Rachael Starkweather, “The Button Girl,” is known for her ability to capture endearing images that speak to you. Her one-inch buttons are a curated collection of illustrations from children’s books, nature and iconic pop-culture, all with a timeless appeal.
Rachael started down her path to business owner in 2002. Then a between-jobs skateboarder visiting California, Rachael saw a tee with the phrase “dork out.” It was a fleeting moment that caught her attention. The tee actually said, “work out,” but that didn’t stop Rachael from borrowing a button maker and whipping up her colorful proclamation to DORK OUT. And the public responded.
In 2003, when Rachael traveled back to Portland, she decided to build on her success and bought a button maker on a credit card. She started selling her wares at a local bar, and her mainstay for years, Last Thursday on Alberta Street.
It wasn’t until a seven-month road trip in 2004, taking her buttons to small brick-and-mortar shops, that her business really started to take root. With her first order for 3,000 buttons, Rachael conceived her method for wholesale delivery and honed her customer relationship skills. In fulfilling that transaction, she laid the groundwork for her business plan. It was the 2008 Portland Gift Show that served to solidify her place among handmade business owners.
Today, Rachael works out of her Northeast Portland studio with her Head Button Elf, Asher, creating buttons and magnets to help you share your flair.