On my other blog, I'm hosting a giveaway that I thought you vintage lovers might enjoy. It's this goldtone bracelet made from vintage metal beads and punctuated by rose, topaz and sky blue swarovski crystals.
This week's vintage feature is The Lost and Found vintage shop, which is filled with a wide variety of very cool vintage items from buttons to cameras, and everything in between! Maryann is the shop owner with the keen eye for vintage, and she also happens to be my very best and most dear friend! She inspired me to open my vintage shop. With 89 sales so far since she opened in January, she is on fire! Check out the interview below, and if you find something in her shop that tickles your fancy - there's a coupon in it for you!
How did the idea for your business come about?
Lets see-- I was searching for a way to incorporate my love for cool vintage pieces with my boredom at home. As a stay at home mom, you stay busy day-to-day with house chores and kid related happenings, but at the time I didn't have anything just for me. Opening The Lost and Found Vintage was my outlet to the outside world. I get to buy amazing vintage pieces that I looove, and then through Etsy, find good homes for them. Instead of the piece sitting in someones attic, it's now loved and cherished. The whole idea is exciting!
How did you come up with your shop name?
When I think of a lost and found, I go back to my elementary school days and the search for the misplaced sweatshirt. Growing up in Southern California, jackets really were not necessary, but every now and again you would need that trusty sweatshirt for those brisk 60 degree mornings. Well typically by afternoon, it can reach 75 to 80 degrees. Off comes the sweatshirts, playing usually ensued and lost is the sweatshirt. Well if you ever encountered the typical "lost and found," you would know anything and everything can be there. From baseball hats, lunch pails, jewelry, sweatshirts, toys...anything and everything. When I think of my vintage shop, I carry a little bit of anything and everything-- thus, The Lost and Found!
What inspires you and what keeps you motivated?
My customers keep me motivated. Every time I think I had a slow week or a lull in sales, I will get a really sweet, motivating feedback from a customer saying how much they love what they purchased and how they will be back! That in itself is worth the time and effort I put in! I love it when someone is 100% satisfied!
To what do you attribute your success?
I attribute my success-- and to me, my 89 sales is a huge success-- to keeping a shop stocked full of quality vintage pieces that I would love to keep myself. If I can't see myself buying and keeping the item, then I won't purchase it. I also try to keep timeless pieces in the shop. Not just vintage that is popular by today's standards, but classic timeless pieces.
Three pieces of advice you can share with fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace?
Business Cards-- They are a super inexpensive way to market your shop quickly and efficiently. You meet someone, you give them your card, they have the info and they make the decision to look further. So easy. I throw one in with every order, so that way I make it easy for a customer to come back and shop some more! I also have a coupon code on the business card for returning customers for 10% off any future purchase.
How do you go about marketing your business?
Use the forums-- they are your friend! There is so much useful information on the forums every single day! Info for newbies to info for buyers. It's really helpful to stop in every now and again and say hello! Plus you would be surprised how many people will visit your shop just based off of a post on the forums!
I market a variety of ways including my blog, through Twitter (although I'm not so sure if I have gotten any sales from it yet, but we will see...), through a Facebook Fan Page, business cards, word of mouth, posting in forums, giveaways, sales... and I am thinking of renting the Goodyear Blimp for Super Bowl time-- that may get me some customers!
Three pieces of advice you can share with fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace?
Being positive! With that, I mean staying positive in your shop announcement, profile, policies, forums-- everywhere! Nobody likes a Debbie Downer (remember Debbie from school Heather-- oooh god she was a downer-- lol) If you stay upbeat and lighthearted, it goes a long way!
For all Old Bag Vintage Readers, I am offering 10% off any purchase now through November! During checkout, in the message to seller section say "OLDBAG" and I will refund you back 10%! YAY!
What a great interview. Thanks, Maryann! Love you, MWA!!
