About

Teresa Graves still has many connections to her birthplace of Clinton, Tennessee, even though she calls Middle Tennessee home now.  Like many people, she fell into her business.  For her it was about 20 years ago when she found her grandmother Ollie’s antique buttons and her grandfather’s watch chain.  She made them into a bracelet and that’s when the requests began.  “When can you make something like that for me?  That’s all I heard,” said Teresa.  “Next thing I knew I was in business. ”  And she had to learn a lot, it seemed, about buttons.  The oldest buttons on record are the 17th century Satusumas.  They were used in Japan, yet made by Korean potters of ceramics.  The buttons have highly detailed images of every day life–of the time.  Victorian era brass buttons are much the same, given that they include fine details.  Glass buttons from Bohemia (now a part of Czech Republic) celluloid buttons from the 1920’s and bakelite from the 1930’s. See how the details have begun to pile up?  Teresa is a button expert.  Now, each piece of jewelry she makes will include a button.   Sometimes they’re so delicate and beautiful you may not even realize it’s a button on your bracelet.  Each piece is one-of-a-kind so you’ll never be wearing something your best friend just bought.  Just like the well-mannered lady her grandmother Ollie taught her to be, Teresa practices the art of the handwritten note.    Everyone who buys an Ollie & Co. piece of jewelry receives a note from the artist with a brief history of what’s included on the jewelry design.  She feels very strongly that by turning buttons into jewelry that first of all, they’re being used, and second, she’s preserving history. If you have a piece of history you’d like preserved, she will do a custom order with the antique buttons (or anything else for that matter) you discovered tucked away in your grandmother’s drawer.

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