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Featured Shop: Brass Teak

Jun 8, 2017

by Valerie Rains

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Being a vintage seller comes with definite advantages. For one, there’s the feel-good part associated with saving items from the landfill and contributing to a more sustainable way of life. Which is a nice counterbalance to another upside of the job, which is having a really solid excuse to shop—er, acquire inventory—on a more or less continual basis.

For Jacqueline Brown of Brass Teak, the appeal of running a vintage decor and accessories shop is a little bit of both—and then some. “When it comes to my home, I’ve always been torn between two preferences,” Jacqueline says. “I love vintage things, but at my core I’m a minimalist. Having a shop has allowed me to keep collecting vintage finds, and also have an avenue for passing them along to someone else down the line. The biggest perk of this job is that my house is always evolving with new old items.”

Read on to learn how Jacqueline turned her hobby into a bustling side business, then shop the Brass Teak collection

First things first: Have you always been obsessed with vintage?

I think I have always gravitated toward vintage; I just like the idea of finding an item that already exists and reusing it, maybe adding a new twist while still maintaining the integrity of the piece. I’m an old soul at heart, I guess. And I love the thrill of the hunt and not knowing what’s at the bottom of a bin in the thrift store.

Do you work on your shop full time or have another job?

For my full-time job, I work as the operations director for an event rental company. On any given day, I might be helping a bride bring her wedding day to life or measuring a tent for a corporate groundbreaking. But in the evenings, I’m usually out scouring for inventory for Brass Teak.

What are your favorite places to search for treasures? And how often are you out there on the hunt?

One cool thing about my full-time job is that it requires me to travel around the region quite a bit. I get to drive through all these sleepy, rural towns in Alabama, and I always have my eye out for thrift stores tucked away along my route. Those are my favorite places to find inventory for the shop.

Even if I’m not traveling, my lunch breaks will often include a quick stop at few local thrift stores near my work. Several of my go-to shops have come to know me by name and I can’t help but laugh a little bit at that—I wasn’t really expecting something like that to happen.

Do you ever go shopping with a buddy, or do you always go solo?

A little of both. I have a few friends who have gotten really into helping me look for things, and they’ll take pictures of something they see in a store and ask me if I want them to buy it. So I’ve accidentally recruited some scouts, I guess.

Has your aesthetic remained consistent since you opened your shop? What drew you to the kinds of things you carry in your shop now?

Natural elements have always been my favorites. Things made from wood, metal, or clay just have a simple charm to me; I like the earthiness and warmth they bring to a space. My tendency toward minimalism can lend itself to feeling cold, so textures and colors like you find in wood, or even the rich patina from a brass object, can be really useful for warming up a space. All of these elements also feel timeless to me—they never really go out of style.

What’s your workspace like? And most important, how do you keep everything organized?

It’s not very glamorous; I have a spare bedroom that I work out of that I call my Etsy office. But in reality, my workspace is always changing depending on where the best place is at that moment to do a quick photo session—wherever the sun is coming in through the nearest window. That’s kind of a fun challenge, figuring out where in the house I’m going to do a shoot.

As for organizing my inventory, I have several dozen crates where I store items grouped by material. That’s the easiest way that I’ve thought of to keep things in order. I would love to one day have an area that’s just a workspace where I could have a huge work table—15’ x 15’ would be perfect.

Photo courtesy of Brass Teak.

What kinds of items do you tend to sell the most of?

Definitely the brass candlesticks. They were some of the first things I listed in my shop, and since then they’ve been a staple. People are always looking for them—for their weddings, for their mantels. You can even use them as air plant holders.

What do you love most about running your Etsy shop?

Finding an item that I think someone else is going to love is probably the best part. It’s almost like a puzzle, and when you find something that someone else finds exciting, it’s almost like you make an intimate connection with someone without even meeting them. And that’s hard to do, which is what makes it so interesting and fun—it never gets boring.

Do people ever ask you to look for specific things for them?

Yeah, that’s happened many times. A lot of people who do prop photography shop from my store, and they’ll make requests, especially for large quantities of a single item. And there’ve been other very specific items that people will ask for, and I’ll keep those in the back of my mind as I’m out looking. At one point, I had a midcentury Ukrainian ceramic bowl in my shop, and there was a guy in New York who highly prized this particular work. He’s had me looking for it for him ever since. He’ll check in every now and again to make sure I haven’t forgotten about him.

Photo courtesy of Brass Teak.

Photo courtesy of Brass Teak.

