In an attempt to make my blog something worth reading as well as help promote my fellow artists, here is the first of what I hope to be a more regular feature. This month I interviewed Ali of Buttonhead! Ali is creative, fun and full of awesome. I admire her guts and her goods and after this interview I hope you do too!
When did you start your business?
Hi Mary! I started Buttonhead in 2007. Primarily, I make buttons, magnets, mirrors, and temporary tattoos for custom and retail sale. In my spare time, I develop creative content for the web. It all melts together into this thing I call Buttonhead. Partly business, partly artistic.
How did you get started?
I took the plunge! In 2007, I was working full-time for a medical education firm in Chicago. I had a comfortable lifestyle, but my artistic skills were completely repressed. So, I got the idea for Buttonhead, quit my job, cashed in my 401k, sold most of my personal stuff, moved out of Chicago, and committed to launching a business. I’ve been working for myself full-time ever since.
Do you have a personal button collection? If so, how big is it?
You know what? I have buckets of buttons, but I never wear them. Isn’t that weird? I love making them, and I’m so happy to see other people enjoying them, but I just never wear accessories. I don’t even have a watch! I guess it says something about my personality. I like to travel light.
I noticed on your website, buttonhead.org, that you have a Bachelor of Art as well as an Associate in Fine Arts, do you find you use your skills from both degrees when creating your products?
Oh yes! I use my academic and business skills every day. I have a creative job, but I also have a lot of responsibilities. It’s challenging to know when to be the artist and when to be business-minded. I just try to stay focused, so that my creative skills can have a stage to shine on.
What inspires your creations?
Everything inspires me. You inspire me! I feel very grateful to be part of a creative community. Without it, my individual contributions would be lonely.
Have you had any famous/memorable clients?
I’ve had a lot of memorable clients. One of my favorites is a woman who writes erotica. She likes to give away dirty buttons to her readers. Scandalous!
Do you ever sell at conventions or local events?No. 2010/2011 is all about web development for me. By 2012, I plan to take it to the streets!
Future plans for Buttonhead?
Web development, new business, and creative content. My end goal is a successful manufacturing shop with an indie media platform on top. When my business is steady and my voice is being heard, maybe then I’ll be satisfied.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I talk to myself. A lot.
Here are 21 of my favorite films: Manhattan, Leap of Faith, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, To Wong Foo, The War of the Roses, The Big Lebowski, Dog Day Afternoon, Rocky, My Blue Heaven, Death Becomes Her, Pauly Shore is Dead, Airplane!, Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver, Stuart Saves His Family, Clue, Spaceballs, Home for the Holidays, Sin City, The Wizard of Oz.
“Quote me on this!”
Favorite cupcake flavor?
For DIYers and lovers of handmade, Buttonhead offers a wide range of custom and premade products. A personal favorite of mine are her whimsical "I Tinkle" and "I Poop" magnets.
You can stalk Buttonhead at all these places!
Button Head Site
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