Me, the Bee


Hi, my name is Nancy Barnes. I’m the B of YBWorks.

Yes, YBWorks stands for “why B works” because I needed something to do that felt like work, to restore a chunk of my “me” that was lost when my life spun on a dime. It’s like one day, I was a Journeyman Tool & Die Maker with an AS techie degree in EERT (had skills, could travel, one employable bee) and then bam…  I’m a disabled non-driver dealing with pain and perks like limited mobility and medical bills out the ying-yang.  Not whining, just stating… life goes on, we each have to play the hand as dealt, roll with what comes, eh?

The thing is, disability stole a chunk of my identity. How can I be who I am, defined by what I do, when I cannot do the work anymore? What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life? Sit around, wait to die?

Art pretty much saved me… I took up colored pencils because it was a dry medium that required minimal arm movement to draw small pictures. I quickly learned that zoning into drawing was a mind over matter… zone deep enough dulls some pain. Suppose that also explains some of my drawings, as everything does come out in the art.

Still, my life was missing a sense of work… then I got this brainiac idea that I could somehow “re-able” myself with a couple button machines. I also fantasized that YBWorks could grow into a button factory with a storefront, hire employees, and offer every size and shape available; then YBWorks could be short for Youngstown Button Works.

Yes, I dream out loud… reality is always such a cold blow.

I do enjoy making buttons and my design skills are slowly improving as I school myself with GIMP software… not bad for a one-eyed bee (tiny blood clot stole the vision from my right eye). My graphics are professionally printed at the OfficeMax in Boardman because it is on the bus route and they do quality work… I couldn’t afford to maintain must less purchase printers like their high end machines.

Small orders are my specialty… some people only want one photo button made or they need like 40 or 100 for a business promo or party favors.

I can offer deeper discounts for quantity purchases, but straight up… I cannot compete with automated factories for large orders.  What I can do is offer free design assistance, great customer service, a locally made quality product with mix & match quantity discounts, and no hidden fees… no set up costs, small order surcharges, etc.

So, please remember YBWorks if you ever need any buttons made. Thank You!