What do you look for when you are sourcing items for your shop?
My personal rule is to only buy items that I would have in my own home. More often than not, I will find something I love, keep it for a while, and then sell it when I'm ready to let it go. Integrity is important to me and I would never be comfortable trying to sell something I wouldn't personally own. Though my items aren't all from the same era or have the same style, I think having a genuine love for each item gives my shop an intimate feel -- like being in a friend's home where you just covet all over their beautiful things.
What is your favorite vintage find to date?
What a tough question! I think right now my favorite find is a Hasko Mystic Board from 1940. It's a wooden ouija board with amazing hand painted details. I had been eyeing it at a local antique shop for about a year and finally pulled the trigger on it recently -- it definitely wasn't an incredible deal, but it's something special.
How do you deal with difficult customers?
As hard as it is sometimes, "kill 'em with kindness" really is the way to go. After you've done that, go home, drink a big glass of wine and know that you can't control what other people do.
How do you promote your business and what do you think gets the best response?
Etsy is so self-contained that I don't do very much outside of it to promote my shop; people find me quite easily just by searching for keywords or items. I'm also very into instagram. I usually do a post when I've added new items to my shop (but I'm careful not to over-post or spam people!)
Being your own boss is great, but it can be difficult to stay motivated at times (at least for me!) How do you get out of these ruts?
My fiance runs a small record label, also from our home. He comes home from his 9-5 every day and spends hours into the night working on artwork, packing packages, and sending emails. His passion for what he does constantly impresses me and helps me stay motivated. When I'm feeling down or having a slow week sales-wise, I'll go through my shop feedback and read what people have said. Looking back at someone saying "hey, this is amazing, thanks so much!" is like a little pat on the back and makes me want to keep doing what I do.
The best part about running your own business is....
I'm admittedly a bit of a control freak so getting to do everything exactly how I want to is pretty darn satisfying.
The most challenging part is.....
Running a vintage business from a 750sf apartment that I share with another person (and his business!). Oy.