Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
I am a librarian and worked in public libraries for 38 years before retiring in May of 2014. I received my Masters Degree in Library Science but always loved yard sales, flea markets and antique stores. I have two grown children and my husband is a retired teacher. I live in a suburban town of 70,000 in south Jersey. I have lived here my entire life.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I actually started selling books online in 2003 and started selling on Etsy in March 2013. I had managed to accumulate wonderful vintage items and thought I was going to wait until I retired to sell on Etsy but I couldn’t wait any longer…my small storage area in my house was bursting at the seams. You see my husband also likes antiques and collectibles so I had his things too.
Tell us a bit about your products.
Most of my items are vintage kitchen ware , china, home decor items and sewing patterns. Something about beautiful china just really attracts me. And as most vintage sellers know….sell what you love. Sometimes it is hard to part with my vintage items and truth be told, I have kept a few things for myself.
What inspires your work?
I am inspired by other Etsy sellers and their beautiful vintage items. The whole Etsy community is very inspirational, there are so many wonderful craft and vintage shops.
What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?
This year I have set some goals for myself. Scout out inventory at least one day a week, be it at thrift stores or estate sales. Spruce up my photographs and learn to make better use of my 35 mm camera for better pictures. Be more consistent about posting on social media. Try to set up a blog with articles on vintage items.
My dream – being retired I am living my dream to sell online, be my own boss and set my own hours. I just want to give my customers a great Etsy experience.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
I think great customer service helps me stand out, being willing to work with the customer. Try to make sure their items get to their destination safely and as quickly as possible. Sell great items in good condition and abide by Etsy’s definition of vintage…research and find out as much as you can about your item.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I have an office dedicated to my business. It has my computer, packing station, and storage shelves for supplies.
I have my guest room set up for picture-taking and can easily remove it when guests are staying with me.
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
Package very carefully, air pillows are the best! Read the seller help…lots of information there.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Learn as much as you can about Etsy, set up your shop but make sure you read the seller handbook. Join a few teams that will help you promote and gain knowledge. Have a well designed Etsy shop banner and avatar, something that distinguishes you from other shops.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
I like to read and belong to a book club. In the summer I love going to our pool or heading to the beach. One of my favorite things is walking on the sand and looking for shells and beach glass. And I must confess…playing Candy Crush relaxes me.
What is your favorite quote?
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx
Where can people find out more about your business?
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
If you are thinking of selling online, Etsy is the best, it’s a great community with great people.
If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.