Introducing you to “As Cute as a Button” personalised framed prints, a small business fuelled by high doses of enthusiasm and passion to bring a new and fresh flavour to the shopping scene with original items that you will not find on the high street.
Let’s take a peek into the Kildare based craft studio of Siobhan Maguire, who has created a range of bright and colourful personalised frames for all occasions under the business name of “As Cute as a Button”.
Tell us a little bit about your business.
My name is Siobhan Maguire and I am the owner of As Cute as a Button Personalised Framed prints. I make a range of Personalised Framed prints for all occasions. Each frame is hand crafted and embellished with a touch of class and colour!
What is your background? How did your business originate and what led you to it?
My background is in New Product Development, Sales and Buying – both in Ireland and the UK. About 4 years ago I bought a frame for my niece Jasmine’s birthday with the intension of placing a photo inside. But instead I decided to print a little verse called “Monday’s Child” with her name and birth details above it, adding little colourful buttons and embellishments. I was showing them to my friends and family and they started to order one here and one there. Then I was asked if I could create personalised framed prints in the form of Wedding frames, Christening frames , etc., and really that’s where it all started.
How do you balance work and family when working from home?
It was hard at first, I won’t pretend otherwise as I had a full time job at the time. At first I was working non-stop seven days a week. My mind was constantly working overtime on new ideas, buying new embellishments and trying new designs. I have now established my portfolio so it is consistent in terms of design so it allows me to be more efficient as my client base increases, mainly by word of mouth and Facebook, a fantastic marketing tool for any new and existing business. I no longer stay up until 1am finishing orders as I have a work pattern in place now. Of course there is always the last minute panic order so naturally I oblige – customer service to me is of the utmost importance.
How is your family involved in your business?
My partner Michael is so supportive and a great help. He has encouraged me along this path, not letting me give up when I doubted myself. He is my secret weapon. He mounts and frames my prints when I am under pressure. I have recently promoted him to chief embellisher! I still have to take charge of Quality Control though as it’s my baby after all and I am a stickler for attention to detail! Luckily for him his work passes the QC test! I also have 5 sisters who are my biggest “sales” team! Recommending me to all their friends and encouraging and supporting me all the way. I must also mention my puppy Casey who keeps me calm at stressful times!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Online craft blogs, books, and most importantly my customers – I always listen to my customers. Many’s the time they have asked me to make something which I wouldn’t have thought of and I will give it a go. I love a creative challenge!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part is adding the final touches to the personalised framed prints and seeing my customers reaction to it – If they love it, I’m happy!
What product or service that you offer are you most excited about?
The “Clock” personalised frame is my most popular product. Customers buy them as Christening gifts, New Born baby gifts or just to decorate their own children’s bedrooms with as they are so tasteful and original looking.
The clock hands are set at the time of the baby’s birth and other details such as Date of birth, weight and name of hospital can also be added. A perfect gift for any child!
Others have tried to copy our designs but they are missing that something that makes our product that extra special….but I’m not going to tell you what that is…it’s our secret ingredient. We know it, our loyal customers know it!
What makes your frames unique?
I guess that would have to be the classy contemporary designs, tasteful use of colours, price and beautiful packaging that comes in a choice of colours with matching gift card, making it the perfect gift that’s ready to go!