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Collecting English Transferware: One Woman’s Story

Nov 12, 2012

by Tara Young

MP4 | YouTube | Vimeo | | Subscribe in iTunes

(Music by Lineland)

Nancy Roberts has been collecting English transferware china — the evocative pottery and dinnerware adorned with narrative illustrations such as “Liberty Blue,” “English Scenery,” and “Rose Chintz” — for almost twenty years. Over time, Nancy has become an expert on the history and patterns of transferware’s heyday. However, what started as a lighthearted hobby actually helped save her family from financial ruin.

As Nancy recalls:

 I started collecting transferware to decorate. I would buy a few plates here and there, but I really never started selling until my family and I were going through a home foreclosure and trying to make ends meet.

Shane Brown

One day, I was just feeling sorry for myself, mad and angry at the whole world for what was going on, so I got online and bought a red English transferware plate. I knew I shouldn’t have bought anything for myself, so I started looking at all of my transferware — maybe 20 or 30 different pieces — and I decided to sell them online. I took a few dollars from each sale to buy myself another piece, and continued to sell the pieces I had. I started to realize that I was actually earning a little bit of money. Ultimately, we did lose our home and my husband’s business, but I kept buying and selling, buying and selling, and before long, it turned into a new business for us. It was our sole source of income, and it wasn’t a lot, but we managed to get by.

I feel so fortunate that I’ve found something that I love that also allows me to support our family.

Enter for a chance to win a piece of blue and white transferware. On Monday, November 19th, 2012 at 12 p.m. ET, we will choose a commenter at random. (We apologize in advance that this sweepstakes is only open to US folks over 18. Void where prohibited. Download a PDF of the full Rules and Regulations.)



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  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 8 years ago

    What an amazing collection of transferware you have! The pieces are so beautiful! I really love the Thanksgiving set :) Thanks for sharing your story!

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 8 years ago

    Love it!!!

  • Rt9NJvintageFun

    candy donnelly from Rt9NJvintageFun said 8 years ago

    Congratulations on your success. You took your passion during a emotional period in your life and opened a door of happiness and survival. I applaud your strength and focus. Your Shop is beautiful, let us all learn from your opportunity and have the courage to move on and learn. A role model to us all!

  • TheSwankySeahorse

    Amy from TheSwankySeahorse said 8 years ago

    This is a wonderful story! I adore the blue & white transferware, always have. I am glad to hear that your love of collecting not only helped you, but turned into something even more special.

  • HoneysuckleLane

    Lana Manis from HoneysuckleLane said 8 years ago

    Nancy, congratulations on you success! I admire you for persevering and helping your family through times of trouble. Your shop is filled with wonderful items! I have several pieces and tend to be drawn to the brown and white transferware patterns. Best wishes for your continued success!

  • ArtDecoDame

    Desiree from ArtDecoDame said 8 years ago

    Congrats on your success!I love old dinnerware,I'm glad your collection was able to help your family out so much. :)

  • claireandjanae

    Janae from claireandjanae said 8 years ago

    I love transferware. Such a great story!

  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace from VintageMarketPlace said 8 years ago

    This story is one of follow what your heart loves and things will be fine. I love the transferware and plan on buying pieces for our thanksgiving dinner table this year.

  • allsweetdays

    allsweetdays said 8 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have always been fascinated by transferware and the stories they tell.

  • shannonssimpson

    shannonssimpson said 8 years ago

    What a beautiful garage full of dishes! I would love to start collecting.

  • jogriffith

    Jo Griffith said 8 years ago

    I loved hearing Nancy give a brief explanation of the history of transferware. I have always been a fan of the different colored pieces, especially the blue and brown. She has taken a difficult situation for her family and turned it around with her passion for transferware. Great story!

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 8 years ago

    Wonderful story ! Thanks for sharing !

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 8 years ago

    Great story! Best of luck.

  • ginasart8

    Gina Hammond from McGillhandmade said 8 years ago

    We have to go through valleys to find our way to the mountains and especially the mountain tops. What an encouraging story for all of us on etsy. Congratulations on keeping on keeping on. Thank you,gina

  • OuterKnits

    OuterKnits from OuterKnits said 8 years ago

    Wonderful history of transferware. Wonderful story. Inspiring.

  • ExLibrisJournals

    Meaghan from ExLibrisJournals said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story!!

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose said 8 years ago

    First I'm impressed you got your husband to give up his garage! What a beautiful collection and the history behind all of is very interesting. Thanks for sharing....and I'm glad you found a way support your family.

  • Sopranosara

    Sopranosara from Sopranosara said 8 years ago

    I've always been an "anti-collector" but now I wish I had let myself indulge a little more. It's always rewarding to find a talent where you thought there was just a hobby.

  • Estelien

    Estelien said 8 years ago

    That is such an awesome story! Congrats on your success, and here's to hoping it becomes even more lucrative. :)

  • automatedslim

    Melissa Glass from SeedWerks said 8 years ago

    Such a powerful lesson. A true demonstration of how you can re-imagine your hobby and find success.

  • PerditioDulcis

    Christine Choi said 8 years ago

    What a great story. It's regrettable that you initially had a hard time, but it looks like you persevered in the end. I wish you the best of luck in the future as well!

  • KisforCalligraphy

    katy from KisforCalligraphy said 8 years ago

    My step mom is an avid collector of blue transferware. Winning a piece would make my Christmas shopping a whole lot easier! :) Thank you for sharing your collection Nancy! Love the turkeys!

