Today we're chatting with Sebastian, owner of Gentlemanly Pursuits on Etsy.
Tell us a bit about you and your shop.
After having a whirlwind and rather profitable BIG life in NYC... Big Job, Big Apartment, Big Stress and Big Sleepless nights for far too many years, my long time partner of 30 years and I decided to ca$h in our ticket to ride and move someplace small town and very old. I owe my sanity these days to this... Now, I dabble in gardening, cooking and design and a few other gentlemanly ideas. Hence the name "Gentlemanly Pursuits" just seemed to fit perfectly, and I like the way it sounds.
When and how did you notice your love for vintage?
Ever since I was a dark eye'd secretive lad, I have always loved the past. History has been my reasoning for the good and bad things I see in the world around me. So, finding the remenants and artifacts of the past has been a life long quest.
|19th century Chinese porcelain bowl - Art Deco bronze vase - Silver plated French wire basket|
Downsizing from a much BIGGER life to a 4 room old Cape Cod Cottage lifestyle, one had many things, and so for 2 years I rented a real-time shop space from a good friend and sold the 24 odd old country chairs once used for lavish dinner parties in Gramercy Park among many other treasures gleaned from the many weekends in the country and trips abroad. When I stumbled upon Etsy while looking for some handmade dresses for my newly born god daughter, I though what a GREAT idea! And as they say in my/our beloved La Belle France... voi-la! I began my online shop, closed the real-time one to devote myself to my garden, my partner (who is still working part of the year) and my dogs.
|Sebastian's garden and dogs!|
Do you have a favorite era? Do you collect anything (vintage or not)?
Now we are very fortunate to spend a while each winter in France. Which of course provides a certain Francophile edge and air to my shop. I have always been a collector of French 18th century prints and other things. I should think if I were to claim a time, place and style, it would be 18th century anyplace and especially France.
|French cut crystal wine decanter - 1930s French crystal wine glasses|
Anything else you wold like to add?
I have been lucky, sales are GREAT, and the money good. I have become acquainted with many lovely people and gotten to know a few, even had a celebrity or two purchase a few items. What really has made me smile about Etsy, is the camaraderie of like minded people who share a passion for life and beautiful, useful things and, let's face, we, antique collectors and dealers and such, are really the foot soldiers in the recycling war... aren't we?
|Gentlemanly Pursuits headquarters.|
Before I step out of this blog spot light... I should like to mention friends I adore whom also acquired online from Etsy: Nan and Dermot. I was scanning the scene after having brought home from a recent Paris trip some linens and wanted to see who and how they might be sold on Etsy. I found them, loved the style of presentation etc, but it was the descriptive quality that made me have to email them a note of thanks for the guidance... And they replied with an invitation to lunch next time round! So, next time round we went! There were 4 of us from Cape Cod and 4 of them meeting for the first time, for lunch. We met and after about 10 minutes of polite chatter the room was so noisy as if a family reunion was taking place! We had a most delicious and amazing lunch cooked by their great friends and than went for a long walk in Pere la Chaise (the Famous Cemetery in Paris). At 8pm we said a toute a l'heure (see you soon) and will again this coming winter. We remain constant pen-pals and team mates.
|1950s porcelain dessert set - 1930s bone china tureens|
Just to say that for me, Etsy and my shop are a very good and productive way to use all this technology we have been bombarded with in this new century we are living in... and it has opened up new ideas, put some coins in my pay pal pockets and, most of all, given me some happiness in the people and even a few friends I have met along the way.