Thursday, March 20, 2014

Coming soon from - the holy grail of Etsy - advice from the Etsy sellers who have been featured in the "Classy Sustainability" series.  Follow this blog to find secrets to Sustaining your Etsy shop from the experts.  Think it's all about photos? Guess again.  

In the meantime, Mother's Day is just around the corner and has stunning bird feeders available in lots of colors and designs.  

The signature piece - $123 plus shipping
The color is champagne and I have 2 of these - $54 plus shipping
Something blue - from the bottom = $77 plus shipping

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A commercial break in the Classy Sustainability series, with a look at some spring bird feeders from  Perfect gifts for Mother's Day, Easter or beautiful garden wedding decor.  All begin with a vintage glass light shade, which usually requires some clean up.  Once hardware is installed - Voila - a new bird feeder from repurposed, art deco, ceiling glass is born.  The glass is heavy and sustainable in all kinds of weather.  Most of my pieces date from 1920s -1940.  
Exquisite raised and cut glass patterns on this one.  Mint condition
$71 plus shipping
It's rare to find this hobnail bubble all over design
$79 plus shipping

Blues are my best sellers and the next is one of 2 almost identical feeders.  The tint is slightly different in each, but both are in mint condition.  There are several other blue designs to choose from.
$64 plus shipping
Am rather into spring colors, but again the detail is exquisite
$54 plus shipping
There are 72 available right now with more listed each week at  Be sure to browse the covered feeder section if you don't like squirrels in your bird feeders.

Friday, March 7, 2014

There are lots of paths to Etsy and on-line selling. Michele started with a brick and mortar shop and expanded from there.  Classy Sustainability continues with Michele and the avenues she uses to sell and promote vintage including: and the brick and mortar version which can be seen virtually at  Check out the great selection of flannel shirts.  The listing link and Michele's interview follows.
Choose your flannel shirt-$10 each plus shipping
Q.  I'm curious about your beginnings with a brick and mortar store, how that grew into an antique mall and further evolved into 2 Etsy shops.  What can you tell me about that? 
A.  I did computer support for ten years before my kids were born and was a SAHM until both kids went to school full time. Then with my amazing and patient husband, took the leap into becoming a small business owner.  The brick & mortar shop morphed from a antiques consignment shop into an antique mall where we rent space to dealers. This freed up a ton of my team's time and really helped us refocus on things we loved to do, and things that made money. After we worked through the changes in the B&M business, we were able to turn attention to getting the things on Etsy too. 
We started out selling vintage clothes on Reincarnations Resale as an extension of our brick & mortar shop. Vintage clothing is tricky, you have to have a bunch of things match up:
- the right person
- with the right style
- who loves the item you have in stock
- who loves the color of the item you have in stock
- who is also the right size
When those things happen, it's magic! The problem is getting all those things to match up for people coming in the brick & mortar shop. We decided to get our treasures in front of the whole world using Etsy instead of waiting for the whole world to come to us!

Red skirt and top $35 plus shipping 
Q.  How do your shops tie in to your brick and mortar store? 
A.  The Etsy shops are a great appetizer /sneak peek to our antique mall and a good sampling of the things we have in the "real world" shop. You can take a look at our shop and our antique dealers booths on the facebook page:

Q.  How would you describe your Etsy success so far? 
I don't think we will ever be an etsy power-broker. We love coming to the shop in the morning to find 2-3 new orders. Of course, we would love to come in to even more orders!!! I would say we have had modest to good success. Through this amazingly cold and snowy winter, we have been extra grateful for our etsy customers.

(Blogger's note: has over 400 items for sale, has sold 420 vintage items, has 710 Admirers and 137 rave reviews.)  