  • kjmcniel

    Kathy McNiel said 8 years ago

    Thanks for your story of turning your passion into income. Congrats on your success!

  • GardenAngels

    GardenAngels from GardenAngels said 8 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your love and your story ! I think many of us can relate to your interest in collecting something, as well as having it help a family eek by. Good luck and Happy Holidays.

  • GardenAngels

    GardenAngels from GardenAngels said 8 years ago

    Wow, I just looked at your shop.....amazing collection !!!

  • TwiceShyRestored

    Laurie from LeavesandLace said 8 years ago

    That is super-inspiring. I adore transfer ware, too!

  • rebeccabest89

    Rebecca Best said 8 years ago

    Such a great story! Best of luck!

  • arliesgirl

    arliesgirl said 8 years ago

    So proud of you, such a lovely story !!!! And i so love all your transferware,

  • DenisesDelights

    Denise Adorian from CoffeeberryCottage said 8 years ago

    Oh! Turn it to lavender Nancy and then pick Me :)

  • trixzstreasures

    trixzstreasures from trixzstreasures said 8 years ago

    Your's is my most favorite shop on Etsy ! Thank you for sharing your story with all of us . Best wishes for your continued success

  • Strawberry23

    Strawberry23 from Strawberry23 said 8 years ago

    Congratulations Nancy on your success. It proves working with what you love, works! Happy collecting, blogs and sales.

  • ZorroPlateado

    Carole from ZorroPlateado said 8 years ago

    What a great story! It was a treat seeing your collection...thank you for sharing.

  • weirdwolf Admin

    Tara Young from kinfolks said 8 years ago

    Thank you for all of the wonderful comments. It was a real treat meeting Nancy and learning more about the history of transferware. Since then I have started collecting the brown aesthetic movement transferware and burgundy Byron. So pretty!

  • kathycreativehome

    Kathy from kathycreativehome said 8 years ago

    Great documentary! Wonderful to hear about some of the history behind transferware and see some of Nancy's stock and collections.

  • EnglishTransferware

    Nancy Roberts from EnglishTransferware said 8 years ago

    Thank you for so many sweet remarks. I am so honored that Etsy featured me here and feel so fortunate that my passion for collecting and decorating have turned into a job...that I LOVE. The more I learn about transferware, the more fascinated I am by the back histories. I think it will wind up becoming even more collectible as most of the Staffordshire potteries have either closed down or moved their production offshore to places like China or Malaysia and the process has become more mechanized. Thank you again for all of your comments!

  • WildOakDesigns

    Nancy Mueller from WildOakDesigns said 8 years ago

    What a great story and so informative! Thanks for sharing. Amazing collection! Nancy

  • susiefiorito

    Susie Fiorito from StitchesbySuzy said 8 years ago

    A lovely story! So inspiring. I have a few of Nancy's pieces and love each one of them. I plan to add to my collection after Santa comes :-).

  • SJPA

    Sarah Anderson from InstinctivelyChic said 8 years ago

    Thank you for spotlighting Nancy and her collection. Nancy is a dear and very generous with her knowledge. I learn something new every time I visit Nancy's blog. I'm one of her faithful followers and a very happy customer. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your story and for your thoughtful friendship......Sarah

  • jeanthut

    Jean Thut from jeanthut said 8 years ago

    I've been following Nancy's blog for quite a while. Thanks for the wonderful show piece to her "art"!

  • OliveCooper

    OliveCooper said 8 years ago

    Thank you for sharing Nancy's story with us. Her Etsy shop is wonderful.

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 8 years ago

    Great story. ♥

  • MinaMinette

    Jan Penn from MinaMinette said 8 years ago

    That was a lovely video...well-done and informative! I agree that transferware pieces are pieces of framed art!

  • EnglishTransferware

    Nancy Roberts from EnglishTransferware said 8 years ago

    Jan, I agree...they are each works of art. I've always viewed them as such. Thanks for watching and commenting!

  • ThreeBarDGifts

    Monica from ThreeBarDGifts said 8 years ago

    I Love blue and white transferware! Your story was touching and has such a wonderful ending! Congrats on your success!

  • rufflesandrelics

    rufflesandrelics said 8 years ago

    Congratulations! Enjoyed your story,

  • rhoadworks

    Lynn Rhoads from rhoadworks said 8 years ago

    I was drawn to your story because I collect transferware also. My collection started with two tiny bowls my grandmother left me. Now I have hundreds of pieces stuffed inside my china cabinet. You are so knowledgeable about your collection. I make me appreciate what I have even more. After hearing your story, I won't take them for granted anymore. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • EnglishTransferware

    Nancy Roberts from EnglishTransferware said 8 years ago

    I would love to see pics of your collection Lynn. It's fun seeing the pieces others have. Do you collect one pattern or several? How sweet that it started with your Grandmother!

  • janers

    janers said 8 years ago

    I'm so happy to see the interview! I follow Nancy's blog and have been reading all about the filming process. She has such a wonderful inventory of transferware. :)

  • kzannoart

    Kristine Zanno from kzannoart said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the schoolin' on transferware, so interesting. Beautiful collection !

  • chedeb

    DEBRA CHEUVRONT said 8 years ago

    Nancy, I love your blog and your shop. If I had the money I would buy everything!!!

