Friday, June 7, 2013

Etsy Business Profile: Vintage French Linens

Today we're chatting with Nan and Dermot from Vintage French Linens about their history and love for vintage!

Nan and Dermot from Vintage French Linens

"First I want to thank EVETEAM for giving  me such a warm welcome! And now I have a chance to introduce myself here. This comes at a good time for me as I was feeling somewhat removed from the hustle and bustle of the Daily Banter when I had a flare-up of a chronic malady (not interesting!) and so was doing much less. I've tried to keep up by doing Team Treasuries which I really enjoy! Now, I am back in the swing of things and feeling great.

So, here is a little history of me ('us' really, as my husband is my full partner in this) and our shop.

Back in the States I had been for many years a kindergarten teacher, which I loved, as well as being an Artist which was my true calling and passion, but as most of you will know, a hard way to make a living. I had bought many years ago, after divorce, a little ruin over here in France with the hope of fixing it up slowly and perhaps retiring here someday... In the meantime it was going to be my vacation getaway.

Then, almost 8 yrs ago, when I was 59, through mutual friends, I met ...and then married, an Irish guy also with a house here in France. So I sold my house and moved in!

Nan and Dermot garden. Isn't it beautiful?
But I needed something to do. But what? I loved visiting the many flea markets ('Brocantes') held all over France and had a 'stash' of stuff I had purchsed over the years, much of it for pennies so I started the business with that. In particular I had a large collection of the beautiful linens ... hence the name of the shop, 'FRENCH VINTAGE LINENS AND ANTIQUES'.

Damask tablecloth - Hand knitted bed coverletCotton Piquet pillow cases

I also had an attic full of 'stuff'....the kinds of things you see in my shop that I bought just because I loved them...plates, handwoven baskets, enamelware jugs, oddities, and so on. Luckily, even though prices are higher, we are still able to find all sorts of treasures to fill our shop.

We started on the 'Other' site...and almost immediately had success. We were selling to people all over the world, (32 countries at last count!), by sitting here at the computer out in the middle of nowhere in rural France! Of course there was lots of washing and ironing and all the rest but it was exciting and fun. My husband has been my total partner in all this by taking care of all the tedium of records, financial stuff and general admin. tasks, plus he is our Packing and Shipping Dept....then he almost always does dinner!!

A couple of years ago, a friend here in France told me about Etsy. I took a look, joined on the spot, and set up my shop that evening. What a huge difference from the "Other" site! What had become something of a chore, with all the rules and hassle of the Big Guys, became a new pleasure. Although we still maintain a presence 'over there', Etsy gets 98% of my attention and we definitely have far greater sales here. I love Etsy -- whatever issues there are with it, it is SOOO much better!

On the weekends during the spring, summer and fall we go out on scouting trips in our old caravan. Often we spend the weekend at a site with hundreds of others, mostly French but with a good smattering of Brits, all doing the same thing we are and it is jolly good fun. We arrive on Sat. afternoon, set up, have a BBQ and then to bed early as we will be up at dawn to set up our stand. We sell things that we really can't sell in the shop like small furniture and other things too bulky to ship. While my husband mans the stand, I fan out and shop for our Etsy shop amongst all the other stands. By being there on site in the early morning I have a good chance of getting some real bargains before the public begins pouring in around 9:30 or 10:00.

Vintage French Enamelware Bucket 
I will add that I have a son, my husband has a son and a daughter who is the mother of our 3 grandchildren! I adore them all.

I do maintain a relationship with my own art work and find that I do that more and more. I have a passion for gardening and have lots of gorgeous roses in bloom, and lovely tomatoes are coming on! I go out and walk 3 mornings a week with a wonderful group of women. This is a salvation in many ways.

I will end by saying that Etsy (and now the Eveteam!) have been a great source of pleasure for me. Never in my life did I think I would run a business, a successful and profitable business, but here we are, and I love it."


Elise said...

Nan and Dermot,it is so nice to get to know you! Love your garden and learning about how you keep your shop going! Great to have you on the team

Whimzy Thyme said...

What a great story. Thank you so much for sharing. My husband and I visited Paris about 8 years ago. I so wish I get to go back to France someday soon. So nice to meet you Nan and Dermot.

gazaboo said...

The middle of nowhere in France sounds perfect and with Etsy and the Eveteam you're never far away or out of touch. Lovely to learn more about you and your shop...and the garden looks fabulous.

Gail said...

So great to get to know you! Thanks for sharing!

Miss Magpies Shoppe said...

What a wonderful blog post, I enjoyed it tremendously! So nice to get to know you a bit better, Nan and Dermot. We are so happy you are both on the Eveteam with us :)

Jen said...

So nice to put faces to the shopnames! Great blog post, Ana. Thanks for bringing Nan & Dermot to life for us!

Tracy Mcdaniel said...

Nice to "meet" you :) Beautiful shop!! Love reading about other teammates!

HilltopTimes said...

Your story is so real, and I thank you for your openness and telling us how you have "traveled" in your life. How endearing that you found such a wonderful partner, and that the two of you work so well together. You are so lucky. And it is so great to read how you came to Etsy, and how lucky EveTeam is to have you. You have a fabulous shop, and it is so evident from your listings how carefully you prepare your fabulous goods. Thank you so much.

Story Tellers Vintage said...

Nan, you have such a lovely story! Thanks for sharing with us. We're so happy to have you as a part of the team. Wishing you, Dermot and the shop nothing but the greatest success!

Niftic Vintage said...

What a wonderful story...two lives coming together as one to create something beautiful!

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