Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Interview with Elea from 51VC

Elea from 51VC
You have so much enthusiasm for vintage, how did you get hooked?
"Working in a second hand store! That'll do it!"

Do you have an era that speaks to you the most?
"Eames Era, most definitely. But I get pretty bonkers when I come across items from my childhood a.k.a. the 1980's too."

How did you get started on Etsy?
"I was a manager for a second hand store that was not-for-profit while I was a photography and art major.

It was suggested to me by a regular customer who was an artist to check Etsy out as a place to showcase my pieces in order to supplement my income. 
She really talked it up and I had serious doubts it could be such a big deal. 
Boy was I wrong!"


You have three shops, two vintage and one upcycling…where do you find the time?
"Well, this is a good question. I lived in the Omaha area all of my life. Then I met my husband and we found a big house in a wee little town 40 minutes from the nearest Walmart (no, seriously). 
The living is easy and the houses are cheap. On top of that my husband makes a comfortable living for the area we live in. But it's actually more difficult than one would think to find time for 3 shops when you have 2 dogs, 5 cats, a Queen Anne to renovate and maintain and all of your family lives out of state." 
*exhausted laugh goes here*

If you had a box of crayons and a blank sheet of paper what color would you use first? Why?
"Teal. It's just the most inspiring color to me.... right now."

What has been your favorite find?
"Most recently, a pair of moon boots.  They were one size too big. :("

Where do you find your best stuff ? 
"I find the best things at the places most likely to get one in trouble.
The places where your motto becomes, "well I can't afford NOT to get it". Those places usually end up being community-supporting shops.
And that only adds "justification" to the motto. They're the most dangerous places.
But they make you feel like a thrifting superstar!"

Current favorite guilty pleasure.
"Staying up late to list and make treasuries only to end up watching two hours of 
'What I Like About You' re-runs on Teen Nick."

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?  "Vegetable! C'mon Spring Time!"


You have such an upbeat positive attitude. What keeps you going when you start to lose steam?
"GOD, my husband, my kitties, my mom, and my fellow Etsy'rs- all of whom are super supportive!"

Let's say you have a totally free day, and a personal jet
ready for your destination input.
Where do you go, what do you do?
"I'd fly to South America and zip-line among Mayan ruins and then take a nap on a beach somewhere."
"I just would like to add a tip I've had to recall recently when dealing with 'tricky' customers. "You don't always know the right thing to do but you always know the wrong thing."
It's hard to take the high road but you'll save yourself a lot of energy if you keep this motto in your back pocket. It applies to life in general pretty well too!"

In Reflection..."I'm one of the lucky ones who've been able to make Etsy my full time job.  
It takes alot of work to get there."
  Thank you Elea, for your wit and wisdom!  
                              Elea and I are both members of the Vestie Team on Etsy.
               ----Use the couponcode 51Love at Elea's shop this week for 15% off!


  1. this is a delight! I too... manage a non for profit resale shop!
    love this!
    thank you for another wonderful interview Brandi and 51vc... I LOVE this! ( and your shop)

  2. Wow! Love this interview. I'm a huge fan of vintage radios and that particular Emerson is a hard one to find.

  3. What a great interview! Having a conversation with the person behind the shop means a lot - it makes me either want to favorite the shop and buy from it or NOT. Elea sounds like a really cool person and made this interview interesting! :) And she makes me want to work in a second-hand store. lol Sounds fun!


  4. Great interview Beteabon! Thank you Elea! It's so fun to get know fellow Vesties.
    And her advice for dealing with "tricky" customers is spot on!

  5. I wish I still managed a thrift store... I didn't know if it was clear or not.... I don't anymore :( I miss the DISCOUNT!

    Thank you everyone for your kind comments :)

    Brandi, you have OUTDONE yourself, you are an asset to the entire Etsy community! I so wanna hug you! *cyber hugs*