Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vintage Feature: The Lost and Found on Etsy

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!!

5 comments:

  1. Visiting from MBC... vintage can be very nice :) and also sometimes very horrendous... :D

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  2. Such a cute blog! Following from MBC. Hope you'll check mine out at www.MommyLite.blogspot.com.

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  3. Hi Heather -- just found your blog recently, but I truly love it!

    Please stop by to pick up your Kreativ Blogger award:

    :D

    http://newenglandnanny.blogspot.com/2009/09/walking-red-carpet.html

    ReplyDelete
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