“Buttons Always Make the Outfit”
“Buttons always make the outfit”
– Miriam Garrett
Miriam Garrett kept her buttons in this 1920s cigar tin, seen here in our Button Museum with Miriam’s college yearbook photo.
Mother’s Day has always been our favorite holiday. In a way, the very existence of Grandmother’s buttons is a celebration of what one generation of women in a family leaves to the next, whether that be a love of reading, a dazzling smile, or even a box of buttons!
We will always be grateful that Miriam Garrett, the mother of founder Susan Davis, passed down to Susan not only her artistic talent and sense of style, but also her button tin! This Mother’s Day, we are honoring Miriam, and mothers everywhere, with a commemorative pouch (free with a $100 jewelry purchase) that features one of her favorite sayings.
Use promo code: BUTTONSFORMOM at checkout.
Miriam’s style, beauty, and joie de vivre were an inspiration to all four of her daughters, her three granddaughters, and the Grandmother’s Buttons staff until her passing in 2012 at age 94.
An artist and seamstress, Miriam could sew dresses without a pattern the way some people can play the piano without sheet music. While Miriam sewed dresses for her three teenage daughters, she would let the much-younger Susan play with her button tin, often telling her, “Remember Susan, buttons always make the outfit. You can have the finest fabric, the most beautiful Vogue pattern, but if you use cheap buttons, it will tell.” Thus she planted the seed that grew into Grandmother’s Buttons!
L to R: In the sewing room with daughter Lynn in 1962; with all three older girls—Lynn, Betty, and Janet—around 1950; with baby Susan in 1956
For us the button tin has become a symbol for the love and care, hard work and attention that the mothers and grandmothers of the Greatest Generation brought to their families: the shirt buttons replaced, the tiny pearls carefully chosen for the baptism gown, the satin covered ones made for a wedding dress. Though few mothers today have time to sew, we feel antique and vintage buttons live on as symbols of maternal love. As is often said: “Mothers are like buttons, they hold everything together.”
Miriam, Susan, and Anna at the Grandmother’s Buttons flagship store in the mid-2000s. Though she tried, Miriam never was able to teach Susan to sew. In fact, Susan was inspired to begin making jewelry because it seemed so much easier than sewing! Anna also never learned, but she is never-the-less inheriting more buttons than almost anyone, as she takes on a leadership role in bringing Grandmother’s Buttons into the future