We're having cool weather in New Jersey this week and it has me thinking fall. Sweaters, hats, scarves, gloves, and soft fuzzy blankets. Hayrides, craft festivals, turning leaves, crisp air: I love fall. Here's a great collection of vintage fall knits available on Etsy.com.
I found this really cool shop on Etsy called Keys and Memories, selling jewelry made from vintage typewriter keys! I want one of the necklaces...or maybe the ring. Maybe both! Shop owner, Elizabeth runs her shop from Oklahoma. She and her family enjoy the wildlife and simple living. More time to create these awesome pieces, I suppose. She's enjoyed great success on Etsy with over 4,000 sales! Wow! Read below for the interview :)
How did the idea for your business come about?
I started selling finished keys to crafters and thought I would give it a try myself. That was almost 4 years ago and the rest is history.
How did you come up with your shop name? I just played around with words and I liked the combo of Keys and Memories.
What inspires you and what keeps you going?
I have always owned my own business and really need to have something to do during the day- I just can't sit still!
To what do you attribute your success?
I would say I have a product that appeals to a wide audience. I also have made changes to keep one step ahead as my business has grown.
Three pieces of advice you can share with fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace?
You can't sell it if you don't list it- I think I have well over 200 hundred items listed right now. It might seem like a lot but I have found the more I list the more I sell.
A variety of price points- I have items from $5- $50 in my shop. I think there are items for every budget.
Good customer service. When problems arise I fix them. I try to treat my customers like I want to be treated.
How do you go about marketing your business?
I am embarrassed to say this but I do no marketing at all. I probably should but I just haven't yet.
Please add anything else you’d like to share.
I love Etsy!
This week I'm featuring an awesome vintage shop I found on Etsy, called backtothevintage. Shop owner, Kate is a freelance graphic designer by day and she also designs and sells jewelry on Etsy. She worked in her Mom's antique store when she was attending college and ever since she's been hooked on Vintage! Some of them items in her shop were shipped in from Michigan, so there's a nice variety to peruse.
How did the idea for your business come about and how did you decide on the name for your shop?I opened my vintage Etsy shop as a way to make extra money doing something I love. The name is funny, I am really not good at coming up with names so I asked my boyfriend for some help. Back to the Future had been on tv recently and so he said, "what about Back to the Vintage?" And there you have it! [that's what I thought, i LOVE those movies!]
What inspires you and what keeps you motivated? I personally love mixing old with new. Especially jewelry. Wearing something new and modern and pairing it with an old piece of jewelry is my favorite. So when i am out looking, I am always drawn to the jewelry section. My house is the same way, I have new modern furniture and housewares with a lot of vintage thrown in there. I like to mix it up. Keeping things funky like that is inspiring and I have friends who have a similar style. I also find a lot of inspiration on blogs I follow. What keeps my motivated is a big mix of things. Fun is one of them, this is just fun for me. I even enjoy photographing the items I put in my shop. I'm motivated by a drive to make money as well. I also have a twitter account (http://twitter.com/kelderkin) where i follow other vintage etsiers and see how often they are listing things and that is also a big push to keep up the pace! To what do you attribute your success? I started in Feb. of this year. I think I have done pretty well so far. I think vintage is easy to sell on etsy. But I think it's a love for what I am doing that helps. I take time to present myself and my shop well.
Three pieces of advice you can share with fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace? Research. I am still learning a lot but I just keep looking into things and trying to figure out what works. You may sell things if you just put some product up there, but there is much more that goes into it. Look into the forums on etsy and look at other vintage sites to see what sells. There are collectibles. There are a lot of trends right now that are vintage and/or vintage inspired. Things go in and out of style constantly and it's good to keep up on that. Come up with some sort of consistent look. My look is very simple but I think it helps your shop to have a feel or an aesthetic that is consistent and clean. Also, try to list things as often as you can, that way you are always in the top of the list for searches. I have also heard that if you are selling clothes or jewelry to model it and show your face in the pics because people like to see the face they are buying from. Makes it more personal. I tend to agree as a buyer.