  • cheryl0322

    cheryl0322 said 8 years ago

    This interview is lovely! Nancy you did yourself proud! I have been following your blog for a while, and what you have done with the decorating in your home is amazing! I also love to decorate with plates; on stands on tabletops, mantels, hanging on walls, and enjoy the beauty and art of transferware! Continued success!

  • msfrann

    msfrann said 8 years ago

    This was so interesting! I love your beautiful home and collection of transferware! You sure do have a lot of it!! I enjoy your blog and it was fun to see you and your home. Yours is an inspiring story. Frances

  • Victoriangirl2

    Victoriangirl2 said 8 years ago

    It was so great to finnaly see the interview. You did fantastic! I always learn something from your blog.

  • olivinejewels

    Kim from olivinejewels said 8 years ago

    What a beautiful collection! It was fascinating to hear your story and the history of transferware. So many beautiful patterns and they really are works of art!

  • glorialawrence

    Gloria Lawrence said 8 years ago

    Wonderful collection from a wonderful gal..Congrats Nancy..Hugs and smiles Gloria from Happy to be blog.

  • KarenMaryButterfly

    Karen Shabby Brocante from ShabbyBrocante said 8 years ago

    Fantastic video. Left me wanting more. Nancy has an amazing collection, shop and blog! I'll be sharing this video!

  • kcat55

    kcat55 said 8 years ago

    These are beautiful!

  • barnes550

    Jennifer Barnes said 8 years ago

    Such a great idea to do this film on Nancy!

  • kpeterson53

    Kristen peterson said 8 years ago

    I love your story. I started collecting transfer ware because of some pieces I inherited from my grandmother. Thanks for sharing your story and your beautiful transfer ware.

  • joanbatista

    joanbatista said 8 years ago

    Hi Nancy, Beautiful video! It is so nice to get to see you, your home, and hear you speak! It is a great video, and Etsy is terrific! Best Joan

  • MSsouthernlady

    Deborah said 8 years ago

    Nancy, as always I love your collection. It is wonderful to hear your story and see your video! thanks for sharing it all and it is just terrific. Best Deborah


    Clarice Booth from RECCIEatETSY said 8 years ago

    Such an inspiring story. Over the years in dealing with antiques and collectables, and in interior design I have had the fortune to see and use many pieces of transferware for client projects. Design wise it can be used in so many styles. I have a few pieces of my own that I treasure. Thank you so much for sharing your heart felt story. Many Blessings.

  • rpsmith

    rpsmith said 8 years ago

    Nancy, You have a wonderful story that you shared with all of us. Amazing how hardships can turn into blessings that far outlive the hard times. Enjoyed the video that showed your beautiful collections and your home. All the best, Pam

  • ltgonzalez

    Laura González said 8 years ago

    Nancy, I've been reading your posts leading up to the release of the video and I just have to say you did not seem nervous at all! You spoke very clearly and articulately about the history and pieces. I learned a lot! What a treat to see your home and some of your collections. You should be so proud! ~Laura

  • urbanmayberry

    Laura Gonzalez from urbanmayberry said 8 years ago

    Nancy, I loved hearing the history of transferware!! You did a super job!! What a fantastic garage!! :) It's all so pretty, how do you let it go? And thank you for sharing your story never know who will be inspired!!

  • HandmadeHandsome

    Tryntsje from HandmadeHandsome said 8 years ago

    That's a beautiful story. It's nice to know about the origin of this pottery and what a collection you have. Thank you.

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop said 8 years ago


  • GrandmasVintageFinds

    GrandmasVintageFinds from GrandmasVintageFinds said 8 years ago

    Very informative interview, Nancy! Your collection is wonderful and I enjoyed learning a little about the beautiful transfer ware. I have several pieces.....not enough to call myself a collector.......but pieces I enjoy displaying, some inherited and some I purchased for myself. Love your store on etsy! Georgia .

  • kimloftus1

    K. LOFTUS from BellaHeirlooms said 8 years ago

    The video is great!! Your story and passion for transferware inspires us all. Without you on Etsy, I would not have become interested in transferware and learned so much. Thank you for sharing.

  • oldgardenroses

    oldgardenroses said 8 years ago

    I agree with your last statement in the video that "transfer ware is a picture with a frame already on it". I love the pieces I have purchased from your Etsy shop, and others that are in my small collection. Congratulations on your honor to be featured by Etsy. You are well deserving and your shop on Etsy is impressive and one of the reasons I like to shop on Etsy. May the Lord continue to bless your endeavors. Thanks for sharing and teaching all of us with your love of transferware.

  • table21tablescapes

    Alycia said 8 years ago

    Hooray, Nancy! Great video! All of your friends in blogland are super proud of you. Way to go, girl!!! And, wow....I knew you had a lot of transferware, but geez! I love it!!!

  • vsachs

    VIRGINIA SACHS from ThatCountryLook said 8 years ago

    Your video is inspiring and your collection is amazing. It looks like it would take a lifetime to accumulate that much. You have accomplished alot and I wilsh you success. I'm envious, I also started with the blue and white transferware, but have a few pieces of red and brown. I just love it. You are ablsolutely right, it is art. Best of luck.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 8 years ago

    I always think that transferware has such a distinctive look, just patterns everywhere but it's not unattractive!

  • SarahsHammer Admin

    Sarah A. from SarahsHammer said 8 years ago

    Fantastic video! I love her historical knowledge about the imagery. Excellent work Tara!

