15 August 2012

Vintage Shopkeeper ... Hello Kristina

 This week's featured shop is run by a woman whose shop is quite new but shows the experience and quality of someone who has been selling vintage jewelry for quite some time.  Her love of animals will also make you melt.  Below is an interview with Kristina from Massachusetts: 

Spruce Cove

Start by telling everyone about yourself.
I’m a 30-something with diverse interests and passions. Besides running my etsy shop, I work part time as a communications specialist and part time as a healer, doing energy work. I love the variety and using different skills.

Creativity is important to me; my outlets are writing and photography, and I’m learning how to bead. I’m passionate about animal rescue; my husband and I live with four rescue dogs, and I’ll be donating 5% of my etsy store proceeds to a dog rescue.

What started you on your path to becoming a vintage seller?  How did you arrive at the name for your shop?
My parents loved flea markets, and in my childhood, we spent many weekends wandering through tables of old things. My mother’s parents were born in Italy, and my father was born in Norway, so I don’t have a long family history here in the United States. Seeing and touching old things helped me connect with the past and helped deepen my roots.

My shop is named in honor of where I grew up. I was lucky to spend much of my life on the coast of Maine, where our house overlooked a beautiful cove. Since my shop is inspired by items from my childhood, my shop name is, too.

How has your shop evolved over the years?  What do you envision for your shop as it continues its evolution?
My shop is new — only a few months old — but it’s been years in the making. Right now, Spruce Cove has vintage jewelry, but I plan on expanding to include other things. When my parents passed away, I inherited my mom’s vintage jewelry and old bottles, and my family’s collection of china, glass and Scandinavian Christmas plates. Most of these beautiful vintage items are sitting in boxes, and that’s just not right. I’d like to keep a few things and know that people are enjoying the rest.

Thinking as a shop owner and looking back on your early days, were there any missteps?
I’m still in my early days, but already I’ve discovered a mistake: many of my first photos were too dark. Fortunately, this is easily fixed. I’m lightening them and updating my listings.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of opening an online shop?
Be prepared to invest time and energy. I spend hours taking and editing photos of my items as well as  researching and learning. Building a community takes time, too. Although I enjoy all of these things, I didn’t know going in how much time it would take.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for vintage finds?  Feel free to share names of great shops, flea markets, etc.
In Maine, the Montsweag Flea Market on Route 1 in Woolwich is great. Recently I moved to Massachusetts, and I’m still finding places near my new home.

Storage of vintage items that are waiting to be sold can quickly overwhelm a seller’s personal space when they sell from their own home.  How do you make it work for you so it doesn’t take over your personal space?
I’m lucky to have a home office where I photograph and keep my current items. My storage room has lots of boxes waiting to be sorted, but the door to that room stays closed until I have time to dig in!

What era or style are you particularly drawn to?  Why do you think that is?
I’ve always loved the 1920s: the long flapper necklaces, cloche hats, drop-waist dresses, the art deco jewelry. The style seems both old and modern. In photos, people always seem to be having such fun, and I love that women were enjoying newly found freedoms.

Why do you think this love of vintage is so universal?  What do you think it is that draws so many of us in?
Nostalgia is powerful. Lately I’ve been searching other vintage shops for things from my childhood, and when I come across a beloved toy, it makes me smile. Looking at and touching old things is a way of connecting with our pasts, a kind of grounding.

Where can everyone find you?
I’m on etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SpruceCove and on twitter at @packofhuskies

Vintage Shopkeepers are awesome!  Read more of these interviews here.


11 August 2012

Vintage Saturdays: Flower Frogs

Flower frogs are definitely not something you see all the time, but when you do, they are often super cute.  Sometimes made of glass, other times of metal, they can also vary by size and color.  So what do you do if you are not an avid flower lover but want to use these in new and interesting ways?

Frog Goes to Market shows them functioning as a business card display.

Kristin Smith
 pinned this image on Pinterest.  A simple stack of flower frogs under a cloche is genius.

Design Sponge shows them artfully arranged on a wall selecting from among a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes.

Vintage Indie showcases them being used as Wedding place card holders. Gorgeous!

Ollie's Fine Things shows how cool they look when used as pen holders.  


Feeling inspired?  Find vintage glass or metal flower frogs here:

Vintage Saturdays are the best!  Find previous posts here.