Ifs, Ands, or Buttons is an Ottawa based small business that creates buttons and magnets, many of which support charitable causes.
The designs tend to focus on causes that matter to me: rescuing animals, social justice, and women’s empowerment, just to name a few. There are also many fun designs as well, because who can resist making a sloth set? They’re just too cute! Buttons and magnets are available online (Etsy), in local boutiques (see list), in person at craft fairs and festivals (see upcoming events), and by email (especially for custom orders!). Craft fairs have the additional benefit of having on-the-spot options for custom buttons: draw your own, maps, comic books, and dictionaries.
Ifs, Ands, or Buttons didn’t start off as an idea to be a business. It started because of a love of rats and a love of buttons. While working at a charity, I was exposed to the fascinating abilities of a button maker – at the same time, I was fostering for the Ottawa Pet Rat Rescue and playing a heck of a lot of Ingress. I decided to try my hand at designing a few sets – hoping that the rat ones could raise a little bit of money for the rescue and that the Ingress ones would let me share my love of the game.
Both sets were a success – and the idea took hold.
I left that job and was left with a decision: do I liquidate the remaining buttons and move on? Or do I double down, get my own button press and forge ahead? Well, you know the answer to that one.
At first I focused on fundraising for the rat rescue and only posted through Etsy under the monkier The Mad Ratter. (I like puns, clearly.) But I had more and more ideas for buttons, many of which did not fit under the rat theme. With these ideas in mind I rebranded to the currrent name: Ifs, Ands, or Buttons. Around this same time I expanded to also offer magnets.
And then I discovered craft fairs and summer festivals! My friend Jennifer over at Dutch Bike Printing Co. wanted company at the Carleton Place Summer Fest and I caught the bug. Now I’m attending them throughout the year while working to consistently introduce new items, innovate new styles (hello shiny buttons!), and better my display and turn around. Throughout these changes I have maintained the idea of giving back – many of my sets and designs donate a portion of the proceeds to charities that are near and dear to my heart. I absolutely adore that this venture allows me to help them out too.
About the Creator
I’m Kaitlynne-Rae! I was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario and moved to Ottawa for school. I ended up falling head over heels for this wonderful city, put down roots, found animals to foster and love, and snagged an Ottawa local as a permanent partner in crime. I love animals (especially quokkas – look them up!), equality, cute things, buttons, social justice, and learning.