How do you go about marketing your business? I'm still trying to figure that out. So far I have been doing ads on craftcult.com which is pretty inexpensive and gets a lot of traffic to my site. I'm going to have an ad in N.E.E.T. magazine (http://www.neetmagazine.com/) in September. Also very inexpensive and such a cool magazine. The mag is online and the ads link to your site. For my handmade jewelry shop I have been doing the same as above but also did some advertising on this blog: http://keikolynn.blogspot.com/ she has 700+ followers and I have gotten a lot of traffic from that ad as well. I am also doing a giveaway on her site, because that creates more traffic as well. *sidebar: sign up for google analytics so you know where your traffic is coming from* I also tweet every new item I list. This gets traffic in seconds to your shop. I have a blog for my handmade jewelry.
Kate has graciously agreed to a GIVEAWAY!Win this awesome vintage purse!!!
1) Follow this blog AND
2) Leave a comment below, telling me what your favorite item is in Kate's shop, backtothevintage. Please choose something other than the two items displayed in this post for your entry to count.
This week's Etsy shop of the week is Callooh Callay, where you can find great Vintage Button Jewelry, Antiques, Hats and Postcards. I fell in love with this shop and asked the owner, Susan to do this interview. The items available are fantastic and she's had over 600 sales in about a year and a half on Etsy--which is quite inspiring, to me. She lives in Missouri and works as a writer and editor as her main gig. Check out the interview below and visit her shop today!
How did the idea for your business come about? I just happened upon Etsy, thought about it and started planning, and started my business a few months later selling jewelry made from vintage buttons. I’d been making a few brooches for friends but never tried to sell any before, so I jumped in blind. Then within the first month I realized how much great vintage Etsy has to offer. I started selling a few things I had around the house, but then got really hooked and went in whole hog. My shop now is about 40% handmade jewelry and 60% vintage or vintage supplies.
What inspires you to keep chugging along here on Etsy? Money! Naw, seriously, it’s hard to make a living on Etsy—I sure haven’t reached that level of sales yet—but it’s lots of fun. I enjoy the creative aspect of making the jewelry, the thrill of searching for vintage, the fun of networking with other vintage and handmade sellers, and the challenge of doing the photography and writing and promoting and everything it takes to make the business work. I’m also constantly awed by the level of creativity and business acumen in other vintage and handmade sellers.
To what do you attribute your success? My success, such as it is, has come from constantly working to improve what I’m doing, including photos, the types of things I sell, customer service, marketing, search engine optimization, and all that jazz. It took a lot of self-education to get the shop up and running, and it really never stops. This is particularly true in selling vintage, which I’ve been collecting my whole life but (aside from a few Barbies on e-bay) have never sold before. The vintage community on Etsy is just wonderfully knowledgeable and generous; I probably would not have gotten into it as much as I have without their support.
Best advice for fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace? Never underestimate the value of good photos. Buy the best camera you can and work it! If you’re not sure what you’re doing, there are many places to get advice, from the Etsy forums to photo workshops. Like with everything else, you can start out working on a few things—say lighting, or backgrounds—and once you have that figured out, then try other improvements, such as varying the angles, or staging the photo, or using a model. Look around at the marvelous photos others are taking, and you’ll always find something you can do to improve your work.
How do you go about marketing your business? It’s a little hit and miss. I started out with a blog, which I ran out of time for but dream of reviving some day. I dabble in a number of other things, including Flickr and Twitter; a few social networking sites (Vintage Pulse and Vintage Village); and a couple of street teams (Etsy Vintage Team and Steam Team, for steampunk items), though I’ve been too busy to do much with either of them lately. One thing I’ve been hooked on is making treasuries on Etsy (almost always featuring handmade and vintage together), and it’s helped me get featured and get on the front page more often.
