Small Business Spotlight: Cute Buttons Gift and Paper Boutique

"We want to keep people passionate about the art of letter-writing and the written word," says Alison Perry, owner of Cute Buttons paper boutique in Morrisville.

In 2008, owner Alison Perry opened the doors of Cute Buttons Gift and Paper Boutique. 

Before she opened the shop, Perry’s passion for writing had led her to become a newspaper reporter, and later, to work at an advertising agency. Perry’s entry to the stationery business began with writing sentiments for greeting cards. 

“I’ve always been a writer; I just love the written word,” she said.  

Alison Perry owns Cute Buttons Gift and Paper Boutique.

Cute Buttons, located in Morrisville’s Park West Village, offers custom invitations for weddings and other parties, as well as personalized stationery and lifestyle products. 

What sets Cute Buttons apart?  

Customer service. That’s with everything, you have to connect with your customers. Especially in this crazy age of COVID and to try to give them the best possible experience you can. I also try to support independent artists, and customers like our selection. We do all different cards for all different kinds of occasions and people like the opportunity. It makes them smile. A lot of our customers take the cards and frame them. 

What makes Morrisville a good location for Cute Buttons? 

I’m an African-American owner, so I’m very into diversity. People from all walks of life and ages — it’s kind of a melting pot. And it’s not even just here, I think it’s the whole Triangle and the fact that people come together and want to support a business. Everyone doesn’t look the same, talk the same, but we all have a common goal and that’s trying to support each other. 

The Triangle is big on supporting local businesses, and I love that. We’re the backbone and the engine of the economy. That’s not a cliché, it’s for real. We create jobs, we donate to communities, we donate to schools, we donate to organizations. The Triangle is a great place for small businesses. We are just happy to be in the mix. 

The shop also carries gifts as well as cards and custom stationery.

How has your business changed over the years? 

When I first opened our doors, there was no Instagram, no social media. I think we might have had a Facebook page. It was word of mouth, that’s really how you got customers. You had to learn quickly. We were small, we didn’t have a lot of money. 

I think the early lessons were learning things that worked and learning different things that didn’t work. I spent a lot of money, wasted a lot of money, lost a lot of money. I had to quickly learn how to use social media. 

We’ve been a business for almost 12 years. A lot of things have changed in the industry, and we’ve had to learn to change with them. If you don’t change, you will not survive. We want to keep people passionate about the art of letter-writing and the written word, the cute gifts, the brides and everything related, to things that are just nice, etiquette, Southern and sweet. 

How does Cute Buttons work with clients for custom wedding invitations? 

When they come in, we can work with all styles and budgets. Some people want to spend top dollar, and some people say, “I don’t really want to spend that much on paper. I would rather spend on the venue or the cake.” 

We work with different kinds of budgets, and we’re able to do different printing processes… We let them drive it, and we make their paper dreams come true. We don’t upsell, we don’t get people out of their budgets, but we give them a beautiful experience.

What is the most rewarding thing about having your own business?

Just the fact that you’re able to make people smile when they come in the store and they light up. I’m a job creator, we have three employees who work with us. Just giving back, it’s something positive, something fun. 

Paper and stationery gifts are fun items that we sell; they’re discretionary. People don’t have to have them, but when they do get them, we enjoy seeing the smile on their face, or when they say they want to give a gift to someone and they get excited about that. Paper reminds me of music — it just makes you feel good. 

3023 Village Market Place, Morrisville
(919) 462-9618


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