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Designer of the Month
Buttons and Beads

Hi and let me introduce myself. I’m Sally-Ann and Founder of Buttons and Beads in 2020. 
Where did it all begin? 

It begun when I was just a young girl with a mum that was very creative and a passion for arts and crafts. I remember from a young girl, sitting on the sofa with mum and we’d either be making a rug together, knitting soft toys or attempting to crochet. We were always making something. I soon got into cross stitch and would spend hours creating a beautiful picture that my dad would then frame for me. 
Later in life I gave things like making my own recycled paper, making paper gifts one year for everyone at Christmas, another year I started making charm bracelets and elasticated bracelets and sold via social media. Bought a wire jig and attempted some earrings. Sold a few pairs too and of course made everyone jewellery for Christmas. I even made one year my own Christmas decorations which were baubles made of buttons. 

I lost my mum back in 2018 and inherited all her craft, from cross stitch to glass, wool, fabrics, beads, elastic, scissors and the list goes on. In 2020 when we all went into lockdown I was having to isolate and so delved deep into my storage and starting looking through all of mums arts and crafts. I really did not realise how much I had. I found clock mechanisms, dried flowers, ribbons, decoupage, and the list goes on. 

I set up my dining room table and just looked around me. Trying to find inspiration.. I’d just watched a tv program and was inspiried by quilling. I had plenty of paper so I cut it down to the right thickness and quilling started. Quilling was very thearuptic for me and I loved making cards with flower designs and even a few pictures of unicorns or initials. Friends were asking for cards as the shops were shut and I spent my days quilling. I also at the same time started to remake some jewellery, some earrings from buttons and beads, bracelets too. This is where the company name came from all the Buttons and Beads that are surrounding me even unto today. 

Buttons and Beads begun with quilted cards and frames and some jewellery and has slowly expanded. I think I’m very lucky as I do not have a particular craft, I am able to swap things around and learn new skills and see what I can make now. I will give any new craft a go and a try and some work for me and some don’t. 

Coming up to Christmas of 2020 and I was fascinated by gonks, though I could not sew. So I gouty hands on some air-dry clay and made some gonks, the clay dried, I painted and varnished them and wow what a success they were. Who doesn’t love a gonk? 

I’m very lucky to live by the sea in Westgate and one day walking along the beach I found some seaglass, I was so excited like I’d  found treasure. Now I regularly go to part of my local beach and seaglass hunt and this is where most of my seaglass comes from that you find in my pictures or on my cards. I also collect seaglass from a beach in Folkestone, so at least it’s all from Kent. Have you ever thought about how old that piece of seaglass is? It takes years to grind down and become so smooth. 
This year I had a sewing lesson for Christmas and the sewing bug has hit me, making lots of items now for myself. So who knows maybe one day you will be able to buy an exclusive from Buttons and Beads. 
In Kent Loves you will be able to find my seaglass pictures, a range of handmade cards that are either seaglass or buttons, if you look close enough too you will find a few gonks too, as they are not just for Christmas. I also have a range of crystal trees and tree of lifes. 

Thank you for reading my story and if you want something a little more extra that what I have in the shop please feel free to contact me and we will see what we can do. 

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