This week, I'm interviewing Kirsti, owner of the Skinnie and Bernie shop on Etsy. She not only collects and sells awesome vintage items, she's also an artist with a degree in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design - a fantastic design school. She enjoys creating assemblage box sculptures, block printed and hand sewn cards and collects decorative papers and unusual vintage fabrics for use in her many card designs. She lives in a cabin in Pennsylvania with her husband and two cats; ahh that sounds so relaxing! Read all about Kirsti below...
How did the idea for your business come about? I've always been a collector of old parts and pieces for the assemblage artwork I create. Collecting vintage clothing is another one of my passions. I really enjoy the hunt for unique pieces. I'd been considering my best options for selling these items and my artwork when my sister in Brooklyn sent me a link to Etsy. She gave me the nudge, and I jumped right in! So far I've been quite happy with my vintage shop, and one of these days I'll get my artwork out there too....
What inspires you to keep at it here on Etsy? I have an insatiable appetite for collecting vintage items, which is probably not completely healthy, but I do enjoy it! Etsy provides me with the outlet. The environment at Etsy is so welcoming and supportive that it really makes me happy to be a part of this community. My customers are awesome as well, and I really appreciate their continued support!
To what do you attribute your success? Well I still feel pretty new here at Etsy. My business is just 6 months old, but hopefully I am gaining a following. I think part of my success comes from taking decent pictures (so the items are well represented) and in being as accurate as I can be in describing an item. I think my customers have a right to know everything about the items, flaws and all, since they are vintage and have been previously used and loved. Being honest about an item will gain customer satisfaction and bring people back to potentially buy again. Best advice for fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace? Be true to yourself. Pick something that you love to do and do it well. Your success will follow. Also doing research is immensely helpful. I spent a lot of time researching different shops, seeing what was working for them, and it made me a much more informed seller once I set up my shop.
How do you go about marketing your business? I rely solely on listing new items as much as possible. I think keeping your shop visible by always listing new items (or renewing old ones) keeps you viable in the marketplace.
I've fallen in love with Kirsti's shop, and I know you will too. I can't wait to see her artwork!
These beaded and sequined earrings were part of an estate lot of jewelry that I purchased. Possibly 80's vintage...I'm not sure. But they are definitely handmade. They are earrings, but they'd also look great clipped onto a shoe, blouse, or even onto a Christmas gift.
This is how to enter: 1) Follow this blog and leave a comment 2) For an additional entry, visit my Etsy boutique and tell me what your favorite item is. Post the link in an additional comment.
Be sure to give me some way to contact you, either through your etsy shop, email, etc.
That's it! The winner will be chosen at random on Friday, August 14th.
I "met" this week's shop owner, Pam after winning her latest blog giveaway, a wonderful rose-colored vintage necklace. (I'm still dumbfounded - I never win anything!). Pam actually runs three shops on Etsy. There is WhimsicalVintage - a vintage jewelry and accessory shop, WhimsicalRetroStyle - a vintage clothing shop and WhimsicalPam, a handmade jewelry shop. She's enjoyed great success on Etsy, but not without a keen eye and a lot of hard work. She shares some wonderful advice below, read on to learn more!
How did the idea for your business come about? I've always loved antiques. Growing up in CT, little antique stores were everywhere. My mother had a passion for antiques as well and her good friend owned a shop in Greenwich Village. From the time I was a little kid, she would drag me down there (during the 60's and 70's). I just loved her friend David and remember thinking how "cool" everything was. After I started my jewelry business on Etsy, I saw vintage becoming popular and thought "What am I doing? I know this stuff, I love this stuff and I live in one of the greatest vintage hunting grounds in the country."...and so began whimsicalvintage.
What inspires you to keep at it here on Etsy? I've been with Etsy for almost 3 years now. I'm a creature of habit and loyal to the core. I loved the community sense that I got from Etsy and decided to roll with the inevitable growth changes. I'm happy with my shops...I've met wonderful people, some are my customers and others are Etsy sellers. We'll see what the future holds, I'm not opposed to change but I am cautious.