  • NoMore925

    NoMore925 from NoMore925 said 8 years ago

    Absolutely stunning!

  • elizalee17

    Elizabeth Isabella from EIsabellaDesigns said 8 years ago

    Congratulations on your success. Loved your story!

  • crzyqlt

    crzyqlt said 8 years ago

    I started buying transferware to decorate with as well. Now I am slowly adding to my collection so I can have enough to use for dinnerware for holidays!

  • umgraut

    umgraut said 8 years ago

    I've learned so much from you on your Blog. I love the pastoral patterns and especially like how you mix different patterns (and even colors!) together. I also view transferware as functional art and my blue collar sensibilities appreciate that it was the first art attainable for the common man.

  • vintagecdm

    Cindy McCandlish from VintageCindy said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story! I have always liked transferware, too, but never knew much about it. Thanks for the education and making me appreciate it even more. Your collection is fabulous. I love the creative way you have decorated your home with it.

  • sewlola

    lola from dearvintagecupboard said 8 years ago

    Wonderful video full of eye candy and useful information! I am loving transferware even more. Off I go to her lovely shop.

  • barbdunshee

    Barbara Dunshee from barbdunshee said 8 years ago

    Beauty and a history lesson combined. I will look at transfer ware differently from now on!

  • cinnamonhrts

    cinnamonhrts said 8 years ago

    I'm so happy to read that Nancy turned her love into a supporting business. I've always loved transferware and decorated above my fireplace with blue plates. And a few single ones elsewhere. But I didn't realize it was a collection until I started following Nancy's blog. I just shared the links to her blog and this on my tea group, where we have many collectors there too. I hope some of them can help Nancy out too. Thank you for this lovely video. Val

  • jbc2789

    jbc2789 said 8 years ago

    What a wonderful story and congratulations on your success. It's a blessing to be able to make a business with something your love! I love your blog and enjoy looking at all the transferware. (I could drool over it for hours!)

  • loriplanken

    lori planken from Daysgonebytreasures said 8 years ago

    You are encouragement and inspiration for all Of us. You have been Blessed Thanks

  • KDH3

    KDH3 said 8 years ago

    What beautiful dishes and what an inspiring story. I've bought a few pieces from Nancy, and this story just reaffirms for me what a truly nice person she is. Thank you for sharing!

  • oldschoolfarm

    Kristen from oldschoolfarm said 8 years ago

    What an inspiring story! And such a reminder that an ending is often also a beginning. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • ClosetGothic

    Janne Perry from ClosetGothic said 8 years ago

    Fabulous story and so nice to hear an Etsy seller with an in depth knowledge of the history of what she is selling. Inspiring!

  • CraftinaT

    Tina Thorndycraft from CraftinaT said 8 years ago

    What a lovely success story! I have a few transfer pieces in my cupboard, nice to hear the history. Wishing continued success!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns said 8 years ago

    So beautiful and you have been able to make a living collecting what you love and at the same time helping yourself and your family.

  • lpnancarr

    lynn nancarrow said 8 years ago

    Such an encouraging success story built on a love for the beauty of transfer ware and history!

  • sugarbushpress

    Liz Wichman from ColourGarden said 8 years ago

    Hi Nancy, I just discovered your blog and etsy website - beautiful! So glad you created it, and for sharing it with us all.

  • junabee

    junabee said 8 years ago

    Jam just starting to collect transferware. As I was looking at all the designs out there I came across the dishes my Mom used in our kitchen as I was growing up. No wonder I chose transfereare to collect. Love your collections

  • TalilunaDesigns

    Tricia Bland said 8 years ago

    It has been said that you should give thanks for the hardships that life serves up. While it can be hard to do or understand, if you are receptive life will serve up a blessing. Your story is a perfect example of this. Congratulations!

  • SusabellaBrownstein

    SusabellaBrownstein from SusabellaBrownstein said 8 years ago

    Wow, what an inspiration! I first started selling dishes online when my mom decided to move across the country and asked me to sell her Flow Blue collection for her. I soon found that market had dropped significantly, but Art Deco dinnerware, which I loved, was everywhere! I went a little overboard in the buying and soon began selling ;) and here I am too. Thanks so much for sharing this story...

  • violetscloset

    Noreen Wilder from violetscloset said 8 years ago

    Very inspiring! I have an Etsy store also and it has been hit or miss. This gives me courage not to give up! Thanks for sharing! Noreen

  • loretta9243

    Loretta Maines from BobbinAround4U said 8 years ago

    I've seen transferware at flea markets and yardsales but never knew the background until today! Thank you so much for the information. I've recently started collecting teapots. After seeing so many of your transferware teapots in the video, I know I will need to add one or more to my collection! Good for you in never giving up! We lost everything in a house fire in 2008... a very difficult time, but I do think we are all stronger for having gone thru it and hardships let us know that we can get thru anything if we just keep trying and trust in the Lord.

  • loretta9243

    Loretta Maines from BobbinAround4U said 8 years ago

    I've seen transferware at flea markets and yard sales, but I never knew the background of it until today. Thank you so much for the information! I recently started collecting teapots. After seeing so many of your transferware teapots in the video, I know I will need to add one or more to my collection! Good for you in never giving up! We lost everything in a house fire in 2008... a very difficult time, but I do think we are all stronger for having gone thru it and hardships let us know that we can get thru anything if we just keep trying and trust in the Lord.

