01 August 2012

Vintage Shopkeeper ... Hello Deb

The featured shop this week is run by a woman who has been selling on etsy since November 2010. Her shop is super sweet and full of all sorts of fun and whimsical items that span many different decades and styles. Below is an interview with Deb from Louisiana:


Start by telling everyone about yourself.
I am a french cajun lady who loves God, family and country.  I have been a collector and lover of antiques since my early twenties.  I so appreciate the craftsmanship and design of yesteryear.  Recycling, reusing and rescuing  vintage finds is my mission and my love.   

What started you on your path to becoming a vintage seller?  
How did you arrive at the name for your shop?
The name of my Shop is Whimzy Thyme.  I became a lover of antiques and vintage sometimes in my twenties when decorating a new home.  I was always looking for something that would bring a bit of “whimsy” and that had passed the test of “time”.  I love to collect “pretties” that are different and tell a story.  Things that have a past and were loved by someone else.  So “Whimzy Thyme” just fits perfectly.

How has your shop evolved over the years?  What do you envision for your shop as it continues its evolution?  
In the early 90s I had multiple booths in four different antique shops in north Texas.  My goal was to purchase  antique home decor and furniture to fill my booths spaces.  Financially I was able to purchase many fine antique pieces but knew I had to broaden my scope to also include quality vintage (items ranging from 20 to 75 years old). My hope is that I can continue to provide my Customers with quality items that they will be proud to display in their homes.  

Thinking as a shop owner and looking back on your early days, were there any missteps?  
To be successful in this business I believe you need to be open change.  You need to stay abreast of changes in technology and educate yourself as to what items are in vogue.  People taste in what they want to collect and purchase to decorate their homes is constantly changing.  The trick is to have a variety in your inventory and continuing education is a must.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of opening an online shop?
My advice would be to make sure you are mentally prepared to work long hours which does not necessary calculate into large monetary rewards.    You need to open a vintage/antique shop because you truly love the treasure hunt and being able to provide a venue to others.   I would definitely suggest that you try it as a hobby for awhile before committing full time.  Most days I spend at least 12 to 14 hours working on cleaning treasures, researching information, taking photos and writing descriptions.   Also, you need to allocate time for marketing and participating on social network sites.  

What are some of your favorite places to shop for vintage finds?  Feel free to share names of great shops, flea markets, etc.
My favorite places for treasure hunting are thrift shops, estate sales and auctions.  I love the charity thrift shops because I not only find great items but am also supporting a great cause.  I love estate sales and onsite auctions because you can count on finding some items that was truly loved and taken care of my the owner.  My most favorite finds are those that was passed on from a previous generation.  A couple of my favorite flea markets are Round Top and Canton in Texas and Brimfield in Massachusetts.

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 ti doesn’t take over your personal space?
Making sure that your safety store items once you have listed them for sale is a constance struggle.   I am  fortunate to live in a house that was built in 1941 and has tons of storage space.  I have a huge walk in closet in an extra bedroom where I am able to place shelving units to store my listed inventory.  I also have lots of attic space to store shipping boxes and material.  Once I list an item in my Shop it gets an inventory number and stored out of harms way.

What era or style are you particularly drawn to?  Why do you think that is?  
I love the victorian ear because one of my favorite treasures is celluloid boxes, photo albums and vanity items.    I started collecting celluloid boxes and photo albums about 25 years ago. I also adore Art Deco because of its intricate beauty.  The roaring 20s gave us gals beautiful flapper jewelry, handbags, hats and dresses.  Many items from this decade has survived the test of time and can be found on Etsy.

Why do you think this love of vintage is so universal?  What do you think it is that draws so many of us in?  
I believe it is the craftsmanship and in many cases the painstaking detail that went into the manufacturing process.  It seems like items made within the last 20 years are throw aways.  Meaning the intention was not to make it last for generations.  So many items are made with the cheapest materials possible with the goal of producing quantity and not quality. 

Where can everyone find you?
Whimzy Thyme can be found at http://www.etsy.com/shop/WhimzyThyme

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



  1. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you so very much for featuring my Shop on your wonderful Blog.

  2. Deb is a very talented curator and her shop is amazing! One of my favorites on Etsy! Great interview! :)

  3. Deb,
    Your shop is amazing and you were a favorite of mine well before I ended up on a team with ya :) Fantastic interview and I love the progression of selling, we can all relate I am sure!


  4. Great interview Deb, I love your shop, you always have such beautiful items and everything is so well photographed.

  5. Thank you again Natalie for featuring my Shop. And thanks to all you guys for the nice comments and kind words. I so appreciate it.

  6. Wonderful interview and a fabulous shop!Kudos!