To what do you attribute your success? Customer service, first and foremost. I managed restaurants for most of my working life and have dealt with people on many different levels. The key is to make people feel comfortable. Let's face it, they're paying in advance to a person that they don't know and a product that they haven't tangibly seen. I think that deserves the best attention possible. I convo and email all of my customers, immediately after purchase with a thank you and a shipping date. I ask that they let me know when they receive their item, as I do offer a complete guarantee. If I have not heard from someone, I check in with them after a few weeks (or a little more for international orders).
I also try find items that are a little out of the ordinary and in excellent condition - I love each item that I sell...and am constantly tempted to keep most of them for myself. Thankfully, I don't have the room :)
I try to keep my prices reasonable and within the market price, so as not to undercut my fellow sellers...however, when I get a great deal...I usually try to pass it on. So to sum up...customer service, communication, quality, whimsy and pricing.
Best advice for fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace? Set up your profiles and policies, they are very important. Be specific on location. Not only does this help your sales with the shop local tool but it also makes you more professional. People in Australia do not know where "Home of the Giant Lumberjack" is...I don't know where the home of the Giant Lumberjack is! I made that up but you get the point:) Get to know your Internet marketing sources...I can't believe sometimes the amount that I've learned about this and as fast as you learn one thing, another crops up. Know what is good and what isn't...trying to follow all of them will drive you nuts:) Remember that there is a whole world outside of Etsy and market to them.
How do you go about marketing your business? A lot of my business now is referrals and returning customers but I do a lot of blog reading and commenting (off Etsy blogs). I try to keep my own blog relatively fresh with a variety of topics and I do a monthly giveaway. I submit my blog and my sites to all of the search engines monthly. http://submitexpress.com is great for your blog but you need to add their button, so it doesn't work for Etsy...which is why I submit individually. Keeping blog mini's up that really show off your shop and rotating them is very important. I belong to http://vintagevillage.ning.com and that has been a wonderful resource. Lora from http://ElsiesAttic.etsy.com and Jane from http://YesterdaysPleasures.etsy.com have done a tremendous job with that site.
Anything else you’d like to share? Any business takes time and dedication. Vintage selling can be very time consuming between the actual buying, photography, research...and more research. But I have given this my all...I have days that I put in 14 hours, the average day for me to spend on my shops is probably close to 10 hours. You really have to love what you do, take pride in it and plan on being in it for the long haul.
And love your customers, without them you have nothing. Know how to handle problems when they do arise...always keeping the customer happy. Sometimes the problem sale can turn into your best returning and referral business.
Thank you Heather for the wonderful questions and opportunity!
This morning I was watching the today show, and they had a segment called "7 Style Rules to Break". The #1 Rule to Break? Glittery Jewelry is Meant for the Evening. Amen to breaking that rule!
I am drawn to gorgeous glittery vintage pieces, as you can see from my collection available in my Etsy boutique, oldbagvintage. You can read the complete TodayShow article on their website by clicking here.
This week's shop of the week features a young lady, Ashlee and her appropriately named Etsy shop AshleeBonaparte1! She is both an artist and fellow vintage junkie who lives with her baby daughter Ella, boyfriend James and Cilantro, the kitty. She's only 7 months in on Etsy and already has had over 500 sales! It's a great shop, too - take a look see right now!
How did the idea for your business come about? I was about 4 months pregnant and was really bored/wasn't out on the jobforce, so I let me creativity and my eye for vintage things take me over.
What inspires you to keep chugging along? My loyal customers! They are always so fun to work with, and they say nothing but good things about the items I produce!
To what do you attribute your success? Being able to devote an allotted amount of time to go out vintage hunting and brainstorming ideas for jewelry.
Best advice for fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace? List things in your shop that are attractive to yourself, no matter how off the wall they may be. It's fine to follow trends, but in the long run, people seem to appreciate the more unique and special things you have to offer!
How do you go about marketing your business? I do light advertising through my Twitter (http://twitter.com/AshleeBonaparte) and I occasionally purchase showcase spots!