  • VintageChinchilla

    Emily Jones from VintageChinchilla said 8 years ago

    Transferware is the cutest! Waiting for the day I come across the big turkey platter to proudly serve our Tofurkey on for Thanksgiving!! ;D

  • EnglishTransferware

    Nancy Roberts from EnglishTransferware said 8 years ago

    Thank you again so much for all of these comments. Thank you sooooo much to Beth Levison for discovering my shop and to Tara Young for flying out, creating this video and for her amazing editing skills!!! I am so honored to be a part of this and will be forever grateful. Thank you ladies, and Etsy for making this happen!

  • HomeForTheHeart

    HomeForTheHeart from HomeForTheHeart said 8 years ago

    Unbelievable collection! It makes my heart beat faster! I love transferware. I also love how you took what you loved and made you happy and turned it into a money-making business. You go girl! BTW, my favorite transfer ware colors are the purple and teal. I just bought a teal transfer ware platter that I saw in an antique shop over a year ago, loved it, wanted it, but couldn't afford it. I loved it so much, but had to let it go. Then last weekend I was walking through that same antique shop and I saw it! That same platter was still there. It hadn't ever sold. Well, I knew that meant it was for me. I decided to buy it this time, and I am so glad. I hugged it all the way up to the counter to pay for it! :-) Thanks for your story. Very inspiring!

  • mlmv

    mary vieira said 8 years ago

    The video turned out well, Your story is "the American dream" working at something you love. I too love transferware, so nice to see my favorite Jenny Lind there too. Much luck for the future, and the new house is beautiful, ( I remember the before photos). Mary


    LaECLECTICa from Laeclectica said 8 years ago

    Wow, your collection is amazing, I would love to see your table all set for Christmas or Thanksgiving!

  • jsmflake

    Jennifer McCracken said 8 years ago

    Nancy, the video turned out great! Congratulations on your success with your business; and how lucky for us that you are providing this resource! I learned a lot about transferware that I didn't know before. Continued success! Jennifer

  • teachjr

    Joan Rosen said 8 years ago

    I was directed here from your blog, Nancy's Daily Dish, and I am so happy that I found your shop. The video was really informative and I love that you took something that you love, and made it your business. Best of luck! Joan

  • EnglishTransferware

    Nancy Roberts from EnglishTransferware said 8 years ago

    Dear Mary, Since you like Jenny Lind, you may want to have a look at these blog posts of mine that have a lot of historical information about her. The story behind the pattern is really wonderful! This is one of my earlier blog posts and it's still one that I like to go back to and re-read: Thank you for reading and coming over to Etsy to watch the video! Nancy

  • jeanwacker

    Jean Wacker said 8 years ago

    I envy your garage! I can't begin to image your collection.

  • fleabitten

    Pattie from fleabitten said 8 years ago

    What a remarkable story. How resourceful of you to turn a sad economic situation into a thriving business. Continued success in your career.

  • j9valadez

    Jeanine said 8 years ago

    What a great story! I learned a lot. I have always collected antique pottery but stayed away from transferware because I was overwhelmed with the variety. I have some pieces that I nabbed from my Mom when I was a kid when she put up her tableware for sale at our garage sales to make ends meet when she divorced my dad. There was one piece I will always remember that I couldn't convince her to keep- it was a very large Turkey platter we would use every year at Thanksgiving. The pattern was brown and I cried when my Mom sold it. I knew we had to do this to make $, but it was still tough on a pre-teen. Someday I hope to find one. Congratulations on your journey.

  • Rebelyun

    Rebelyun from Rebelyun said 8 years ago

    I have been following your blog for sometime, also buying and selling and collecting transfer ware for about 12 years. I am inspired by you story, wishing you and yor family best wishes. Karen.

  • TheSingingBird

    Becky from TheSingingBird said 8 years ago

    I love your shop, Nancy, and the pieces I've ordered from you. It's great to learn more history of some of the patterns, and to know that your family's business was built through following your interest and passion. Thank you for sharing your story and expertise here, and best wishes!

  • austenlover

    austenlover said 8 years ago

    It is so hard to give up things that I love. I commend you for taking that first step selling your own pieces. I could learn a very important lesson from you!

  • BlueSkyLane

    Denise from BlueSkyLane said 8 years ago

    I loved your story, and I also have some pieces of transferware. I didn't know the Staffordshire potteries have mostly closed - how sad. The word "transferware" doesn't do this pottery justice, as the designs are intricate and downright lovely! They should be called something more descriptive! Thanks for sharing and I hope you continue to do well at selling and buying this gorgeous pottery! Denise in the USA

  • EnglishTransferware

    Nancy Roberts from EnglishTransferware said 8 years ago

    Hi Denise, Yes, it is so sad the majority of Staffordshire potteries have either closed, gone bankrupt or moved their production offshore to places like China where not only are the pieces made from the same types as clay that were found in 'The Potteries' regions but are also now mostly made in a more mechanized manner, without that of hand engraved copper plates. It really is a dying art and I think makes these vintage and antique pieces so much more collectible. Most people do not realize that transferware is really one of the greatest stories of mass production ever, and yet it still has much wonderful detail done by hand.

  • EnglishTransferware

    Nancy Roberts from EnglishTransferware said 8 years ago

    Oops....I left out a key word above....I meant to say that they are NOT made from the same types of clay and materials above.

