Friday, August 7, 2009

Featured Team Treasury Member: SmallEarthVintage

Karen joined team treasury in June 2009. Karen deals in Vintage and has an wonderful shop on etsy. I hope you enjoy getting to know her better ( :

Thank you Karen for all you do for our team (you're super!)

My blog: http://smallearthvintage.blogspot.com
Etsy: smallearthvintage.etsy.com
eBay: stores.ebay.com/SmallEarthInc
Twitter: twitter.com/SmallEarthVtg
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Small-Earth-Vintage/36171012803



Personal...

What furniture/design/home decor piece do you love most? Thats a tough one! We have a very eclectic decor. the kitchen has lots of primary colors -- yellow and orange Herman Miller chairs and my brightly-colored collection of Pyrex. We have great mid-century modern furniture in the living room, including some cool 1950s lamps, and old paint-by-numbers on the walls. My favorite things might be the amateur paintings (mostly dogs) that line our main hallway. But I also really like this hall tableau, with my dog collection on it (including a cast iron Scottie lamp - a recent find!), and kitsch art on the wall behind. (I'll shut up now. I could go on forever about home decor and the stuff we collect!)



Married/single? Not married but very attached to Mr. Small Earth Vintage, Andy. I moved here from NYC to be with him 10 years ago. He's the one who got me into the vintage business! I was a children's book editor in New York before that.

Kids/no kids? No kids.

Pets/no pets? Yes, Lucy, our much-loved dog. She is a terrier mutt (best guess is a Corgi/Jack Russell mix) that we got from the city pound.



Day job? This is it! I sell vintage full-time. I sell on ebay and on consignment through vintage clothing stores throughout the US. Etsy is the newest--and most fun!--addition to the business.


Location? On a beautiful small lake, just north Grand Rapids, Michigan


Age? 40

How many languages do you speak and what are they? Just English, sadly. I took four years of Latin in high school, which made my college Italian class really easy, but I've forgotten it all. I wish I'd taken some French, as I'm a perfume collector and sound *really* dopey when I try to pronounce the French names!

Do you play an instrument? Nope.

Can you sing? Sure. Especially in the car on long road trips.


Lets Talk Business…


What’s a good story behind your craft and what got you started? It's a romance! Seriously. I started buying and collecting vintage when I was a teenage punk rocker, and continued to haunt vintage stores all through college and my years living in New York. (I was the only book editor who wore vintage to work; heck, I was one of the few editors who "dressed up"! I miss the daily dressing up now that I work at home.) I didn't get into the business until I met Andy (through my best friend in NYC, who had gone to college with him.) Andy had been a vintage dealer since, basically, his college years. When I met him, it was love at first sight. After about 6 months of long distance romance, I moved to Michigan to be with him, and that was that. We've been living, traveling and working together ever since!


Where do you get inspirations? From movies, old and new. Movie stars like Katharine Hepburn, Anouk Aimee, Ava Gardner, and Shirley MacLaine. Definitely by the look of certain films--It Happened One Night, The Thin Man films, anything Fellini, Bonnie and Clyde, Quadrophenia, Grey Gardens. Films by Wes Anderson, Michel Gondry, and Spike Jonze. Sometimes TV. I still love everything about Twin Peaks (woodsy/cabin coziness combined with retro 1950s glamour is so wonderful it about makes my head explode!). Mad Men, is, of course, amazing. I also love Japanese fashion magazines (when I can get them), and Scandinavian fashion blogs.

Does your family help with your business/hobby? Well, Andy is the other half of Small Earth Vintage. My parents live in Colorado, and they are always excited to go thrifting with us when we visit.



Do you like your craft/hobby? Absolutely love it!


How do you market? Aside from Team Treasury, which is just the best (and the most fun)? I just started blogging, and I have a Facebook fan page, and am on Twitter. I also post photos on Flickr. I try to not make my blogging/Twittering all about heavy promotion, which would just be too boring and against my nature.


What gets neglected when you're tending to your shop or creating? Um, everything. I try to be balanced, but Etsy, in particular, takes a lot of time and effort. Luckily, I totally enjoy it! But a "vacation" for Andy and me means a thrifting road trip.


What are you future plans for your business? We just had a massive score of vintage clothing from a woman who bought tons of stuff, and never got rid of anything. Our entire garage is--literally--filled with it. That is going to be keeping me busy for a very long time. Etsy is the newest addition to our business, and I'm planning to keep selling there. It's been working out really well for us, so I foresee being an Etsy seller for years to come. And we're always looking for more vintage shops to supply.




I have to honestly say, being part of Team Treasury has been *such* a boon to me! I have gotten much more exposure than I would have otherwise, and it's been so much fun and a huge honor to be on a team with so many talented artisans (and another fabulous vintage purveyor). Kudos to TeamT!

Any bad experiences with etsy…rude customers/bad buy? No! So far my buyers have all been absolutely delightful. Now if you'd asked about ebay...


For Fun…..

Are you awesome?
Totally. I was a teenager in the 80s--don't I have to be?

When was the last time you had a staring contest?
It was probably a month or so ago, versus Lucy.

When was the last time you fell asleep with the TV on? A couple weeks ago? Andy drives a pedicab (bicycle-cab, kind of like a rickshaw) some weekend nights, and if I'm home alone, and Lucy starts making spooky faces (when she hears the house creak), I have to turn on the TV for company.

Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes!

Are vampires real? I don't know, but the book Salem's Lot sure did scare me.

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?
No. And tailgating won't get you to your destination faster! People need to relax.

Where you named after anyone? No.

What is the first thing you notice about people? Clothes and shoes.



What is on your mouse pad? Don't have one.

If you were another person would you be friends with you? Yes. I hope so, anyway.

Favorites…..

Favorite number? Don't have one.

Favorite flower? I love daisies. They are just so simple and bright--kind of the mods of the flower world!




Favorite color? red



Favorite smells? Lucy's fur, ground coffee, wood fires, basil. In perfumery: immortelle, frankincense, cedar, sandalwood, black pepper, almond.

Favorite food? Bacon cheeseburgers, french fries, avocados, Andy's linguine carbonara, asparagus, strawberries, really good bbq, tapas, pesto. Food good. :) So is drink. I'm addicted to iced coffee, but also love water, classic cocktails, and microbrews.

Favorite etsy shop? SO many! Here are a few:
blockpartypress.etsy.com
vintagerevolver.etsy.com
5gardenias.etsy.com
13bees.etsy.com
mobilosity.etsy.com
matteart.etsy.com
studiolyon.etsy.com
And of course, everyone on TeamT rocks. :)

Favorite pass-time? Reading.

Favorite memory? My first visit to NYC, when I realized it was just like in the movies. It was just so full of atmosphere, it did not disappoint on any level!

5 comments:

michelle said...

KAREN! i think you're my long lost soul mate!

vintage, NYC, long distance lovin', cheeseburger eatin'... oh, i have a cat though. darn!

if you lived closer i'd make you hang out with me!

xo,
michelle

Pegg said...

Wonderful feature! Karen is was fabulous getting to know you!!

Sarah John Afana said...

A fun interview with a great personality. I think you have a wonderful eye for your vintage finds Karen-keep doing what you love :)

PipingHotPapers and RunAliceRun said...

What a great feature!! I grew up in Grand Rapids. Now I'm stuck on the Detroit side of the state. But Michigan still rocks!!

TheNightJar said...

dont know anything about Michigan, but found this article really fun and interesting! I too was a "punk rocker" in the 80"s (when punk was already dead, heh, heh...) Cheers !
: )