Anything else you'd like to share? I think that if you are a creative person, with a keen sense of style and are looking to share that with the world, I would encourage you to open an etsy shop or start your own website as well!
I'm sorry I've been MIA this past week. We had a death in the family, which got me thinking. I did a search on Etsy for 'Funeral' and below are a few of my favorites. Does anyone wear those hats with the netting anymore? I love those hats...
As an artist whose been out of practice for longer than I'd like to admit, I'm always looking for new (or old) artwork to add to my collection. Besides, I get tired of looking at my own work! The great thing about vintage art is it's eco-friendly, inexpensive and unique - you can say that about a vintage item of any kind, actually!
Take a look at some wonderful framed art I found on Etsy.
I just love this time of year, been spending lots of time in the garden. The work is so very therapeutic and when the it's is all done, I like to relax outside with a tall glass of iced tea and enjoy my surroundings.
Here are some wonderful vintage items I found on Etsy that any gardener would love. What is your favorite?
Don't miss this great sale on Etsy! I've been looking forward to this all year - both as a seller and a buyer! Who doesn't look forward to Christmas? I'm offering 15% off all of the items for sale in my shop. The prices are already adjusted. Below are the items in my shop with FREE SHIPPING in addition to this great sale:
This week I'm featuring Heather Lynn, who runs a successful Etsy shop called HeatherlyDesigns from the one-bedroom apartment she shares with her beau Seth and their min-pin Bella. Her jewelry designs are vintage-inspired and some of her creations include vintage parts, which I love, and her prices are very reasonable! See below for some sound advice - we can learn a lot from this young lady. At only 24 years of age, she has it together. Her Etsy shop alone has had over 1400 sales! Want to learn more about Heather? Visit her Etsy shop, and while you're there, browse the wonderful collection of jewelry available for purchase! http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5086593.
How did the idea for your business come about? I started making seed bead necklaces with my cousin when we were 11 or 12. I got bored with putting little beads on a string and decided to move on to bigger and better beaded jewelry. My mom encouraged me to do festivals and fairs with her in the summer and sell my designs. After a lot of positive feedback & sales I decided to open some type of online venue to sell my jewelry. I created a myspace page for my company and met a friend who also made jewelry. I was checking her page one day and saw her etsy shop. I signed up that day and started listing later on that week. And have been making jewelry ever since.
How did you come up with your shop name? Well my name is Heather Lynn. When I was a kid my dad used to tease me and call me Heatherly. I struggled with a name for my jewelry for quite a while until using my nickname hit me in the head like a brick. From there I went to register my DBA as Heatherly Designs.
What inspires you and what keeps you going? What inspires me are new supplies. I love coming across new suppliers to buy from and when I look through their goodies I think, “Oh I know what I could do with this!”. What keeps me going is my passion for designing, my happy customers, my positive feedback and my family & friends' encouragement.
To what do you attribute your success? I would have to say my mom pushing me and always encouraging me to be creative. She graduated from F.I.T in Manhattan and 90% of her jobs have been creative. She always had the patience to sit and teach me things and when I would get frustrated because mine was not as good as hers she would always say, “Heather, practice makes perfect.”
Three pieces of advice you can share with fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace? The most important thing is to take good pictures. People can’t handle your items so your pictures are your main marketing to sell. I hate to sound cliché but love what you do and do what you love. Your passion definitely shows through in your work. And follow the trends; it’s not selling out, it’s being business savvy. I feel you have to follow fashion trends to some extent. Take them and make them your own by finding your own niche in the current market of what’s popular. Pop culture drives a lot of people.
