Well, so, this is kind of awesome. J and I thought it would be really fun to have an Etsy store for vintage clothing and stuff, and we played around with names, and looked at what we had that might sell. I worked in clothing retail for more than a decade, and I’ve always been in customer service, and I’ve missed it. Plus, I have a shit-ton of clothes, guys. I am not kidding you. I love cool t-shirts and cardigan sweaters and long skirts and boots. I love droopy shirts that show off my tattoos. I love shoes. I have a decent-sized closet with lots of shelves (and plastic crates stacked up like college) with jeans, pants and shoes shoved into them. Two hanging racks. Sweaters folded above, on one side; sweatshirts on the other. J has to keep his clothes in the office.
Did I mention I am also taking up two whole dressers? You don’t often get to see this part of my personality… no one does anymore, much. I can be social, and funny. I have a lot of friends who love me. I am generous, and sometimes a gossip. I can be vain. I like having things.
So selling some of my cooler pieces that I no longer wear, and maybe that no longer fit, seemed like a brilliant idea. I would be handling clothes, writing about them, designing a shop with every word. Wrapping the things up in neat little packages and sending them away, with a nice thank you note and a lollipop.
And it worked. My shop is called WindInTheDoor from the second book in Madeline L’Engle’s “Time” series. [Although, in that book Meg travels inside her brother’s body to do battle in his mitochondria, and I have no idea what the title even means. But “WrinkleInTime” was taken.]
I uploaded pictures and wrote a story for the shop and put up J’s old NASA shirt, my rainbow Chewbacca shirt, a pair of Doc Marten mary janes I got from a friend that never fit, a heather gray t-shirt with cherry blossoms, a jean jacket, a couple other things. The NASA shirt sold before the night was over. Other things were quickly favorited. Every t-shirt I posted sold except one I priced deliberately high. Two weeks ago, we had to figure out how to send the Docs to Istanbul, Turkey (it is very expensive to do that, by the way).
My shop opened February 28 and I’ve had 9 sales, which frankly I think is freaking great. That money literally did put gas in my car and food on my table. So I decided to expand. Ten years ago, I made jewelry. I called it “elf jewelry” and even had cards made. Nice enough semi-precious stone bracelets and necklaces and wire rings and earrings that I had a show at the coffee shop where I worked and sold several hundred dollars’ worth. We had family friends who had just lost their patriarch and were really struggling financially, and I donated much of the money to them and paid bills with the rest. That was in 2002, maybe? I stopped for the same reason I stop doing anything; I got a little disillusioned, and then I had a bad cycle of migraines. My huge tackle box full of tools and trays and wire and findings and beads got put in the basement. The bracelets all broke, and I didn’t know how to make them sturdier, but still delicate the way I liked them to look. And I got too sick to try. By the time that cycle was over, I nearly forgot everything that came before.
However, the earrings and rings held up really well. And I still have supplies. So I thought, I could make some. I started with tourmaline and iolite and pewter and did okay. Got better after that 🙂 I’ve only sold one pair, and that to a friend, but it’s fun. I’m out of findings now. With some of the money I’ve made, I ordered some supplies to make rings. A sizing mandrel (mine’s disappeared); a clamp; a wire wrapping tool. When they are delivered Monday I will get another deposit from Etsy, and I will use a bit of that to buy wire, and more silver earring findings.
I’m excited, but sales have stalled and though I’m getting great reviews and some favorites, I haven’t sold anything since St. Patrick’s Day. J studies internet marketing in his spare time and told me it is very unusual for anyone to make more than $100 online in their first year, doing anything. Somehow, my new little shop got noticed right away. I have to believe it will get noticed again.
Here is a link to the shop:
Take a look! 🙂