We’ve all been there: on the hunt for the perfect card for your pal, all you can find at the corner store is greetings with bouquets of flowers and kittens in baskets, none of which you could possibly send with a straight face. Mollie Green of La Familia Green runs the perfect one-stop-shop for all sentiments– cards and paper goods for smart alecks, dog lovers, cat lovers and fans of puns. Mollie, a Texas-born Chicagoan, is a long-time Busy Beaver customer and recently expanded her button and magnet offerings to wholesale. Read on for more about how Mollie has integrated buttons and magnets into her product line.
So, you’ve been making buttons with BB for a long time, right? What made you start and why have you continued making buttons?
I started making buttons with BB in 2006 when I worked at Paperboy—a now-closed legendary stationery store in Chicago. When I began participating in craft fairs, I designed buttons of my own, and I used them for giveaways when I began exhibiting at The National Stationery Show in 2007. I make a special show-only limited style that celebrates cards and stationery. This year’s button featured a mail truck. For Renegade Craft Fair Chicago, I have offered square buttons featuring local weather men. Tom Skilling is the most popular.
I like working with and supporting a female-owned, eco-friendly, local independent business. As a small business owner myself, I am very inspired by what Christen has built. The customer service at BB is fantastic. And the product is top notch. I lived down the street from your previous location on Palmer Square. And I always enjoyed hearing the button-making machines clinking away as I walked my dog by the building.
What’s been cool about making buttons?
It’s always fun to spot one of my buttons out and about. I love that they are passed around and have a life. I’ve always loved that there is something intimate and personal about cards, and I feel the same way about buttons. I’m also compelled by the fact that someone chooses a button to wear—that says something about them—and pins it on their jacket or tote, where it usually stays for a long time.
Can you talk a bit about the buttons/magnets you’ve added to your line– What prompted you to start offering them? How do you select which designs to do?
I started offering buttons to add a new gift product to my card line. Many of my retailers sell buttons at their counters. My cards are very colorful and graphic and many feature quick, one line or one word messages which work well for buttons. My newest designs are a food truck, a coffee and donut, a classic pinata, a timely ukulele, and French macarons. I sell buttons individually on my website, Etsy store, and at craft fairs and my retailers are able to order specific styles or a bulk assortment. I’m excited that BB has expanded their magnet offerings. I’ve added a few magnets of my most popular designs—rescue dog and rescue cat versions with likenesses of my dog and cat and a Chicago vs. New York pizza magnet. I would like to add button or mini-magnet packs in the future.
Thanks to Mollie for all the info on how she makes buttons and magnets work so well with her existing product line!
Thinking about retailing buttons or magnets of your own? Check out these tips.