Susan was born the fourth of four daughters to Miriam and Harvey Garrett in the mid-1950s in rural South Louisiana. Her parents really thought she’d be a boy, and her early years were spent roaming the woods of her family’s farm, fishing, riding horses, wishing to be a cowboy, not a cowgirl. In her one concession to femininity, she played for hours in her 3-story doll house, creating a miniature world with household odds and ends, including buttons she stole from her mother’s tin.
As she studied English and Journalism at LSU and later, worked in public relations for campus events, she forgot all about those buttons in her mother’s sewing armoire. It wasn’t until she and her husband Donny, a wildlife biologist, had moved home to the family farm to grow vegetables that her imagination turned again to buttons, this time inspired by an afternoon’s visit with her elderly grandmother in which they explored her 30-odd boxes of buttons and Susan was struck with an idea of turning the prettiest ones into earrings.
Susan, now in her early 60s, marvels that she and Donny have managed to raise a family on buttons, all the while living in the tiny, beautiful and historic community that they love. She feels it has been a privilege to work with so many talented and interesting customers and employees, not to mention spending her days looking for more and more beautiful buttons and dreaming up ways to turn them into jewelry. That what she does is now considered recycling is an added bonus, because after all on the farm her mother and grandmother taught her to recycle and reuse everything, long, long before it was the popular thing to do.