While you don’t necessarily need to be a ‘Butinski’ to tell someone you care, it doesn’t hurt either.
Like many great businesses before now, Butinski Designs was born out of experience. Before becoming business partners Lisa and Michele became cancer survivors. Inspired by their personal experience, they’ve created a line of inspirational cards and gifts that are uplifting for cancer patients. After all, what better time is there to butt in and let someone you care about know that you are thinking of them?
Tell us a little about Butinski Designs.
We offer inspirational products that send a message from the heart. Including greeting cards with a token necklace, embellished hats, tees and gifts for cancer patients. Every product on our site is designed to be upbeat and touching to the person receiving it.
What inspired you to launch your business?
My friend Michele and I are both cancer survivors. We were chatting one day about how cards for cancer patients were so gloomy sometimes. So right then and there we decided to start making cards. That then morphed into jewelry. We both found comfort in the jewelry people had given us during our treatment.
How many different designs do you currently have?
We have over 40 different cards and we are working on adding a few more over the next couple weeks. We also have a few bracelets for cancer awareness and some fun jewelry for everyone. Finally we have around 20 hat designs.
Any new ideas in the works? What are they?
We do have new ideas in the works. We are adding a few more cards to the cards for cancer patient’s line. We feel we need to add one for surgery, which is a biggy for people. We are also adding a new line of handmade jewelry a little more upscale to the site. We are finally adding some cards specifically for men! So we have our work cut out for us.
What goals do you hope to accomplish before you reach your first anniversary in March of next year?
The goals we would really like to accomplish by next year is to have our line of cards and jewelry be completed atleast for a little while. We are going to the NY Stationary show for the first time and we want to make a good viewing. We would also like to be getting business over the web. We are working hard at making our cards show well and learn how to get hits to the site. Finally the big goal, to make a small profit!
What are some of your long term goals for Butinski Designs?
Long term we want to grow our business and be known as the place to purchase a card or gift for someone going through a hard time. We also want to be able to make a living at it.
What is the most enjoyable part of designing new images for products and cards?
The most enjoyable part of designing is when someone says something unexpectedly or you see something during the day, you think that would make a great card! Now, we can make the card! It is really fun to tinker at the desk and try new colors and themes.
Have you always seen yourself in this kind of business?
I have never seen myself in this kind of business. I had not even picked up a crayon since I was 10. I worked as a medical recruiter for the last 15 years and never thought of anything like this. I went to a store last summer to show them the cards (they purchased them) and the owner asked if I was the artist! I almost laughed, I had never been called a artist before or even considered myself to be one.
What has been the hardest thing about balancing time for your business and time for yourself?
The hardest thing has been I become obsessed and a weekend day will be gone as I try to learn photoshop or work on our web site. I have learned to do my work out in the morning and not work on Sundays. I also have a son and I make sure I pick him up from school every day and eat lunch with him. He is still young enough to want to spend time with his mother!
Do you have any advice you’d like to offer others who are also trying to get their own small online business launched?
Not to steal a line from Nike, but just do it. I look at our cards from 5 months ago and some of them are terrible. But we make cards anyway. Of 20 creations only 1 is great sometimes. You also have to check your ego at the door. Do not be afraid to take advise, because everyone will give it to you. BE BRAVE!