REAL ADVICE FROM A REAL INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL
Today we were lucky enough to collect some pearls of wisdom from Denise Gibson at Busy Beaver Button Co. Since it's advent in 1995, Denise and the Busy Beaver team have overseen the production of over 60,000 custom designs, bedecking buttons, magnets, bottle-openers, cassette tapes, and more. They've got the know-how to work with major clients (like The Art Institute Chicago), and the boutique sensibilities to take on small-batch jobs for indie bands, and couples looking to put an extra special stamp on their wedding memorabilia. They even offer start-to-finish design services for anyone in search of a little graphic inspiration. And as if that were not enough sweet talk to convince you of their immeasurable awesomeness, they also fondly refer to their workspace as the Beaver Dam. Read on to learn more about Busy Beaver, making cool, stress-free wedding swag, and what to do when life hands you 400 superfluous chopsticks.
1) What's your best advice to someone who wants to "brand" their wedding, but may not have too much design experience? Is there a secret formula to making a statement in a simple way?
Make it personal and keep it simple. Your favorite color and a recurring element (like a pumpkin because it’s a fall wedding) is all it takes to brand the day.
2) What are a couple of your favorite past design concepts used by former wedding clients?
I love the buttons that are visual representations of a couples shared history. One particular couple, Laura Eagin and Ali Jafargholi, created a fun set of buttons. The groom’s roots in Iran were represented with a map of the country while the bride’s family was represented with buttons that featured her home state of Indiana. The couple’s shared history at Savannah College of Art and Design was represented, along with various other inside jokes shared with those on the guest list. The designs were a fun peek into their life.
CUSTOM BUTTONS FOR LAURA & ALI'S WEDDING, PRINTED BY BUSY BEAVER
3) In addition to buttons, what are some other products you've seen your wedding clients successfully integrate into the swag for their big day?
Our customers are so creative! Besides buttons we’ve seen handmade cassette tape mixes, matches, kazoos, and silk screened posters.
4) What's your best advice to a couple hoping to make some custom gifts for their guests without getting too stressed out or crunched for time along the way? Are there any tips as far as volume and timelines that could be a good rule of thumb?
Definitely plan ahead. Busy Beaver’s standard turnaround time is one week plus shipping, but for some custom manufacturers turnaround can be unpredictable or long— sometimes up to 6 weeks! Also keep in mind that most custom manufacturers deal in high quantities. For my wedding, I was dead set on custom printed chopsticks even though the minimum was 500 and I only had 100 guests. So five years later, I’m still working my way through those extra 400 chopsticks. Look for the manufacturers that have lower minimum (Busy Beaver’s is 50 buttons) so you don’t end up with a ton of extras.
5) Non-button question: Which record would you put on to help power through a REALLY big order?
I get teased a lot for this at the Beaver Dam, but when I need to concentrate I listen to Justin Timberlake’s 20/20. I’ve listened to it so much that it’s like a calming white noise to me now.
Want to work with Busy Beaver Button Co.? Read More HERE!