The Button Tree
Everyone would love to be a princess and don a tutu, and for young children Charlotte Pearson has found the perfect company.
Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of, and thanks to The Button Tree your little angels can look the part to.
“The tutus have been really popular,” explains mum of two Lucy McCarthy.
“I made one for my daughter and my friends loved them and asked me to make more.”
Made by hand in her studio in East Grinstead, The Button Tree has tutus for every occasion, be it a birthday or Hallowe’en party.
So it is unsurprising to find out when Lucy’s peak times are.
“Around any holiday really,” she reveals. “At Hallowe’en it usually gets quite busy. And Christmas I get a lot of orders.
“The summer holidays are usually my quieter time, which is great as I have the kids off with me.
“But then mums tend to be the ones buying the tutus so they are probably too busy to be shopping.”
A fashion buyer for ten years, Lucy studied a degree in textile fashion, but never really thought she would start her own business.
“I was commuting to London four days a week, which wasn’t ideal with young children,” she recalls.
“I never intended to start my own business, it happened quite naturally.
“By Christmas 2008 I had set up a website and was selling them to people other than just my friends.”
With tutus, masks, felt crowns and Indian headdresses, having children has definitely had an influence on what she makes and sells.
“I think the headdress came about because the kids had an Indian day at school,” she explains.
“I just thought right what can I do? I wanted it to be crafty and it just happened. The wings also just evolved naturally.
“I have nephews and two daughters so I test drive things on them, and also many of my friends have children so they have a look at things I am doing.
“The thing is children are very blunt so they will just go ‘I don’t like that’ or ‘that doesn’t look right’, and all I think is that took weeks for me to do. But it’s good to get honest feedback,” she laughs.
But does she enjoy it?
“I love it and it is fun that my hobby has become my business,” she smiles.
With elasticated waists the tutus will fit children aged two and a half to six years old, and are made with high quality material so they will last.
“I want them to be something you can keep or have in the dressing up box for years to come,” she says.
And Lucy has found that people are starting to shun more traditional flower girl dresses at weddings in favour of her tutus.
“Weddings are a growing thing for me, people are starting to move away from the more traditional flower girls outfits and want their little girls to look like fairies,” she explains.
“They are great things to keep afterwards as little keepsakes of the day.”
So has she had any adult requests?
“Some,” she smiles. “I made one for a fashionista once, I haven’t seen a picture of her yet. Who knows, it may be something for me to look at in the future.”
Even loving what she does she has been taken aback by the feedback.
“I have been surprised at the response,” she reveals. “Every time someone orders something or requests a bespoke order I can’t quite believe it.
“I once told someone I wouldn’t be able to send it out in time for a party as it was a quick turn around so they drove down from Essex to pick up, it was unbelievable but lovely.”
From ladybirds to princesses, mice to pink fairies The Button Tree is a world of fancy dress fun to transport your little angels.
September 25, 2014 Fashion and Beauty