  • bleueclectic

    bleueclectic from bleueclectic said 8 years ago

    I am a blue and white girl myself, love every piece I've ever seen! I feel lucky to have seen your story! Thank You!

  • amymaisondecor

    Amy said 8 years ago

    Awesome documentary! I loved seeing you in your garage Nancy!! What a wonderful story, you are so pretty and articulate, nice job!! I love all the transferware I have purchased from you over the years~

  • jmark5

    Jeanie from jmark5 said 8 years ago

    Thank you for your story; it gave me hope for my own business; I learned a lot about transferware that I did not know.

  • LittleBriarRose

    Jennifer Craig said 8 years ago

    How I would love to live in your garage! It looks just magical. There's a wonderful charm about china, particularly transferware with it's narrative artwork and intricate patterns. It's also wonderful to hear how you've turned a simple passion into a profitable business! Turning an interest into a career is wonderful. Personally, I like to fill my bone china tea sets with knick knacks and curious - jewellery, odd buttons and fresh flowers.

  • ChouetteB

    Bryn said 8 years ago

    What a beautiful story and home (and garage!)! Thank you for opening your home for this documentary. I'm just beginning my collection and loved learning about you and transferware.

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas from FreakyPeas said 8 years ago

    wow, you have a lot! haha...I love the way youve decorated your home!

  • nanabeach

    nanabeach said 8 years ago

    I too LOVE transferware. Thanks for courageously sharing your story - it is truly inspirational for us all.

  • PrimroseandRuby

    Elizabeth and Martyn Thompson from PrimroseandRuby said 8 years ago

    Wonderful collection! One of my favorite things in the world is transferware and I collected SO much of it while I was living in England. It's beautiful stuff!

  • mj2180

    mj2180 said 8 years ago

    It was so nice to see the transferware used for decorating. That is just what I do too! Thanks for sharing!

  • sugargrits

    Karen said 8 years ago

    I've bought several pieces from Nancy and she does a great job and getting it shipped out safe and sound. I have never seen her photo before, but she is genuinely a beautiful person, inside and out!

  • jewlstar

    jewlstar said 8 years ago

    What a lovely story!

  • TraciMitterling

    Traci Mitterling from TraciMitterling said 8 years ago

    What a neat story! Transferware is so beautiful.

  • perlasegovia

    Perla Segovia from PerlaSegovia said 8 years ago

    what an awesome picture of you and your collection!

  • mackenzie30

    mackenzie30 said 8 years ago

    What a beautiful story. This is a beautiful piece!

  • VintageThimble

    VintageThimble from VintageThimble said 8 years ago

    Nancy, I have been following your shop for a long time. I love love transferware. When I discovered your blog, it was awesome because I felt I got to know you alittle more. You can tell that you have a natural affinity to decorating with your transferware. It was finally nice to watch the mini film after following the making of it on your blog. I feel like I know even more about you and transferware. I look forward to more. Congratulations! You deserve it. hugs, Ellen (formerly sweetmemorymakingmom)

  • oliviajoylooney

    Olivia Looney said 8 years ago

    Not only was your story and featured transferware beautiful and inspiring, but the video was awesome as well! Props to Tara! I hope to someday soon start a nice transferware collection. I'm still a young college girl who will be creating a home of my own soon, so these beautiful dishes are a must for the future!

  • acbrown01

    acbrown01 said 8 years ago

    What a wonderful story of triumph. A great inspiration to take a negative and turn it into a positive. I loved watching the video and seeing all the examples of patterns and how to display them. Very inspiring in life and in decor. Keep up the great work! :)

  • littleloveblue

    Cary Walker from littleloveblue said 8 years ago

    oh, i love her shop and wish her all the best!

  • cinnamonstick

    cinnamonstick from cinnamonstick said 8 years ago

    A wonderful story and the transferware is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • june22

    june22 from june22 said 8 years ago

    I remember my grandparents had a wonderful collection of transferware too.

  • sp3438

    sp3438 said 8 years ago

    I love your story... proves that we can do what we put our minds to!! Congratulations on your success. Your transferware is absolutely beautiful! Wonderful giveaway - count me in!!

  • rockerchic15

    rockerchic15 said 8 years ago

    I remember the one piece my mom had. She dropped it and it shattered.

  • peggywheath

    Peggy Heath said 8 years ago

    I'm proud to say Nancy has helped decorate my home and I love it! Congratulations on your video. You should be proud of what you've done!

  • renewbee

    renewbee said 8 years ago

    I am always inspired by folks who manage to turn an avocation into a vocation. How wonderful that you discovered a way to turn your lifestyle hobby into a living! I love transferware, and am especially fond of blue willow.

  • StackedStoneFarm

    momdrinkstea from StackedStoneFarm said 8 years ago

    Gorgeous pieces! I always loved my grandmother's pieces in her china cabinet. Black is my favorite!

