Welcome to Jade and Loren!
I buy and sell lots and lots of vintage between my two vintage Etsy shops; I recently opened a third shop, exclusively handmade wood home accents made by me and my husband.
How it all began:
I am lucky enough to have been a stay at home mom to my four growing children for most of my adult life. My husband was active duty Army for five of those years, and when he got out, I felt like it was time to put on my big girl pants and get a job. Except, what could I possibly do? I started out as a young mom and did not finish a degree so I was faced with little affordable options. So much for my big girls pants! But I'm jumping a bit ahead of myself.
Before my spouse joined the Army, we were not so well off financially, a Goodwill had popped up relatively close to me and I started buying baby clothes in the .50 bin (those do not exist around here anymore!) and reselling them on eBay. This was not incredibly profitable because I did not have much to invest, did not see it as a business venture, and most of the time I was shopping second hand for my family as well. We only had one car and back then you could not schedule a parcel pick up from the post office website. So when an order would come, I would walk my double stroller two miles to the post office. This was inconvienent, and I stopped selling when we moved to my husband's first assignment. I did not sell for all of the years he was in the military but I thrifted and learned a lot about value and brands and actually fell in love with vintage well before I knew about Etsy.
Back to my conundrum, I wanted to help my family financially but could not find a suitable hourly rate when I in calculated childcare, I still had two of four children at home during the day. My uncle started going through his basement and on a whim listed some vintage on Etsy and showed me the ropes. Now we are miles apart in age and taste, but I saw potential. I already loved to shop, and shop vintage, I was already going to all the places I would find my inventory and I was fairly familiar with selling online from doing it in the past. Plus, I could do all of this and be home for my kids!
My first few months, I blundered. I did not view it as an income, I thought of it as making back for some of my shopping spending. (Just to clarify, I am incredibly frugal to a fault. I do not like to buy lavish things and spend a lot of money and have thrifted for myself and my family well past the point of needing to.) But I bought any and every thing I thought was of value, 50% more than what I paid. I was able to aquire some good reviews and make a bit of a profit, but no where near what I considered a part time income. I started babysitting here and there during the day to help out as well. I researched a lot, I loved the idea of shopping for a living, and we live in an era where its easy and possible to have a store with no storefront so I really wanted this to work. One of the main points I found was many people made the same mistake as me. Diving in deep without enough oxygen; you have to find your niche, and then strive for quality items. If I buy something and its only worth $5, that's what it is worth. But I started cultivating my store to be a reflection of the things I love, which I did not do to start. Once I had enough inventory and some footing, I weeded through my inventory and took of the listings that were not cohesive to my brand. I am still a bit here and there, I love farmhouse and cottage chic, but I also love art deco, boho and mid century modern. You will see a lot of all of those in my store. Decor is overlapping a lot now, so if I see it and I love it, I don't want to keep it (most times) I want to offer it to you so you can love it too. I started mid way through 2014 and I feel I make a pretty good contribution to the household and still am available 24/7 for my family. Each year I make new goals so I can continue to grow, in 2015 I divided my store in two, opening a shop just for vintage children. In late 2017, my spouse and I opened our woodshop which is my new baby.
So here we are, just about 5 years later. I have over 2500 sales on Etsy alone, and I do still sell on eBay. I am absoltley passionate about what I do with my time. I love searching for the history of the items and brands, I love bringing my customers something they need to replace or could not come across themselves. I am proud of myself for continuing on even though my plate at home is pretty full. I have found, a conventional job would not have satisfied me the way this has. So, as I venture out more, I will share some of the ups and downs of my beginning and some vitals tips I have come across.