How do you go about marketing your business? Wear my jewelry as much as I can. Always have business cards on hand. I am outgoing so I have no problem handing them out to people when they ask where I got a piece I am wearing. Doing festivals got my name out there locally. Getting into local boutiques on consignment. And of course the free sites out there; Flickr, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Indiepublic & Blogspot.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this week's shop of the week! From one Heather to another, I am inspired! ♥
This week's shop is based in Galena, Illinois. The shop owner, Jody McGill, crafts the most stunning jewelry I have ever seen. She uses old vintage pieces and reworks them, giving them life again. Browse her etsy shop, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5003513 and you'll see why she's received such recognition for her work; it is simply breathtaking. She's had over 3,000 sales on Etsy and decorates many celebrities with her beautiful creations. You don't have to be a rock star to enjoy these pieces, either - or have the budget of one. Check out what she has to say:
How did the idea for your business come about? I opened my first antique store whilst a single mom and going to college where I was studying vocal music and art. I had always been a dumpster diver and curb picker so it was a natural progression to turn my 'skills' into summer cash so I could spend days with my baby boy (Who is now 21!) That led to finding hoards of broken vintage and antique jewelry which I began re-crafting into my own designs. It was just a matter of days before I was selling it off my neck and in a local upscale boutique.
What inspires you and what keeps you going? My children and continuing to provide them with food, shelter and a safe loving home. As a single mom they will always be priority. Designing to me is pretty much like breathing so I would certainly perish if I stopped. I truly know I am blessed to make a living with my hands doing what I love!
It must be exciting to adorn celebrities with your wonderful creations – how did this come about? I am very passionate about my work so eventually I guess that translated to the drama in Hollywood. Strangely I always felt it would get there and with a little luck, internet presence and connection voila, it happened! So now I adorn celebs and such and I own a bunch of one-liners like..."Anyone ever kissed Anne Heche?" and "Have you ever been a lone in a room with Justin Timberlake?" Yes and YES! It's been a wild ride andf I love it all.
To what do you attribute your success? Positivity and surrounding my self with others who are happy, creative, and loving to all of humanity. I am very particular about my work and my friendships. I believe this consistency follows through in my work. Aesthetic is heartfelt and handmade.
Three pieces of advice you can share with fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace? Be unique, be your self, and love what you do! Don't let your success or lack there of on etsy be a deterrent to your creativity! It ain't an easy game.
How do you go about marketing your business? Mostly word of mouth. I figure if the work is strong people talk and not much beats that. So I commit to loving what I do and creating the best I can and the rest follows suit.
Please add anything else you’d like to share. My utmost passion is hoping that others can tap into their own passion! Be it jewelry, painting, food, homemaking, law, sales or whatever makes their heart skip a beat. Find it!!!! It will be worth every sacrifice you make ;)
Here is a wonderful vintage dress by Leslie Fay. Union made in U.S.A., (has a neat little union tag). It's in excellent condition. Made of sheer chiffon with jersey lining. Click the photo for more information!
This week I’m featuring another great success story, an Etsy shop called CricketsCreations, which is run by a very cool girl named Celeste (friends can call her Crickets!). She runs her business from Kanab, Utah which is near the majestic Grand Canyon. What a place to live for creative inspiration! Her work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens and Vegetarian Times, she’s had over 900 sales on Etsy, and she rocks the coolest Cateye Glasses! What’s not to like?
How did the idea for your business come about?
My muse, inspiration & support is my husband, Nicky. I made my very first scarf for him. He loved it so much that he said, "You could sell these and people would love 'em!" Since that time in August 2007 this has become my full-time career. I guess he was right!
What inspired you to begin making Fringies yarn photo props?
It's kind of funny how it all went down. I love to "get a little crazy" with the fringe for the scarves I design and create. To me, the fringe is the playful part of the scarf that dances when we move and I like to go all out with the fringe. So, one day Bonnie Grist Johnson of Still Time Photography contacts me and asks me to make a scarf that's ALL fringe to use as a photo prop with women and girls; I was delighted! I made her my very first and shortly thereafter another pro asked for one and I was on a roll!
What motivated you to move in the direction of fiber experimentation?
