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Business Ripples: Buttercuppity

By Mermaid Jennifer

The name Buttercuppity sounds like something decadent to eat. However, it isn't a candy store or a bakery. Buttercuppity is a fabric boutique. Located in downtown Spokane, Buttercuppity's walls are lined in glorious and beautiful fabrics - candy for the eyes!

 

This fabric boutique is gorgeous and sure to inspire, whether a person sews or not. The owner, Ariadne Rooney, a former technical writer, conceived the idea by trifling with making her own handbags instead of writing her Master's thesis in English Literature.

It was one of those ideas born out of the pure joy of doing something she loved - even while trying to avoid something she didn't love.

While working in a corporate environment, Ari started bringing her own handbag creations to work. Before she could set her bag down, she had sold it to another co-worker who loved the fabrics and styles. Within two months, she realized that she had a commodity that people loved; something handmade, unique, and useful that others were beginning to covet.

 

Stitch-by-stitch

Ari set up an online store with Etsy to sell her handbags. Three months later, she resigned from her corporate job to become a full-fledged entrepreneur. But the story doesn't end here.

She rented warehouse space in downtown Spokane - really more of a basement than anything. People started coming in droves despite the complete lack of advertising or marketing of the business. Like 1950s housewives talking over coffee, word got out about the fabrics.

By January 2010, Buttercuppity had moved into retail space in downtown Spokane with resplendent window dressings and signage.

 

Woven into a dream come true

Through the efforts of her blog, Facebook, and her online store with Etsy - in addition to the retail store - this little paragon has firmly developed a soul of its own.

With her husband and four teenagers helping in the store, Ari holds sewing classes and shares craft ideas. Facebook fans from the Spokane area can't help but stop by after viewing the fabrics and ideas on Buttercuppity's fan page. Mothers, daughters, and grandmothers come in to work side-by-side on quilts, purses or beanbag chairs.

Beginners come in tentatively, with a fear of uneven seams and tangled thread, only to walk out proudly with finished projects. "People want to get back to do-it-yourself," says Ari, "when you make something yourself and someone compliments you, you feel so proud - you poured something of yourself into it and it's affirming."

Learn more about Buttercuppity:

Retail store location:

  • 159 S. Lincoln, Suite 165 in downtown Spokane, Washington
  • (509)368-9427

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