What’s next on the horizon for Brass Teak?

When I first opened my shop, I thought I would stay away from bulkier items that might be hard to ship, but lately I’ve been finding such great things that I’m going to start trying out some larger pieces and furniture in my shop. For example, not long ago I was at an estate sale at a house that hadn’t been lived in for years, and I just happened to peek out the window and spotted a midcentury Platner table base that was all covered in spiderwebs and vines; I found the original glass top for it in another part of the house. It needs a little bit of love, but I’m excited to get it prepped and ready. I’ve also found a couple of wicker peacock chairs recently, and I always run across formica dining sets. For now, it’s a trial to see how things move, but that might be a direction I go more toward in the future.

Follow Brass and Teak on Instagram and Facebook.

Photographs by Devin Ford.

Shop Brass Teak

Vintage LARGE Wicker & Seashell Wall Art, Wicker and Shell Wall Hanging, Bohemian, Hippie, Gypsy, Tropical, Beachy, Beach House, Boho Decor
Vintage LARGE Wicker & Seashell Wall Art, Wicker and Shell Wall Hanging, Bohemian, Hippie, Gypsy, Tropical, Beachy, Beach House, Boho Decor
BrassTeak
$59.00 USD
Mexico Pottery Vase, Hand Painted, Etched Design, Vintage Mexican Ceramic, Mid Century, Boho Home, Bohemian Decor, Planter, Air Plant Holder
Mexico Pottery Vase, Hand Painted, Etched Design, Vintage Mexican Ceramic, Mid Century, Boho Home, Bohemian Decor, Planter, Air Plant Holder
BrassTeak
$21.00 USD
Brass Candlestick Holders, Set of 9, Assorted Large Candle Holders, Mid Century Brass, Hollywood Regency, Boho Wedding, MCM Brass, Bohemian
Brass Candlestick Holders, Set of 9, Assorted Large Candle Holders, Mid Century Brass, Hollywood Regency, Boho Wedding, MCM Brass, Bohemian
BrassTeak
$109.00 USD
Vintage Wicker Owl Basket, Two Piece Owl Basket, Vintage Wicker Owl, Storage Box, Stash Box, Mid Century Home, Lidded Basket, Trinket Box
Vintage Wicker Owl Basket, Two Piece Owl Basket, Vintage Wicker Owl, Storage Box, Stash Box, Mid Century Home, Lidded Basket, Trinket Box
BrassTeak
$28.00 USD
Vintage Brass Snail // Mid Century Hollywood Regency Home Decor // Nursery Figurine // Boho Glam Gold Paperweight // Brass Animal // Garden
Vintage Brass Snail // Mid Century Hollywood Regency Home Decor // Nursery Figurine // Boho Glam Gold Paperweight // Brass Animal // Garden
BrassTeak
$48.00 USD
Vintage Ram Head Bookends, Brass Bookends, Hollywood Regency, Mid Century Modern Bookends,  Book Ends, Antelope, Impala, Library, MCM Office
Vintage Ram Head Bookends, Brass Bookends, Hollywood Regency, Mid Century Modern Bookends, Book Ends, Antelope, Impala, Library, MCM Office
BrassTeak
$229.00 USD
Brass Owl Bookends // Vintage Pair // Hollywood Regency Mid Century Decor // Animal Book Ends, Mid Century Modern, Bohemian Home, Brass
Brass Owl Bookends // Vintage Pair // Hollywood Regency Mid Century Decor // Animal Book Ends, Mid Century Modern, Bohemian Home, Brass
BrassTeak
$62.00 USD
Vintage The Thinker Bookends Pair // Hollywood Regency // Art Deco // Mid Century // Vintage Bookends // Office Decor, Library, Thinking Man
Vintage The Thinker Bookends Pair // Hollywood Regency // Art Deco // Mid Century // Vintage Bookends // Office Decor, Library, Thinking Man
BrassTeak
$68.00 USD
Vintage Art Deco Ram Head Bookends // Brass Bookends // Hollywood Regency // Mid Century Modern Bookends // Ram, Antelope, Impala / Library
Vintage Art Deco Ram Head Bookends // Brass Bookends // Hollywood Regency // Mid Century Modern Bookends // Ram, Antelope, Impala / Library
BrassTeak
$139.00 USD
Vintage LARGE PAIR Brass Candlestick Holders, Hollywood Regency Candle Stick Pair, Vintage Mid Century Candleholders, Boho Glam Boho Wedding
Vintage LARGE PAIR Brass Candlestick Holders, Hollywood Regency Candle Stick Pair, Vintage Mid Century Candleholders, Boho Glam Boho Wedding
BrassTeak
$54.00 USD
Mid Century Bull Figurine, Carved Stone Figure, Onyx Animal - Statue - Mod Figurine - MCM Collectible, Hand Carved Stone, Paperweight
Mid Century Bull Figurine, Carved Stone Figure, Onyx Animal - Statue - Mod Figurine - MCM Collectible, Hand Carved Stone, Paperweight
BrassTeak
$38.00 USD
Vintage Wood Salt and Pepper Shaker Set Acapu Brazil, Mid Century Modern Kitchen, Geometric Wood Shakers,
Vintage Wood Salt and Pepper Shaker Set Acapu Brazil, Mid Century Modern Kitchen, Geometric Wood Shakers,
BrassTeak
$32.00 USD