  • CraftyPicks

    Quynh Gallagher from CraftyPicks said 8 years ago

    Wow those pieces are gorgeous

  • lindabluebird

    lindabluebird said 8 years ago

    I'm coming over from Nancy's blog which I always enjoy! This is a wonderful video and I'm so happy to hear that Nancy turned a hobby into a means of supporting her family. I wish her much luck in the future with her business. She is truly a great source of information for this beautiful craft. Linda (morefunlesslaundry)

  • taratenasco

    taratenasco said 8 years ago

    My mother-in-law gave me her set as a bridal shower gift. It was the only gift, that day, that made me cry! I had admired it for years, so when I opened the box, I knew she knew how special it was to me :-)

  • mirabellamorello

    mirabellamorello from mirabellamorello said 8 years ago

    Nancy, Thank you so much for sharing the story of not only the beginnings of your business, but also your collection and knowledge of the history of transferware. I will tell you that you have inspired me so much today. As I continue to research pieces found in the massive collections of china, glass and other vintage items that were left to me by my mother for sale in my shop, you have inspired me to take a second look at a couple of transferware pieces I have found in her collection! Wishing you much continued success - Betty

  • callalady

    callalady said 8 years ago

    What a great story. Thanks for sharing. I've always been partial to red transferware.

  • writeoccasion

    Susan Watson said 8 years ago

    Beautiful story and I love the history lesson behind it. Each small business story is so inspiring. One in our community that is similar is Replacements Ltd., started in a garage:)

  • elercie

    elercie said 8 years ago

    Really heartwarming to hear about Transferware helping your family during foreclosure. Little did the designers know or could imagine how they'd help someone in the future. Beauty lives on and on in the most unique and amazing ways. Thanks for sharing your incredible knowledge with us! Best wishes...

  • Kitty2320

    Lizy from Kitty2320 said 8 years ago

    Love Nancy's Transferware! Not only she has quality and beautiful things at her store but he also is very knowledgeable and teaches every customer about the wonderful pieces you are buying. Her story is not only touching but encouraging! You can chase your dreams and be successful at it! Big Hugs Nancy, Lizy

  • WilsonPhotography10

    Lisa Wilson said 8 years ago

    absolutely beautiful

  • aliceowens1

    Alice Owens said 8 years ago

    Love your Transferware. Great Story!

  • SouthernGallery

    Cindy Mansfield said 8 years ago

    Such a beautiful story!! I do so love transferware...the pinks and reds are my favorite, but I find them all lovely...

  • charmedteacher

    charmedteacher said 8 years ago

    Great film, and so many beautiful dishes! It's nice to know that a detour in life can lead to the right direction for success and happiness!!

  • BuffyPalomar3904

    BuffyPalomar3904 from PitchersandPlatters said 8 years ago

    I watched your video, wow such an impressive piece on you and your business! The Etsy people also did a fabulous job! Enjoy your moment in the spot light, you deserve it! AND I LOVE transfer ware!!! Merci, Cathy Chapman

  • UpscaleDownhome

    Sarah Ives from UpscaleDownhome said 8 years ago

    I'm an avid reader of your blog and am so happy that you got to share your story here on Etsy. I'd love to know even more! Thank you for the opportunity to win a piece of transferware. Good luck to everyone.

  • deneenpat

    Pat Deneen said 8 years ago

    Good luck everyone! It is a beautiful plate.

  • bearchick81

    bearchick81 said 8 years ago

    What a have really gotten past adversity and made things turn out well. I have been following your blog for awhile and really enjoy all your pictures and information about transferware. Congratulations on your Etsy story. You deserve it. Thanks for the chance to win such a beautiful plate.

  • artventor

    Nita Stacy said 8 years ago

    Loved hearing your story and your house is so cute on the outside too. I'd love to win that transferware plate. This is Nita @ Mod Vintage Life -

  • GrandmasVintageFinds

    GrandmasVintageFinds from GrandmasVintageFinds said 8 years ago

    I am in love with all transfer ware! The patterns are always so lovely and add a homey touch to the room where they are displayed. My " collection" is very small but filled with pieces I love! Would love to add this beautiful blue and white plate to my collection! Georgia

  • CollieJourneys

    CollieJourneys said 8 years ago

    I love your story tho hate that you had to go through it to get to the place where you are now. I'm inspired by you. I also love transferware. I just don't know where to start to collect or display. Perhaps you could do a series on your blog for "beginners". Hugs!

  • laurihammer

    Lauri Hammer said 8 years ago

    Love the story. Congratulations. Hope to hear a lot more about you and your knowledge of transferware.

  • hoarderrehab

    Kennedy Miranda from HoarderRehab said 8 years ago

    I have never been a fan of transferware and never thought I would be, but this women's story and her journey has made me a fan and I will I look at transferware very differently now! with a whole lot more heart! Your video and article not only informed me about transferware, it's history and loveability, but how hard times can transform into something unbelievably incredible! This really inspires me as I consciously dehoard and move on to the unexpected! Thank you Nancy and Tara for putting together the article and video and inspiring myself and others! I love the part when Nancy says, "I look at these plates and see a picture in a frame already on it!"

  • janicemay2

    Janice May said 8 years ago

    I love Transferware and enjoyed your story.

  • RockyMtnPaper

    Allisa from RockyMtnPaperCrafts said 8 years ago

    So glad you are able to earn an income doing something you love!

  • dustbunnyfightclub

    susan said 8 years ago

    Beautiful pieces. During my undergraduate years, I worked in a museum and my love of transfer ware began then. Blue is my favorite, but I really find that there isn't a color that isn't appealing. Thanks for the giveaway, hope I win!

  • tabhockamier

    Tab Hockamier said 8 years ago

    I would so love that blue and white plate! Thank you for hosting. ~Liz

  • dawggonecute

    Velma from dawggonecute said 8 years ago

    I have been privileged to have purchased several of your transferware pieces and i look forward to adding more to my collection. I also enjoy following your blog and learning about different transferware patterns. I wish you great success and growth with your unique business!

