Thursday, July 17, 2014

Some background and an announcement

I kinda dove right into the middle when I started blogging so I thought I'd take this opportunity to back up and give you some of my history.

I've always had a wide range of interests but was sure I was going to be a biologists. However, getting pregnant (quite intentionally) the month after receiving my masters degree derailed that plan. The fact that I also lacked focus didn't help either. I was happily living my life as a full time mom not really sure what would come next when I accidentally fell into the world of vintage resale.  It was a matter of hitting critical curiosity.  I had some old glass in my china cabinet from my grandmother and then Hubby's grandmother died and we got more from her. That's when the researcher in me kicked in. I started learning about depression era glass. Then I wondered if I could find more and that's when I started going to thrift stores and estate sales. Yup, I could find more.

The next step was to see if I could sell it to other people. Yup, I could!  This is where my entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and I started growing a small business. At first I focused on depression and elegant glass but then I got bit by the mid-century modern bug. 

My attention turned to gorgeous sleek, space age art glass from Scandinavia.

And flamboyant colorful glass from Italy. 

I also stocked stainless and plastic as well as a little pottery. 

Russel Wright - Swoon!

I started out mostly on ebay but eventually rented space at a local antique mall (where I sold a lot of Pyrex) and created my own website. I even sold a piece of Chihuly! 

Then things started to go against me. The price of gas went up making it a lot more expensive to drive around collecting stock.  It also caused the price of shipping to go up noticeably.  The economy in general wasn't doing well so people weren't buying as much. Then Ebay did some outlandish things with their fee structures. And lastly, my antique mall closed.  And frankly, I was starting to burn out. The work involved, especially packing things for shipping, wasn't worth it to me any more. At the same time I was starting to do knitting pattern design and decided that I was getting a lot more satisfaction out of creating my own things than reselling other people's work so I shut down the business and focused all my attention on design work. 

Margarita Hat - one of my first designs
In the last several years I have put together a pretty good portfolio of designs.  I have a book of hat patterns to my name (Hat Couture)  as well as patterns included in several other group books (Doomsday Knits and Stitching in the Stacks.)  I've had patterns published in an assortment of magazines including two issues of Jane Austen Knits and one more coming out this fall in Enchanted knits. I love this work and have a plans brewing for my next book. My self published patterns can be found in my etsy shop and my complete body of work can be found on Ravelry (but you need to be a member to see it.)

On a Lark - published in Creative Knitting Magazine
 But... The thrift store bug never really went away. For a while I was content to limit myself to searching out treasures for my own wardrobe but inevitably I would find things, wonderful, lovely things, that didn't fit me or that I just didn't need. Sometimes I'd buy them anyway in the hopes that I could pass them on to a friend. They were just too pretty to leave behind.  A few months ago I started putting some of the overflow up on ebay and etsy with the idea that I was just selling off stuff from my own collection. But the more things sold the more I wanted to buy. I finally got honest with myself and admitted I wanted to be back in the vintage business. 

So, as of this month, Mid-Century Mania! is back in business!  

This time I'll be focussing on vintage fashion; clothing, accessories, jewelry, sewing patterns, and fabrics.  In other words, the things I love.  And I can't even begin to tell you have much easier packing a dress for shipping is than packing glass and other breakables. There will be an assortment of other random odds and ends thrown in. Some will be stuff I still have around from the previous incarnation.  And some will be because sometimes I just get lured in by the shiny (like we all do, right?)
Seriously, who could resist this beauty?
I love fashion. I've always loved fashion. I've been sewing and designing my own clothes since I was a kid. I probably should have gone to design school.  I don't see myself giving up design work, I just want to add the resale back into the mix.  I think this combination of doing my own design work and reselling vintage clothing and accessories will work out well. It will satisfy a wide range of interests and produce a more reliable income. 

So thanks for reading this far and here's to the journey!

1 comment:

  1. Good to read your story - wow, some of the glassware you sold is stunning! I sell vintage clothes on Ebay, though my approach is very casual (I'm lazy!) but it keeps me ticking over and means I can indulge in buying for me if I generate some cash by selling. That dress is really gorgeous, btw.
    Hope the journey is a fun and productive one! xxx