Today we're chatting with Reverse Chronology about the story behind their vintage shop.
We started Reverse Chronology on Etsy just over one year ago. We also have a space at a local antique and vintage mall here in Portland, OR, just a few blocks from our house. But Julie has been selling her art on Etsy since 2009, and vintage online since 2004. We met in 2009 and when we started living together a year later, we discovered our mutual love of the vintage hunt. We will dig through boxes and basements and so on, to find beautiful treasures for people's homes and lives. Our general rule is, if we don't love it -- or want to keep it for ourselves -- we won't buy it. This has proven tough from time to time, because we can't keep everything we buy, though we sometimes want to!
Is there a story behind your shop name?
While Reverse Chronology (which, in terms of writing, is a plot told in reverse order) might not be a perfect metaphor for living with vintage and antique items, we think it's fitting. While someone may think a certain vintage item is at the end of its life, our customers are just beginning with it. History is definitely one of the things we love about vintage and antiques!
How did you end up selling vintage? Is it your full time job?
We both grew up loving old things. With Raul, it was mostly cars. Julie's family had many family heirlooms throughout the house while she was growing up. The musty and dusty smells of old books and quilts was like home to her. She'd go through a large box of cabinet photos or long-deceased family members and make up lives for them. Then, one day she was driving to a friends house when she spotted a rusty, chippy outdoor table and chair set in someone's trash pile. She came back later with a truck, loaded it up, and sold it the following weekend. It's really true that sometimes one person's trash is another person's treasure. And in this case, it didn't have to end up in a landfill. It seemed like the perfect solution. Raul works outside the home as a software technician for a security surveillance company. Julie splits her full time work as an artist in her studio at home with vintage sales. But on the weekends they hunt for vintage treasures together. And every Tuesday they clean and stock up their local shop space together.
Do you have a favorite era?
We think when you buy what you love, the era becomes less important than the item itself. We have things in our home (and in our shops) that range from 20 to over 120 years old. When you buy what you love, somehow they can all work together.
Do you collect anything (vintage or not)?
Oh boy, do we! Julie has an obsession with old glass bottles (of all kinds, but unique pint bottles, colored glass anything, and baby bottles are among her favorites), and books. Raul loves scientific instruments, bar decor, and, of course, old cars (a 1952 Mercury being his favorite!)
The stories are another part of what drives us to buy and sell vintage. Like the woman who bought a rare 1950s magazine from us because her uncle's art was featured on the cover. Or the older gentleman who bought a 1920's Palmer Method handwriting booklet for his mother's 92 birthday. He told us her handwriting was always, and still is, perfect, and she always gave credit to the Palmer Method book she'd learned in as a child. We also sold a set of vintage letter press letters to the boyfriend of a printmaker. He gave them to her in a baggy, and she had to put them together, in the right order, to figure out what they said, "Will You Marry Me?" How fun is that?!