  • moonstruckcottage

    Loretta from MoonstruckCottage said 8 years ago

    Hello Nancy! I was so excited to see this! Congratulations to you! Such an inspiring story and very informative! And WOW what a large and beautiful transferware collection you have! And so neat and orderly too. I have never seen a garage like that in my life. Your home is lovely and so are you :) Next, you should write a book!

  • luvcrystals

    luvcrystals from luvcrystals said 8 years ago

    Hello Nancy, I just love your Etsy shop and I too love English transferware. I have 2 sets that I love and adore being Johnson Brothers Harvest Fruit & Wild Turkeys. I have almost full sets but still need a few pieces for each set. But what I love is the hunt of trying to find the pieces I need. I surely will be watching your shop just in case you might have something I might need!! Best to you and your shop

  • madeincrawley

    Jamie Fisher from madeincrawley said 8 years ago

    Hello Nancy, I am English and living in the UK , I love your story and thank you for sharing it with us. I love my antiques and also a collector of the English transferware and maybe some day will sell them on Etsy as I also do have all sorts of plates from different makers and they are all lovely. My family and friends just pick them out when setting the table and feel like royalty when eating from them. All the best

  • chupek

    chupek said 7 years ago

    I just watched you blog piece and can totally relate. I just recently got into collecting transferware about six weeks ago and have literally already gathered up about 200 plates. I creates a "headboard" out of 24 pieces of blue transferware. It has overflowed to a built-in bookshelf in my living room. I've done a display of pink/red transferware at my top staircase landing. I've done simple white plates around a mirror in my guest bath and a small display of cream/brown transferware in my living room. I have several delicate pink china pieces dispalyed (a deviation from transferware for a bit) in my guest bedroom. I've done a very sophisticated hanging of Limoge gold-rimmed china in my dining room. Lasty, I've the Meakin green and red in my breakfast nook. Though it is not all transferware, it is my favorite. I adore the beauty and history of the plates but I also love the hunt and have found most of my treasures for less than a dollar or two a piece. I have paid a bit more for a few of the pink pieces but I've scoured the Goodwills and thrift shops and found some real steals. Its been so much fun....I'm now finding places that need some plates to liven them up! Thanks for the great blog footage and know that you've a big fan out there. My friends have called me "old" (I'm 43) and wonder when I'll begin collecting spoons and china dolls. They simply can't understand the beauty and charm of this wonderful piece of history.

  • kariewenthur

    Katie Wenthur said 7 years ago

    What a wonderful story and I am so happy you found your bliss! I have a little different story; I like to buy play and inexpensive plates to go along with the seasons to make sort of a vignette on one side of my kitchen, under the glass doored glass wear. I have actual antiques to go along with the different seasonal celebrations (Christmas in red and green; Thanksgiving in brown; pastels for Easter--all transfer wear. My family MADE it. We have the appropriately colored glassware, too--and yes, we did the pressed glass, as well..) We have a long decorative press with the wooden dowels where we put up plain plates along with a woodhewn trug filed with the seasonal fruits and carved animals to remind us from whence we came. We have about 400 people who attend these potlucks....and money has nothing to do with it. We all bring what we can and those who are unable to cook anymore or even manage to join in, are brought in, amid great fanfair y the teenagers who take their turn serving, cooking and washing up. We are very lucky and I much say, that over the last several hundred years, we have become closer and happier with one another. The school age children always have someone to read to and be disciplined , if needed. The college age children own us all a debt of gratitude so that they spend more time on their studies than drinking, smoking or drugging. It is a happy neighborhood that I hope will continue one. I''m 70 and keep my eye on everyone because one day,I'll be one of the old ones. When I am looking for right now are nothing fancy or pricy, I just was so autumn colored plates that are PLAIN with perhaps a ruffled edge. They go up in the doweled area above the old craved trug that is filled with appropriate fruits and vegetables and hand carved animals or that time of year. I've looked and looked and I am not interested in Halloween themes or other silly, non-harvest plates. Plain, pretty and appropriate colors with perhapes and slight ruffle. Not square or any other kind of oddness. Just something pleasing to the eye and a rememberance that we were all once farmerers, digging and carving for fun. During these get togethers, there are no stereos, IPens,television, electronic games...if we cannot entertain with a very loud and badly plaid piano (my contribution) , there are plenty of dishes to do. If you have ANY idea where I might find something like what I am looking for, please email me (I am connected to some of the modern age) at I would be every so grateful. If you cannot find anything that suits...well, we have managed thus far. I do like some of the new inventions. Not all mind. But some. And it tikles me that that lovely Paul McCartney is now Sir Paul. The Queen and I share the same sense of humour.

  • j9r1

    Jeannine Ricci said 7 years ago

    Johnson Brothers: The Road Home is my passion, wonder if you have seen any pieces of that. Created between 1957 - 1974. Been collecting it for about 15 years and still don't have all the pieces I'd like.

  • jennymaynatural

    Jennifer Tracy from JennyMayNatural said 7 years ago

    i like it.

  • koe421

    Patrice Koehler from HarryChapin said 6 years ago

    Beautiful history lesson.... and your pieces are lovely...

  • ruileites

    Rui Leites from AntiquesGranny said 4 years ago

    Do you like this one? Ty.

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