43 comments

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 16 days ago

    Absolutely love your shop! Congratulations on the feature!

  • BelkaUA

    Olesya Bagriy from BelkaUA said 16 days ago

    Beautiful shop! Beautiful work! Congratulations on the feature!

  • PrimCountryCurtains

    Francine from HomespunHeartofMine said 16 days ago

    COOL shop, Jacqueline! It was a blast from the past!!! I had that same rattan chair in my teenage bedroom in the 70's!!! :) Congratulations on the feature and many blessings for your continued success!

  • solomia7

    Monika Moroz from NickoArts said 16 days ago

    Thank you for sharing your story. Congratulations on the feature of your beautiful shop. I wish you much success :)

  • JewelMeShop

    Georgia from JewelMeShop said 16 days ago

    Congrats on the feature! You have a great shop, I love your wood nakpin rings!

  • ThreeBarDGifts

    Monica from ThreeBarDGifts said 16 days ago

    What a great collection! Traveling through small towns and shopping thrift stores sounds like a fun way to fill your shop. Congrats on the feature and best wishes!

  • SallysVintageKitchen

    Sally from SallysVintageKitchen said 16 days ago

    Beautiful shop! Congratulations on the feature!

  • msbijouxjewelry

    Cathy White from msbijouxjewelry said 16 days ago

    Lovely shop, your wicker items are beautiful! Great article!

  • TreasuredMemoryLane

    TreasuredMemoryLane from TreasuredMemoryLane said 16 days ago

    Beautiful shop! Congratulations on the feature!

  • jacobswoodentoys

    Tim and Brigita Cornwell from jacobswoodentoys said 16 days ago

    Beautiful shop. Congrats on the feature!

  • ClassicMemories

    ClassicMemories from ClassicMemories said 16 days ago

    Lovely shop. Congrats on the feature.

  • StyleGraphicDesign

    Maria from StyleGraphicDesign said 16 days ago

    Really unique items!:)

  • ponyhoney

    Debi from MadGirlRetro said 16 days ago

    I sell vintage too. I get everything you said. Moving things around the house, figuring out where to take the best pictures of a particular thing. And though I'm clean and neat, I'm not a minimalist. So my house is jam-packed full of color and styles. People come in and comment on something and I'm like, "That's in my shop," "That's for sale," "I just listed that...." If a thing looks good where I staged it, I might leave it right there and enjoy it until it sells and so, just like your place, it's always evolving. Congratulations on the feature! Your shop is real pretty and I favorited a few things. Happy shopping and selling!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 16 days ago

    Great shop! Congrats!

  • LEARNTOLOVEME

    Soap Sista Peters from CHEROKEEWEAH said 16 days ago

    You have beautiful items and I agree, wood is so beautiful and natural! Congratulations!

  • WetDesert

    MJ Toops from WetDesertVintage said 16 days ago

    Always so exciting to see vintage shops featured! Great article.

  • gardenmis

    Priscilla from Gardenmis said 16 days ago

    Your shop is displayed so beautifully! Loved your photography and curation of quality vintage items!! Congrats on the feature and best wishes for achieving all your goals and dreams :)

  • RandMhandmade

    Renee from RandMhandmade said 16 days ago

    Beautiful shop!

  • mrsakarn

    cindy Q. said 16 days ago

    Love your store and your story. Almost all the items you have in your store , I own and are displayed so nicely in my house. Its nice to see that there are people that love preserving the things from the past. Cindy Q

  • TropicalGarden

    TropicalGarden from TropicalGarden said 16 days ago

    Wonderful shop! Congratulations on the feature!

