Sunday, October 6, 2013

Paradise Found

I finally made the journey to Exclusive Buttons in El Cerrito, CA this weekend.  And it was a magical experience!  I have heard rumors of this treasure for years, and finally decided it was time to see what all the fuss is about.  And I can promise you that it lives up to all of the hype . . .

This tiny shop is filled to the brim with millions of buttons, in more colors and styles than I ever dreamed possible.

Along with a complete rainbow of basic buttons, there are incredible mini works of art that beg to have an entire outfit built around them!  Bakelite, Czech glass, horn, shell, wood, celluloid, crystal, rhinestone – if you need something specific, chances are good that the owner, Mary Sortile, has what you are looking for. 

And this lady knows her stock.  When I showed her a swatch of my fabric and beads, she pulled out two options, one of which was what I ended up purchasing, along with some other "essentials."  How is that for customer service?!

Walls are lined with racks and racks of buttons that hinge open to reveal another layer of buttons.  And when you think you have seen everything, there is another cabinet with drawers filled to the brim!

I would suggest having a specific project in mind, or the experience might be overwhelming.  I spent quite a bit of time because I wanted to see everything and hear everything that Mary had to say!  

One customer who came in looking to match a clear faceted button missing on a white shirt (which, of course, she found) put it very succinctly:  “candy without the calories.”  Exactly!

If you are in the Bay Area, you really must stop by.  I promise it will be worth the trip!

Exclusive Buttons  (Open Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) 
10252 San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito, CA


  1. This seems to be a magical place indeed! So many buttons, what a dream! Wish I could go there ... Thanks for the pictures and writing about it so I could live vicariously through them!

  2. Wow! Wish it was closer to where I live. Do they sell online at all?

    1. There is no online presence (not even a website), which sort of fits with the mood of the shop – but it is a shame for everyone who does not live nearby!

  3. That does indeed look like Button Heaven!! What an amazing treasure trove to explore.

  4. This looks heavenly! There are no button stores in the Sacramento area. I just might have to make a trip.

  5. that looks like one of the most amazing places in the world!

  6. Hey! My sister and I have awarded you the Blogger Sunshine Award! We hope that you will be participating and to hear from you soon will be a thrill!

  7. Dear goodness, what an incredible shop. I love that in this face paced, Big Box store filled, order-so-much-online world, magnificent stores like this dedicated to just buttons are still able to exist.

  8. Oh my goodness! That certainly does look like paradise! :)