Friday, September 27, 2013

Etsy Business Profile: Anna Lee's Attic

Today we're chatting with Anastasia from Anna Lee's Attic about her vintage shop.

I’m Ana and I live on the Front Range of Northern Colorado with my husband and our rescue dog Lulu. We’re blessed to also have our wonderful daughter and son-in-law residing in Colorado and she helps me out with modeling from time to time. 

Ana, her daughter and Lulu.
As anyone can guess, I don’t have a mysterious story behind my shop name but what I do have is an old attic full of great vintage. I was smitten with vintage when I attended my first auction at the age of nineteen in a little Kansas town. My parents and grandparents passed on a few of their unwanted treasures over the years and little by little, I found myself surrounded with antiques and vintage. So I dabbled for a few years selling through a brick and mortar store and through that venture, accumulated more than I could use, give away or sell. After managing a family member’s estate sale, I found it more of a challenge to clear a path through the attic. Then my daughter told me about Etsy as another venue for my handmade organic products. So after testing Etsy’s waters through the handmade shop, I quickly realized a vintage shop was a must and a month later, Anna Lees Attic was born.

I currently work full time between the two shops. Whenever I have the chance to take a day off, I scour the highways and byways of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming looking for treasures. I love anything Mid century back to Edwardian with a fondness for turn of the century and Art Deco. If I’m drawn to something from later eras, I know that odds are good someone else is going to love it too.

I tend to collect vintage items I can put to use around the house or garden such as antique linens and lace, enamelware, graniteware, metal flower frogs, and china.

Here is a collection of enamelware teapots I use in my herbal shop for display with fresh and dried flowers throughout the year. The large kettle on the left is currently for sale in my shop.

Large enamelware kettle
My metal flower frog collection is slowly growing and includes a fantastic flower frog formerly from (whew that’s a lot of f’s) an Eveteam member’s shop. I also use these for d├ęcor in my herb shop.

My newest favorite in antique linens was just listed in my shop. I love the aged romantic look that ecru linen or lace can offer.

Antique ecru linen tablecloth
I think the most endearing sale so far is the story behind this 1940s Remington which I nicknamed the Grey Sage.

I was contacted by a mom last January who was considering purchasing it for her son’s 30th birthday. This was what she wrote:

“I am interested in purchasing a vintage typewriter for my son who will turn 30 in a couple of days. He had a dream as a teenager of living in a 3rd floor walkup in Greenwich Village, NY and writing on a manual typewriter. He's now a successful web designer with his own business. I thought this would be a nice decoration for his new office, and a tie to his past. Do you think this is the sort of typewriter that would have suited that time period?”

I told her that while I would love to sell the typewriter to her, it really dates truer to our past than his but since she said he liked earth tones and it had a nice masculine quality to it, I thought he might still like it. However, I didn’t want to push it on her so just told her to be comfortable with her decision before buying it. She said she just had a good feeling about it and decided to go for it. Like other first time Etsy buyers, she wasn’t real comfortable with the payment process so I needed to reassure her it was going to work out. Then she told me it would have to arrive in the Northwest in 3 days to make it in time for his birthday. I had quoted Parcel Post in the listing which wouldn’t be guaranteed for arrival but found FedEx would cost the same and make the deadline if she paid that day and I shipped the next. Then she asked if I could include a special sentiment written by her if she could get it to me in time since she was at work. I dug around and found an old 1911 birthday card with a dark green border and mother and child walking down a country road that I thought might upcycle into an appropriate greeting card to hold his mother’s note. After about 18 convo’s between us, everything came together and I got the writer out the next day. This was the result of our team efforts for her son‘s big day.

“I got a text message from a customer saying he had just opened our present and "Thanks a lot for going and making me cry for the first time in many years. I'd say we nailed it, GF! Thanks so much for all of your help. The whole thing is so heartwarming for me, and you really kicked it up a notch!”

I know I’m not alone when I say this is why I love selling vintage on Etsy. It is not only the connection that vintage brings with our past and our love for it, but the other wonderful people loving vintage and building memories with loved ones through vintage.

Thanks, Ana! Visit her shop to see her beautiful vintage decor.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vintage and Main Collections: Industrial

Looking for metal, for sleek design and home decor that makes a statement? Who isn't? The warehouse-in-your-house home decor is one decorating trend with no sign of wearing away.

There is so much to do with vintage industrial finds, and this week Vintage & Main goes rusty, and sleek; steampunk and chic.

This is just a taste of what you can find on Etsy. For thousands more industrial items visit the Vintage & Main collection here.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Etsy Business Profile: Beep3

Today we'll be chatting with Annie from Beep3 about the thrill of the vintage hunt!

My name is Annie Boyer, and I love finding old, dusty, rusty, things and giving them new life and another chance to become something a new person can love!