I love to play with texture and color, and will use up to 50 different yarns in a single scarf or Fringie. I often start with a special request to match a backdrop, outfit or some other purpose and then just start pulling out yarns and pulling out yarns that I think will add dynamic depth and texture and interest and contrast and....all of the sudden I've got a new piece that I’m proud of!
To what do you attribute your success? Taking better pictures was one of the biggest steps I made toward a successful shop on Etsy. I am also very prolific; I now offer 200+ designs in my shop…and there are a lot more in my head that are waiting to be given life! In addition to creating new designs at least weekly, I typically make 2-3 scarves a night and 2-5 Fringies per day to restock my inventory. I supply many retailers and I do craft fairs in addition to my online boutique.
Advice you can share with fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace?
The ways that I’ve been able to "go pro" and be so successful are to have fun, create a quality product, and cherish the customers I work for and with. It’s been a blast and I appreciate the opportunity! I so enjoy the chance to interact with my customers and get to know them as people or even friends.
How do you promote & find so many customers who love your work?
My Etsy shop is how most of my customers find me. I also keep a blog and a Flickr account.
Check out CricketsCreations on Etsy today http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5425532 What Etsian couldn’t use one of these cool fringies for a photo prop? I am loving the Anne Geddes-style display photos in her shop. One of my favorites is pictured above.
Wonderful Rooster pin, perfect for a collector of all things Rooster or of Vintage costume jewelry. Features diamond rhinestones on the body of the rooster. Appears to be missing a rhinestone for the rooster's eye.
Whether this really is an article from a home economics textbook teaching girls how to prepare for married life or a Good Housekeeping article or neither, it's still a fun read! 1. Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work- weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
3. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.
4. Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes.They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
5. Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.
6. Things to avoid: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he's late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
7. Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.
8. Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.
10. The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.
Kicking off my series of shops that have inspired me is DearGoldenVintage, an Etsy shop that is run by a lovely lady named Lauren from Ann Arbor, Michigan. This shop is only as old as my daughter, (just 6 months) but has already made well over 800 sales! I'd call that a success, wouldn't you? Her presentation is beautiful, photographs are crisp and the items are to die for! ♥
How did the idea for your business come about? I have always collected vintage clothing and pretty much all things vintage, whatever did not fit or I did not want anymore I passed on to friends. My husband was the one who saw me looking at vintage on Etsy and made an off-hand remark about how I could “totally do that” (meaning, have a shop), and it was as if I never considered it before then. Two days later, I had a shop stocked from items right out of my closet!
What inspires you, what keeps you going? Everything, all the time! Movies, music memories. Currently I am personally looking for wiggle dresses and skirts, I saw Revolutionary Road and just gushed over the clothing and although I have many full skirted 1950s dresses I don’t have a lot of tight ones and I am looking for those now!
To what do you attribute your success? So many factors, I think to be a success you have to work very hard, I work hard to find great items and I love all the things I sell in the shop. I have a serious passion for clothes which helps it seem NOT like work and thereby allowing me TO work so hard.
Advice you can share with fellow Etsians aspiring for success in our marketplace? Hmmm, I am fairly new as a seller so I am no expert, but a few things I find crucial are posting new items regularly, keep your store fresh. Take great photos that are very clear, don’t make people guess what you are selling, crisp & clear photos are key. And also, have fun, meet other sellers and just enjoy it. I work as hard on my shop as I do at my day job, but I love every minute of the Etsy work because I am really passionate about fashion and vintage fashion specifically!
How do you go about marketing your business? I have some ads on a couple of blogs/sites, I keep a blog myself and I use Twitter.
I've never seen a pair of earrings like this before. This is what I love about vintage; you'll be amazed at how many new things you'll discover. Being unique and different is what makes the world go 'round.
These earrings are in good and wearable vintage condition. One of the petals on one of the earrings is cracked. The clipbacks are in great condition. A great pair of unique vintage earrings at a low price!
Marked GES.GESCH 126, an abbreviation for Gesetzlich Geschutzt, which roughly translates to Copyrighted or Patented in German.