Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grandmother's Buttons

Almost two decades have passed since Susan Davis and her 95-year-old grandmother spent the afternoon sifting through the odd assortment of tins and boxes that held the elderly lady's lifetime accumulation of buttons. The treasures they uncovered -- dazzling jet glass, lustrous carved pearl, intriguing brass storybook buttons -- begged to be converted into elegant jewelry rather than forgotten in musty tins. Thus, Grandmother's Buttons was born in 1985.

Grandmother's Buttons' authentic antique button jewelry was a huge hit and in the early nineties, the company expanded to form GB Collection, which produces replica button jewelry, as well as accessories and collectibles -- all inspired by these tiny fasteners of the past. The creations of both Grandmother's Buttons and GB Collection are sold in more than a thousand boutiques and museum stores across the country, an impressive list which included Lord & Taylor; Fred Segal; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Nordstrom; the Biltmore Estate; Signals; Orvis; J. Jill; and Norm Thompson. The company has also been featured in a host of publications including Victoria, Family Circle, Southern Living, Country Home and Modern Bride.

Amidst all of its success, the company has retained its home base in its beautiful, turn-of-the-century bank building in St. Francisville, Louisiana's historic district. The retail store, set in the bank's lovely, oak-paneled lobby, features a mind-boggling selection of jewelry made from exquisite 19th century buttons, as well as fine antiques, Victoriana and rare and whimsical gifts.