Today’s installment of the Pursuing My Passion series features KJ’s Vintage Button Bouquets! Karen’s creations are true works of art. http://www.vintagebuttonbouquets.com/Home_Page.html
How did you get started?
A local photographer friend of mine, Jean Loper, told me a story about several of her brides who were allergic to fresh flowers and wanted a unique alternative. She found pictures of these amazing bouquets using vintage buttons. It was love at first sight! They are extremely popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, and I am hoping to bring the trend to the United States.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I love…love…love the look of vintage items; pictures, movies, clothing, jewelry. My inspiration comes from the past. I feel that it honors those who came before us.
Are most of your creations custom orders?
Almost 100% of my orders are custom-made, although I do list some ready-made items in my Etsy shop. The fact that a bride can add family items makes my bouquets all the more special. However, not every bride has vintage items or family heirlooms. This is where I come in. I scour vintage shops, thrift stores, yard sales and estate sales looking for something that will look spectacular in your bouquet.
Do you make products other than bouquets?
Yes, aside from making things for the wedding party, I also dabble in adding rhinestones to bridal shoes and making birdcage veils.
Where do you procure your materials?
Estate sales, thrift stores, consignment stores, and sometimes, the brides themselves.
Which is your favorite piece?
I recently made a custom bouquet for a bride who had hundreds of her grandmother’s buttons. They were all different colors, and I was not sure how it would all pull together. She also had her grandmother’s watch that I put in the middle of her bouquet. Not only did it all come together beautifully in the end, it was the sweetest tribute for someone who meant so much to her granddaughter.
Which was the most difficult piece to create?
My brooch bouquets.Especially if they are made with vintage items. They are much heavier than today’s pieces and the rhinestones tend to pop out during the wiring process. I have many different sized rhinestones kept in a jar for the purpose of repair. Sometimes those brooches are a bit fragile as well. I do my best to handle with care, but there are mishaps.
Do you have ideas for new products for this year?
I am trying my hand at hammer engraving, so that I can add an even more personal touch to some of my items.
What is the best thing about creating a custom bouquet?
The best thing about creating a custom vintage bouquet would have to be that it is such a unique idea. You can tell a tale with each and every one. Buttons from a loved one, buttons that follow a theme/movie/story. Why not be original? Maybe a bit off-beat? You can bet that no one will have anything like your one-of-a-kind creation.
Check out the creative musings of KJ’s Vintage Button Bouquets on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kjj44
Or on her website: http://www.vintagebuttonbouquets.com/Home_Page.html