BY NICOLE NEMETH
Back in May 2011 Megan Campbell bought herself a button maker, but what started as a hobby has now turned into a full-fledged business.
Bayleaf Buttons sells a variety of pin-back buttons, magnets, key chains, pocket mirrors and bottle openers. The buttons come in three different sizes: one inch, 1.5 inches and 2.25 inches.
The company is a one-woman act, keeping Campbell busy as its sole employee. She completes every task herself including marketing, product photography, packaging, shipping, customer service, website maintenance and, of course, creating the buttons.
“I’ve managed to keep a pretty good handle on the workload,” she said.
Although Campbell has a full-time job as well, as a digital press operator, she enjoys working for herself too. “When I get home I’m able to be creative, fill orders and do things virtually on my own schedule.”
Campbell has designed and filled custom orders for a variety of people and businesses all over the world, such as bands, churches, political campaigns, weddings, birthday parties and fundraisers, to name a few.
One job in particular came to mind as she thought of her most memorable custom order.
“I had a friend of mine who wanted to surprise her family for Thanksgiving to inform them that she was pregnant. So we made a set of buttons for each relative with different baby-esque themes. It was really interesting to think that these buttons will be telling them that they are going to be a grandmother or auntie for the first time. Makes you think how something so simple can become very important and memorable,” Campbell said.
Now with the holiday season quickly approaching Campbell finds herself busier than ever.
She attends many craft fairs in and around Waterloo Region. Recently she was at the Breslau Craft Show on Oct. 18 and the Etsy Made in Canada pop-up sale in Kitchener on Sept. 27. Campbell said she “was looking at one in Winterbourne, Ont. in November and another in Kitchener at some church bazaar,” but nothing is finalized yet.
“I really like interacting with people and telling them about what I make, finding that particular button that will make their friend laugh and discussing custom orders,” Campbell said.
Although she thinks participating in craft fairs is a lot of fun, most of her sales come from Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods. Currently Bayleaf Buttons has made approximately 2,500 sales on Etsy.
“I would say so far selling on Etsy has been the most profitable. I can easily send anywhere from three to eight orders a week.”
Campbell loves running her small button business. As she says on her website, bayleafbuttons.com, “I absolutely love making buttons, it is a little addictive!”