Q.  How do you decide what to sell? 
A.  There is a team of four of us working in the b&m shop and the etsy shops. One full-timer, three part-timers. I am the one who usually photographs and adds items to the -Resale shop. 
As we have time throughout the day, the whole team adds items to the -Roost shop. We just focus on things we can safely ship, and try to add 4-5 things each day. We do a lot of tag-teaming, where one person will do the photographs, another will do the listings. I do most of the shipping.  Besides me, we have: 
         Robin - a dear friend who has been working at the b&m shop since our very first day. She has a daughter in her freshman year of college. Robin keeps me and the shop organized and beautiful.
        Kathy - we met through a mutual friend, and she has been helping me with the shop since our very first day. Kathy is an amazing mom with a special needs daughter. She keeps the shop welcoming and clean. 
       Samantha - the newest member of our team is a college student, and my niece. She is one of our techie nerds. Sam keeps our facebook page updated, as well as our online presence on many different sites.
Refrigerator Pyrex - $65 plus shipping
Q.  How do you connect selling vintage with sustainability or going green?
A.  I am very proud of the work we do in the b&m shop as well as online. Almost every item in my shop is on it's 3rd, 4th or 5th owner. We try to recycle or repurpose everything. From our shipping materials to our furniture, housewares and clothing. There is such history in everything around us. It's always fun when someone comes in with an item for us to buy and the story about it. Often, we write the story on a card and make sure the items history goes to the new owner. New stuff doesn't have stories. We are really geeky and excited about these things. I'm not sure it comes across online - it sure does at the shop.

1970's Daycroft Tulip Table and 4 chairs - $800
(Blogger's note: has only been open since Oct 2013 and already has almost 200 items for sale, has sold 45 vintage treasures, has 151 admirers and 10 solid reviews.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Classy Sustainability turns toward the late 19th and early 20th century with Renee and a peek into her shop -  Beginning with this stunning victorian signed antique server.  

19th Century English Jackfield
Server - $82 plus shipping
Q.  What prompted you to become an Etsy seller?
A.  Ebay. I stumbled across a beautiful piece of vintage glass in a thrift store and after some research I found that it was worth quite a bit of money. I sold it on Ebay and in doing so, caught the “buy and sell bug”. I had one important part of the Etsy equation: my love for vintage and antiques! I spent some time researching other sites and found Etsy was easy to use and had a great community of sellers ~ I was especially drawn to the handmade products ~ so I opened my shop.

Q.  You have been on Etsy for just over one year. How would you describe your success so far? 
A.  I would describe my success as that to comparing an infant to a toddler. I started out crawling and then once I got my feet under me I took off running and haven’t stopped yet! And this is not just speaking in terms of sales; the knowledge and the friendships I have developed here on Etsy are an essential piece to that success.
Blogger's Note- As of March 2, has accumulated 168 sales, has 531 admirers and over 40 stellar reviews.  

1940's English- Imari style Colclough china
$18.00 plus shipping
Q.  You have a great eclectic mix of items from the 20th century. How do you decide what to sell? 
A.  Everything I put in my shop falls within my core mission: to provide vintage items that tie the past to the present. This keeps my potential product mix wide open! When at estate sales, antique stores and resale shops, when something catches my eye I ask myself: which section of the shop will this look good in? Then I ask myself who would buy this item and why? If I have an answer to both questions then I buy it.

Q.  You mention on your abut page, expanding through the generations? How will that look? 
A.  One focus for my business in 2014 is to increase the inventory levels of early 20th century and late 19th century items. Already in 2014 I have added product that has crossed the line of vintage to antique. I will continue to expand the generations in my product mix as the year continues. Customers will see more glass and books from the 1800’s in addition to early 20th century jewelry.

Mid Century Hand Forged Everlast Metal Covered Dish
1950's - $21.00 plus shipping
Q.  How do you connect selling vintage with sustainability or going green?
A.  First, sustainability should be a part of any business model. Whether a brick and mortar store or opening up an online storefront. With that being said, vintage and antique sellers are ‘green’ by default. The items we sell are being saved from going into a landfill. The items are being sold for reuse or repurpose. I like to think of vintage and antiques as not only supporting the sustainability of the environment but the history of items for generations to come. So what do I do to go beyond the built-in ‘going green’ aspect of vintage? 

              I use recycled packing materials to ship to customers. 
              I save burning fuel by having my postal carrier pick up packages from my door. 
              I use all natural lighting to shoot my photos 

Vintage set of 1920's Dr. Miles Almanacs
$24.00 plus shipping

Q.  What advice would you give someone who wants to start an Etsy shop? 
A.  Be prepared to have fun….and work hard. You get out of it what you put into it. Take time to get into the Etsy community and browse. Favorite items from all type of shops! Study shops that have a similar product to you. Get involved in teams! One team that I discovered about half way through my Etsy journey is the Etsy Pickers and Sellers Team (epsteam). I currently spend over 60% of my time online in that team’s forum sharing information and hearts, creating treasuries and some laughs. DO NOT GIVE UP! Be prepared to have a slow start to sales followed by a few months of okay sales, followed by better sales…. You will second-guess your shop’s look and product mix. You will make changes to how your pages look. You may cry over your first broken item arriving to a disappointed customer. With all of that be prepared to grow and learn and in the end, succeed.

