I have always had a love for beautiful old things with history — flea markets and thrift stores make my imagination explode. Objects of high quality and outstanding design are what speak to me. When you have them in your hands you just know — this was made to last. It was not about producing a one-season trend item, but about creating something sustainable and timeless.
For me to pick something for my collection, however, it must be vintage with a twist. I’m drawn to pieces that are quirky, a bit extraordinary (or even strange), and colorful. I can’t explain what it is. When I see it, I get this intuitive feeling — “This is for the shop!” — and have to drag it home. I also love to travel as often as I can. Other cultures inspire me endlessly. It doesn’t matter how far or near you travel — people all around the world have their own ways of designing and living.
When I was younger I thought I had to have a classic creative job, like being an artist or designer, in order to thrive. But when I started my vintage business on Etsy, I realized that I’ve never encountered anything as creative as having a business. You can change what you do and what you sell every day. If something doesn’t work, you mull over it until it does — or follow a new idea. Another thing I enjoy about being on Etsy is the communication. In my former life, I studied languages and trained as a translator and interpreter. My Etsy shop gives me a way to communicate with people all around the world in my favorite foreign languages, and connects me to the world in a way that a brick-and-mortar shop could not.
After having a shop for a year and a half, I quit my day job and took the plunge to focus on my shop full time. I am happy I did, and now I am looking forward to my third holiday season on Etsy. I would love to see Mighty Vintage grow even more, but mostly I just want to be able to have a business that is prospering and at the same time do what I like to do. I try to see the bigger picture, and when I take a step back and look at my shop, I always find something I can improve. I guess I try to do with my shop what designers of great vintage pieces did: create something sustainable, beautiful and reliable. Something that lasts.
Photographs by Katja Scherle.