Glenda’s beautiful townhouse in Brisbane is full of fantastic vintage treasuries, each with their own rich history and story to tell. Some of her finds are on display in her home but many more are squirreled away in closets, drawers, and spare rooms, waiting to find their new homes through Glenda’s vintage Etsy shop, Card Curios.
We took some time to sit down with Glenda and find out more about her Vintage Etsy shop.
Tell us about yourself, how you discovered your passion for vintage and launched your business:
I have always loved beautiful old things even though I didn’t exactly grow up in luxury. I started buying vintage furniture in my early 20s and I used to restore it. Over the years, I gradually accumulated more vintage and antique furniture and more vintage and antique stuff. I like to see myself as a collector, not a hoarder, of course. At one point, I opened a shop on eBay and sold renovated furniture and home wares so I had a bit of experience in online selling before I opened my Etsy shop. I had a demanding career before I stopped working full-time at the end of 2013. I opened my Etsy shop just before I stopped working full-time in a very small way in October 2013 – selling digital images, clip art, vintage prints, and greeting cards using vintage images. This gave me the experience I needed to gradually change the focus of the shop to vintage and antique goods. I see the shop like an old fashioned vintage store with a range of differently priced goods to suit different budgets.
What is one bit of advice you wish you could have told yourself when starting your business?
Sales will wax and wane so don’t fret about minor fluctuations. Maintain focus on the quality of the goods and excellent customer service. Like any retail shop, some things just don’t sell.
What do you love about selling vintage?
I love that I get to shop for beautiful things even though I don’t get to keep them (well, maybe one or two). I love the intellectual stimulation of researching an item’s history. I love having an exciting reason to get out of bed in the morning. I love it when a buyer absolutely loves something they have bought and lets me know. I love the thrill of the hunt and that moment when you find something that is very special or beautiful or rare. I love being able to work from home with a very flexible working life.
Run us briefly through a typical day in the life of you:
I organise my week so that I do certain things on certain days. I am also pretty involved with my 2 granddaughters so I work around that as well. The elements of my days include:
Responding to convos from buyers or potential buyers.
Photographing stock in bulk – my “photography studio” has good light in the morning only.
Editing photos and sometimes starting again.
Researching the history of items.
Researching prices – both on Etsy and eBay.
Cleaning or repairing stock. I clean all silverware and crockery. I also do minor repairs such as a stitch here or a rhinestone there.
Carefully examining items so that I can describe them accurately.
Post new stock on Facebook and Pinterest.
Then I usually pack sales and post them. I use Australia Post and a door-to-door courier service.
Paperwork – I keep records of all expenses and income!
Reassessing any items that haven’t sold and that are due to be relisted. I may put an item on sale, quietly drop the price, increase the price (under-priced is as bad as overpriced), take new photos, or retire the item and donate it to charity – like any retail store, not all items sell.
What do you love most about living in your town/city:
Brisbane is where most of my family members live so that makes it important. I love the village atmosphere of the suburb I live in – New Farm. I love being close to the river and close to all the quirky inner city suburbs. I love the public transport, great walks, and the proliferation of little cafes. I love the friendliness of the people.
What is your favourite place to visit in your town/city and why:
I like to trawl vintage shops whenever I can and wherever I am. I love the Paddington Antique Centre and the Woolloongabba Antique Centre. You can get a great bite to eat in these precincts as well – bliss.
What is the best part about selling on Etsy and living in Brisbane?
Etsy allows me to enjoy a flexible working life and it allows me to reach the world with my products. It means that I can live in Brisbane or anywhere in the world and run an international shop. Etsy makes it easy to set up a high quality shop and it takes all of the hassle out of things like e-commerce. It provides a vibrant and classy marketplace of like-minded sellers.
Top five places to visit in your city:
- Paddington Antique Centre and the Paddington shopping strip generally
- The Woolloongabba Antique Centre and Logan Road precinct
- The Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art
- Trip up and down the Brisbane River on a CityCat
- The Botanical Gardens – in the city and Mt Cootha
If you’re visiting you must pack:
Good walking shoes, light layers and something warm (cooler months only), a classy night outfit with beautiful shoes, lovely jewellery, sunglasses, shade hat, sun block, and a refillable water bottle.