  • GTDesigns

    renee and gerardo from GTDesigns said 16 days ago

    [Insert singing here: Hallelujah!!!] .... a vintage shop feature!! ....and a beautiful one at that!! lovely work and beautiful BEAUTIFUL finds!! congrats on a ....groundbreaker feature.... maybe?....so happy for you and wishing you more more more & more success and love for what you do!!!

  • amyedwin

    Amy from DearestFriend said 16 days ago

    Shops like this are what make Etsy unique and worthwhile. Beautifully thought out collection. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • bedouin

    Nicole from Crackerjackarma said 15 days ago

    Oooooo I've liked the brass thinker bookends for a bit and now the ram's have caught my eye. Great stuff beautifully put together ~!~

  • pillowlink

    Rosita from pillowlink said 15 days ago

    You do have really great finds in your shop! Congrats on the feature!

  • msbijouxbeads

    Cathy from msbijouxbeads said 15 days ago

    Lovely shop, congratulations on the feature!

  • rellyh

    Relly from RelsFindsNapaValley said 15 days ago

    You have beautiful collections in your shop. Congratulations Jacqueline of shop Brass Teak!

  • evolvewithmary

    evolvewithmary from evolvewithmarycrafts said 15 days ago

    I love to think of the stories behind the items, if the items could talk what a story they would have! Your store in certainly a treasure trove! Love hearing the behind the scenes. Congrats on your success!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 15 days ago

    Great finds. Congrats.

  • bonesbags

    viena bone from bonesreusablebags said 15 days ago

    Wow, you find such cool and interesting pieces! I wish I was a minimalist, I could definitely see myself hoarding half of your collection! Congrats on the feature!

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 15 days ago

    Congrats on the feature! Your shop is nice....Love your photos!

  • LadyInPurple

    Jennifer Tyson from LadyInPurpleJewelry said 15 days ago

    Congrats on the feature Jacqueline! My mother loved brass and all things vintage, so your shop brought back some lovely memories. I wish you and your shop much success!

  • beatrizmcdavid

    Beatriz McDavid from AlegriaCollection said 15 days ago

    Beautiful shop and congrats on the feature! Thank you, Valerie Rains, for shining the spotlight on vintage!

  • cardurban

    Heidi Bondarenko from thecleverclove said 15 days ago

    That's exactly why I love my vintage wedding ring - it's so wonderful to be a part of another person's love story! Lovely shop :)

  • 1StopSteampunkShoppe

    One Stop Steampunk Shoppe from OneStopSteamShoppe said 15 days ago

    Great read, appreciate all the wonderful advice! Your photography is superb. Congrats on your feature! : )

  • DivineOrders

    DivineOrders from DivineOrders said 14 days ago

    GLORIOUS! Thank you Jacqueline for sharing your warm story, creative passion and beautiful visions with us. HOORAY for VINTAGE! - Peace.

  • VERONAART

    JOANNA from BUSTANI said 14 days ago

    Beautiful work! Congratulations on the feature!

  • MysticalRaindrops

    Jeannie from MysticalRaindrops said 14 days ago

    Unique idea to decorate a plant in candle holders.

  • kgarrett1966

    R.M Garrett from ArtisticAcrylics said 14 days ago

    You have lovely and unique finds in your shop; like the butterflies bookends which are beautiful! I've never seen items like that before, and I love your artistic eye in the way you display them. My eyes can't help but roam from one item to another. The time and effort you've put into your shop shows, and all your items are beautiful and eye catching. Congratulations on your feature, and I wish you continued success!!

  • evolvewithmary

    evolvewithmary from evolvewithmarycrafts said 10 days ago

    Beautifully curated shop! Congrats on being featured!

  • rachbing

    Rachel Bingaman from BingArt said 6 days ago

    Really unique finds! Nice shop and congrats on the feature :)

  • dewdropdaisies

    Pam from dewdropdaisies said 2 days ago

    I agree with previous posters about how encouraging it is too see a vintage shop featured. Yours is amazing and I love how your story probably echoes that of many vintage sellers. We are the modern day, real life treasure hunters, mystery lovers and rescuers of the past. I'm not sure where the greatest thrill lies--in the hunt or when a piece finds a new home. :~)

  • PlexisArt

    Eleni from PlexisArt said 2 days ago

    Beautiful shop! Beautiful items! Congratulations on the feature!

  • gilbertmarie11

    Marie gilbert from MeganeShop said 1 day ago

    Beautiful shop beautiful photo .

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