Blogger's Note - Among other things Renee and has some incredible glass bottles, featured in a blog last month - link to that article follows.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Time to add some bling to the Classy Sustainability series, honoring Earth Day 2014.  Get ready to feel transported back in time to the "high glam look," days and WWII era as you read about Roxie's vintage jewelry journey and her shop  

Two stunning pieces of more than 500 listings in  Listing links are below photos and Roxie's interview begins.  

Teal Rhinestone Bracelet $60 plus shipping

Brooch Pin/Earrings $75 plus shipping

Q.  What prompted you to become an Etsy seller?
A.  I was a seller on Ebay since 2000. After so many changes to their seller treatment practices and higher fees, I decided to review other website options. After looking at Amazon, my own website, and other smaller websites (many popped up after the Ebay changes) Etsy came up as one of those sites an option.

Q.  You have been open for almost 4 years. How would you describe your success so far? 
A.  For my success, I would say I have gotten out of it what I have put into it. The more effort I have put into my shop, the better the sales. Some of my customers are re-sellers and don't leave feedback/reviews hence the discrepancy ratio for reviews to actual sales. Those are repeat buyers and know my success is based on their complete satisfaction in my jewelry offerings. 

There is a vast market for vintage jewelry. The younger shoppers are looking for a wedding or special occasion piece that you can't find in today's shopping malls. The younger and older shoppers are looking for something to bring back a memory of their Mom or a special relative. I had a woman who's Mom had a faux pearl fur clip and never saw another like it until she browsed my shop. She was so happy to find it and now has it keep a memory alive. I've had some buy pieces that were perfect matches to their own brooch, earrings, or necklace to make a full set. It's rewarding to hear to their reasons and happiness.

Authors note: Roxie has over 900 sales, more than 600 stellar reviews and 3252 admirers.  Speaking of weddings.  Check out this stunning wedding or Mother's Day gift piece. Wow
1950's Waterfall Rhinestone Front Clasp Necklace - $125 plus shipping

Q.  You sell mostly jewelry. What made you decide to put your focus there?
A.  I played dress up as a girl and never didn't have vintage jewelry in my life. My Mom and Aunt were from the 40's and 50's era. That's all they wore. Another huge driver is their history. My passion went to pieces made from wood and Lucite. I found they were made during the 30's war era due to a restriction on metals. I couldn't believe the workmanship in these pieces. Even today I have trouble parting with those particular pieces because they are so beautiful. 

I also worked in a retirement area so many of my customers wore vintage costume jewelry. I just loved it because the pieces were unique, not expensive and gave a high glam look. I bought a book, then another....and built an extensive collection of both books and jewelry. I would buy jewelry in lots at auctions just to see what I could find. These lots were sold by the pound and I would search through thousands and thousands of pieces to find just one piece that might be valuable. Once you've done it, you're hooked.

Rare Lucite Reversed Carved Brooch $125 plus shipping

AB Rhinestone Clip Earrings $17 plus shipping
Q.  How do you connect selling vintage with sustainability or going green?
A.  No doubt wearing vintage jewelry keeps in line with going green. The jewelry pieces are already manufactured and not in a land fill. 

Q.  What advice would you give someone who wants to start an Etsy shop?
A.  Be patient and be unique. Don't go with the same style as everyone else. Do your homework and be sure you have all the information you can have on whatever you sell. Customer service is always #1. I always thank everyone for a sale, even after the automated response, using their name and when I'll ship their purchase. (Be sure to read their notes if they put them in the invoice). Thank them after they've left you feedback, telling them how much you appreciate their business and any response to their comments. If someone is less than happy, know that everyone deals with an issue sometimes. Do not take it personally and learn whatever you can from it and go on. 

Author's Note - I am a customer of and highly recommend Roxie's jewelry.  She has a wide range of items and lots of pricing points.