subtle glamour. Our designs are currently sold on our website and in some 900 stores and boutiques worldwide. We still live on our Louisiana farm among my family, which sadly grew smaller this year when my mother, long a muse for our creations, passed away at age 94. We know she would have loved this year’s creations, and we hope you will too.
What makes your business stand out?We have survived and even thrived for almost three decades by doing something we love: seeking out collections of antique buttons and turning the most beautiful into jewelry to be treasured by new generations. The nature of our business (repurposing an antique element) has kept us naturally small, which means we've been able to stay in our small, historic, rural community and add to its economy. We were American made before it was cool!
What's the best business advice you've received?"Honor the button," from Chicago marketing guru Greg Bunch, who urged us to keep our focus on what drew our most ardent fans to us in the first place.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.