By Patricia Belyea
VICTORIA BC How could I have walked down Government St. a million times and missed the red button? Yesterday as I was strolling back from a downtown errand, I looked up Trounce Alley and saw it.
Although in a bit of a time crunch, the hanging sign lured me off my course. What could it signify? A fabric store? A quilt shop? A tailor?
When I walked through the red door I encountered the largest inventory of fabulous buttons I have ever seen—buttons above the counter on cards and below the counter in tubes.
I checked in with the shop owners before I took any photos. From Kim and Mike Stremel I learned that Button & Needlework Boutique started 18 years ago when they rented a 100-square-foot space to sell ten dozen buttons. Today the Stemel’s 12-year old storefront at 614 View Street shines as a remarkable emporium for needleworkers of all ilks.
Lily, their sweet chihuahua, is a real favorite with customers. A photo of Little Lil closes each Happenings newsletter on the ButtonedUp.com website. When Kim skipped adding Lily’s photo one month, customers were concerned about their little friend.
How did the store grow from 120 buttons to the bursting boutique it is today? Kim explained that one thing led to another as customers asked for needlecraft and knitting supplies.
There is a full array of luscious yarns—merlino, silk, mohair, alpaca, bamboo and more— and stitch charts for the newest looks:
And supplies for needlework. I loved seeing more than 20 packages of needles for hand stitching:
And a terrific selection of needlework kits including the shop’s own Crazy for Crewel patterns and wool packs:
Kim and Mike have invested their hearts and souls into bringing together quality products for needleworkers. In every nook and cranny of Button & Needlework Boutique, I found something that truly delighted me. What a great discovery!