WILLIAMSTOWN - Nikki Butler realized she would have to quit her full-time job if she wanted to expand her popular fashion line. Butler did just that on April 1 when she left as a graphic designer at Stonewall Marketing in Marietta to focus on her business Nikki Butler Design.
"I knew this venture couldn't go anywhere if I didn't devote more time to it," Butler said.
Participating in the Buyers Market of American Craft at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Feb. 16-18 ignited a spark in expanding her business, Butler said. She received positive comments from those attending the artists trade show and made business connections.
From left, Caroline Waller, Nikki Butler and Tina McMullen model a black and white ensemble featuring an infinity scarf and clutch from Butler’s latest collection, Avenue B. (Photo provided)
Since the Philadelphia show, Avenue B, the Butler-designed clothing and accessories line, has been added to stores in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. West Virginia stores include Studio 40 in Lewisburg and Geraniums in Charleston.
Butler created Nikki Butler Design in 2011. She creates her own designs, has them produced on fabric and then crafts her own line of clothing and accessories produced from her textiles.
Her clothing and accessories were featured in Girl on Fire, the West Virginia Symphony League's fashion show, on Thursday in Charleston. Her clothes will be in the Marietta Health Foundation's fashion show on May 16 at Fenton Court at Marietta College and in a trunk show from 1-5 p.m. May 18 at Twisted Sisters Boutique in Marietta.
Butler is excited about attending an international surface design conference this month in New York City. She will be taking classes on art licensing, copyrighting and safeguarding artwork, developing color strategies and future trends.
Her trip to New York is being made possible because of Butler's involvement with the Tamarack Foundation based in Charleston and its WV to Urban Markets program, which sponsored the Philadelphia trip.
The Tamarack Foundation will sponsor Butler to exhibit her designer collection at the New York City conference next year. That will put her creations in front of manufacturers.
Butler's collections are featured at Tamarack, The Resort at Glade Springs, WV Market in Morgantown and Snowshoe, Mountain Made, Twisted Sisters Boutique and other specialty shops.
Avenue B includes feminine skirts, reversible belts, resort shirts, infinity scarves and clutch purses available in 11 new fabric designs. She works from home studio.
Butler said she is inspired by her love for contemporary fashion and vintage textiles. She likes her design fabrics to be lightweight silk and cotton twill and likes organic cotton.
She designs and prints the tags for her clothing line and accessories. Her mother, Barbara Robinson of Marietta, helps Butler with the sewing.
Butler won the Made in West Virginia award for fashion and accessories from "WV Living Magazine." She lives in Williamstown with her husband and four children.