Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Interview with Amy at Amy Kristine Vintage

Your banner graphic is Wonderful, did you design it yourself?
I wish! My artistic skills are pretty much nil. I worked with Solid Art Collective on my logo and banner design, and she was very helpful and patient. It was a fun process, and I am very happy with the result.

Does the little fox have special meaning?
In a way it does. My lovely boyfriend and I like to email each other cute pictures of red pandas and foxes, as a way to make each other smile, so it’s an animal that is close to my heart.

You come from a line of 'treasure hunters' are you the first to open your own shop?
What prompted you to open on Etsy?
I am the first to open an online vintage/antique shop, although I do have an aunt that has a booth at an antique mall, which means I always have someone to go to garage sales with.
Opening a vintage store was something I had been thinking about for a while, but timing was the deciding factor. I finished up college, and decided to finally give it a shot. I hoped that it would be a great (and flexible) side job once I go to grad school for my PhD in history.
However, this is definitely my first choice for what I could do for the rest of my life, so if I am able to increase my sales in the next year, I may end up being an antique and vintage dealer forever (fingers crossed!).

We are going to need to see a picture of the 'even cuter dog', please.
I think everyone with a pet thinks theirs is the cutest! Our dog is a 5 year old Golden Retriever, his name is Hunter, and he is a total sweetheart.

Where are your favorite sort of places to find your vintage items?
My top choices for hunting wild vintage are definitely auctions, with estate sales and garage sales being a close second. Unfortunately, in Minnesota they tend to be pretty infrequent during our long winter. During those times, I have a few great thrift stores I frequent on a weekly basis. But, I try to check out any place that might have vintage items, such as occasional sales, antique malls, and rummage sales. 

What has been your favorite find recently?
It is pretty hard to pick! But I think the weather starting to turn has made the Schmidt picnic basket one of my new favorites, as I can’t wait until we can have picnics every weekend. It’s easily one of the things I love the most about spring and summer. It combines three of my favorite things; showing off my cute vintage baskets and linens, cooking and being outside!

Animal, vegetable, mineral.
While I am an animal lover and a veggie lover, I would have to say mineral. We got to visit some family in Washington DC this summer, and went to the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. The gem and mineral exhibit is amazing, and it rekindled a fascination with rocks I haven’t felt since I was 6!
How is your home renovation going?
It is going well, although it definitely slowed down a bit over the winter. Last year, we had refinished the floors, painted, replaced fixtures and fixed the fireplace. Painting, sawing, sanding or drilling I can do, but I am a bit clueless when it comes to plumbing and electricity, so it helps a lot that my boyfriend used to refinish houses! Everything that’s left to do is either outside or in the basement, and we have to wait until after the spring melt to start back up again. So this summer, I will probably be blogging about refinishing basements, landscaping and cement mixing. The house was built in 1929, so it has been a fun balancing act to make it cute and ours while maintaining the house’s style.

Your shop has been very successful, could you share with us some things you believe have helped it to become so?
I think selling what you love and always working towards improvement are important factors. I am constantly shopping, cleaning, listing, researching and promoting, and am always looking for ideas that may help my business. And I think it is important to sell items that you would buy for yourself or as a gift or your friends or family. I have also noticed that many successful shops either have a large quantity of lower priced items, or a small selection of carefully curated items. Mine is a bit in between, but having a large variety of items and a range of price points has helped me so far, and I hope to present a shop with colorful and fun vintage d├ęcor items at a decent price. That being said, there are many things I would still like to fix and improve in my shop, and sometimes being very self-critical can help you to step away from your shop and truly see what is and is not working.

All in all, sell what you love and show the customer why you love it, either through the description or how it is presented in the photographs. And kindness and generosity is a wonderful thing in business, don't be afraid to showcase or assist other sellers and artists, as that is what will make you feel good at the end of the day!

Thanks Amy for giving so Generously of your time!!
Here's what Amy's giving away this week!

An incredibly cool set of vintage pick up sticks!!  This could be your ticket to the look that is so in right now in home decor...unuasual vertical pieces that draw the eye...things like feathers, and vintage arrows are often used--but how cool would pick up sticks be?! 

To enter-
Comment on this interview, and any post this week
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Pop over to Amy's blog @ http://www.quixoticfox.com/ let me know you did, and it will get you an extra entry!!

Happy Entering!!

1 comment:

  1. Great interview! Love your dogs~your dog letter holder & your golden :)