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 décor 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.


Noelle Hagan said...

Great article! The typewriter story was wonderful and it must have made Ana feel so great to know how she contributed to happiness in this family. I had a similar experience with a wedding gift that was purchased from my shop (River House Art Potter) for a young couple. It kept me smiling for days.

Gail said...

A great read!

I love making connections with buyers like that. It really makes what we do special!

Anastasia - what part of CO are you in? I'm a Coloradan too! :)

Gail said...

Suppose it might help to give you a bit of info of who I am on Etsy - My shop is Road10 on :)

gazaboo said...

Oh my! I'm almost in tears. That is such a wonderful story.
I'm always amazed that even though we sell online, there is still such a connection to be made with those that love and appreciate what we sell.
Such a great post. Thanks for sharing Ana and to Anastasia for bringing us this post.
Delighted to have Anna Lee's Attic on the team. Welcome!

Kathi said...

what a great story! love your shop and so glad that you are part of our team

Wes said...

I like LuLu, please give here a comforting scratch behind the ears for me... :)

Whimzy Thyme said...

What a wonderful story. I experienced something similar last Christmas with a Customer. It is so much fun. Thanks for sharing. All the best

Anonymous said...

We are way up north by I25 Gail. I will check out your shop too! Thank you.

Anastasia said...

Thanks for all the comments guys and to Anathalia for the wonderful feature. It was fun!

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