A little about me: I grew up in 40 acres of woods on a gravel road in southern Indiana about 3 miles from the one stop light town where my mother and brother still live. I might not have appreciated the finer qualities of small town country life at the time but I find I miss its simplicity and quiet beauty the older I get. And speaking of that, I turned the big half century mark last month. My family now consists of my husband Paul, who goes by Sweetie around here, and our two dogs, Bobo and Etta. They are the 3 in the Beep – Bobo, Etta and Paul. Beap wasn’t available so I went with Beep and added the cars to my logo since I live in downtown Indianapolis – sometimes surrounded I feel with traffic!

My downtown life isn’t that bad though – we live in a house that according to the historical society was built in 1862 by a blacksmith who worked along the old railroad line that used to run through this area but is now gone. It was about a 4 year project to restore it because it had been neglected for such a long time but we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Lots of work but we did it! Paul is a union stagehand in the entertainment industry so many of the big venues he works in are very close by. We are truly in the heart of the city.

Vintage Reploge Land and Sea globe - Vintage Industrial rubber stamp - Antique brass car horn 

Etsy is now my full time job and I couldn’t be happier to finally have the opportunity to control my own destiny! I worked as a public school teacher and librarian for 20 years and it just became sooo frustrating for me. So one day I pulled a Merle Haggard – “I think I’ll walk off my steady job today...” It was scary but exhilarating at the same time and I am now so glad that I had the courage to just do it and not let my worries stop me from taking that leap of faith! I didn’t even know about Etsy at the time – I discovered it about 2 months later and thought “maybe this is what I have been praying for”.

I’ve always been surrounded by vintage and antiques. My parents were going to auctions and flea markets when I was a kid and my dad was always bringing things home and stashing salvaged items in barns. My mom has always loved furniture and has a very good eye for arrangement so I guess I get that from her. My dad was also really interested in folk arts, like caning chairs, making brooms, crockery, and was a great carpenter so I was always around people doing that kind of thing.

Antique tobacco tin - Vintage fire blanket wall box - Aluminum beer can collection

I have developed a liking for industrial pieces and it seems like there is so much of that around here! But sadly most of it will end up in the scrap yard as it is sold in lots at the auctions a lot of times. I try to get things that aren’t too big and heavy to ship and like to upcycle any upholstered items with leather. The Amish neighbors of my Mom had a leathershop for many years – making saddles mostly – and now Susan Petershiem works on little projects that I bring down to her. It’s fun to change old things up and gives me a chance to get back home more often. I also love to do a little research on things I find – that’s the librarian in me! I love to find out about the companies and history of the people that created the things I find.

Upcyled Steelcase chair - Upcycled Cosco folding chairs - Upcycled vanity bench

I don’t really collect any special items – but my most favorite vintage thing I have so far is our 1966 Frolic camper. We found it a few years ago and love to head off with the dogs for respites from the city. My little profile icon is actually the Little Camper at the end of wooded road – hard to see but it’s there!  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Etsy Business Profile: Amelia Bedelia Vintage

Today we're chatting with Delia from Amelia Bedelia Vintage about her love of vintage!

Hi Lovelies! My name is Delia and I run Amelia BedeliaVintage and The Happy Forest out of Sherman Oaks, California. I'm a Chicago native and am trying a stint out here in Cali for a bit while my boyfriend figures out his composing career. I head home as often as I can to scout out my favorite thrift shops in the city and visit family... my Nana is turning 100 in August and am planning my trip back now!

How did you end up selling vintage? Is it your full time job?
I discovered Etsy about 4 years ago as a buyer, and decided to test the waters with a few vintage items from my own collection. Once I made my first sale, there was no going back! I realized that Etsy gave me an excuse for doing something I already loved, but couldn't justify doing as often as I'd like. I can definitely see this being my full time job, but right now I'm working towards fulfilling my hours as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and running the shops on my off days.

Is there a story behind your shop name?
My grandma Lucy always called me Amelia Bedelia growing up, so it's a bit of an homage to her, plus I like having my name hidden somewhere in there without it being too blatant. :)
When and how did you notice your love for vintage?
My grandma and I used to go garage saling a lot when I was little, and my grandpa was an auctioneer/junk man, so I feel like this is in my blood! I started thrift shopping with my girlfriends in high school and I don't think I have stopped since...I've always been drawn to older things, as they have more character than modern mass produced items and have a lifetime of stories to tell. There's also something VERY addictive about the treasure hunting aspect of this, as I'm sure most of you can relate to...finding the diamonds in the rough and shining them up to their potential is a pretty amazing part of the process!
Do you have a favorite era?
Definitely in love with anything Mid Century, I love the amazing colors and design of that era. I could live in Mad Men! Also have a sweet spot in my heart for the 80's new wave aesthetic, especially all the bright, geometric patterns and crazy colors. I try to fill my shops with the most bright and colorful pieces I can find because it makes me happy to see it every day!

Do you collect anything (vintage or not)?
Sure! I don't think you can do this without being some sort of collector...I collect Homer Laughlin turquoise diamond restaurant ware, lots of bright mid century glasses (barware), vintage children's books (anything illustrated or 19th century especially), and vintage deer! Non-vintage things? Oh, sunglasses, pretty socks (which I have no use for in california, hmmpf), washi tape!, and a growing hoard of pretty paper napkins :)