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Featured Shop: Mary Beth Hale

Oct 7, 2015

by Mary Beth Hale

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Mary Beth Hale, and I’m an artist and vintage collector. I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, son, and two cats.

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Even though my shop is all vintage goods, my beginnings are in fine arts. I had wanted to be an artist since I was seven years old; in my twenties, I went to art school. I have a BFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA in studio arts from Louisiana State University. In the 22 years since I finished school, I’ve mostly painted. I opened my first Etsy shop in 2007 to sell my artwork; little by little, I started selling vintage pieces that I had collected over the years under a second account. Suddenly, my vintage shop started growing so fast that I started looking for other vintage items to sell.

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In the early days, I was selling mostly decor and housewares, and my photography was usually just the item against a white backdrop. Last year, I reevaluated my shop and formed a vision of what I would want my dream shop to look like. Then I set out to create it. The most dramatic change was the photography; I also shifted my focus to clothing and accessories. It’s far more challenging, but also much more fun.

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Creating the images is the most exciting part of the process for me. My goal is to create a narrative in my photos, like a visual diary. I had never considered photography as an art medium for myself until this past year. I take photos about once a week in a space borrowed from my brother, in an old hotel built in 1922. The room I use is a dilapidated ballroom surrounded by high windows. There’s a lot of natural light, and the textures on the walls give a sense of history. I spend the rest of the week preparing for photo shoots, doing research, cleaning pieces, packaging orders, and communicating with buyers. Finding inventory also takes a lot of time.

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Most of the items I sell are from the 1860s to the 1950s. I find inventory through live auctions, estate sales, and private buying appointments. It’s hard to define exactly what I look for in an item: I’m drawn to personal pieces like clothing and accessories, but I also look for old typewriters and photographs. I love to know the stories behind what I sell, and I want things that people can make a part of their home or everyday life. Sometimes I buy something because it ignites my imagination for a photo shoot. For example, I recently acquired some 1920s ski pants; now I am searching for wooden skis or ice skates to photograph with them.

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I’ve met so many people through Etsy — in fact, I met one of my best friends, from the shop Pastoria, at an estate sale about four years ago. In addition to the friendships I’ve made here, Etsy has also given me a way to reach an international market and the chance to create my own unique shop in a community of artists. My items probably wouldn’t have made their way into Country Living magazine, Hollywood costume departments, numerous museums, and homes around the world without Etsy. My goals for the future are to improve my shop, keep exploring storytelling through photography, and to grow my international customer base with vintage that draws people back.

Follow Mary Beth Hale on her blog – and on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Maker and process photographs by Dana of Golden Birthday. Item photos by Mary Beth Hale.

Shop Mary Beth Hale

 

Antique Embroidered Child's Coat Size 4
Antique Embroidered Child's Coat Size 4
marybethhale
$200.00 USD
Antique Trousseau Nightgown With Irish Lace Size Medium
Antique Trousseau Nightgown With Irish Lace Size Medium
marybethhale
$100.00 USD
Malcolm Starr for Elinor Simmons Beaded Dress Small US 4 6
Malcolm Starr for Elinor Simmons Beaded Dress Small US 4 6
marybethhale
$400.00 USD
Antique Victorian Petticoat 26" Waist
Antique Victorian Petticoat 26" Waist
marybethhale
$130.00 USD
1860s Brown Silk Taffeta Gown XXS
1860s Brown Silk Taffeta Gown XXS
marybethhale
$400.00 USD
Victorian Silk Brocade Wedding Waistcoat
Victorian Silk Brocade Wedding Waistcoat
marybethhale
$250.00 USD
Antique Silk Dupioni Cape Cloak With Passementerie
Antique Silk Dupioni Cape Cloak With Passementerie
marybethhale
$325.00 USD
Victorian Walking Jacket XS to XXS
Victorian Walking Jacket XS to XXS
marybethhale
$200.00 USD
Edwardian Era Dinner Jacket Men's XS Women's S US Size 6
Edwardian Era Dinner Jacket Men's XS Women's S US Size 6
marybethhale
$120.00 USD
Edwardian Christening Gown with Petticoat 3 - 6 Months
Edwardian Christening Gown with Petticoat 3 - 6 Months
marybethhale
$150.00 USD
1940s Rayon Blouse 36 Bust
1940s Rayon Blouse 36 Bust
marybethhale
$80.00 USD
Edwardian White Linen Dress XS
Edwardian White Linen Dress XS
marybethhale
$280.00 USD
Edwardian Era 1904 Men's Frock Coat Medium Size
Edwardian Era 1904 Men's Frock Coat Medium Size
marybethhale
$300.00 USD
Victorian Black Bodice With Bell Ruffle Cuffs XS
Victorian Black Bodice With Bell Ruffle Cuffs XS
marybethhale
$98.00 USD
Edwardian Horsehair and Feather Hat
Edwardian Horsehair and Feather Hat
marybethhale
$120.00 USD
Antique Linen Rustic Homespun Textile
Antique Linen Rustic Homespun Textile
marybethhale
$60.00 USD
19th Century Winter Wool Petticoat M/L
19th Century Winter Wool Petticoat M/L
marybethhale
$80.00 USD
Vintage 1930s Elegant Baby Buttons
Vintage 1930s Elegant Baby Buttons
marybethhale
$5.50 USD
Vintage Crochet Yoke with Silk Ribbon
Vintage Crochet Yoke with Silk Ribbon
marybethhale
$20.00 USD
Antique Pennsylvania Textile Linen Neckerchief
Antique Pennsylvania Textile Linen Neckerchief
marybethhale
$55.00 USD
Edwardian Linen Dress with High Collar Size XS/S
Edwardian Linen Dress with High Collar Size XS/S
marybethhale
$200.00 USD
Antique Needlerun Lace Veil
Antique Needlerun Lace Veil
marybethhale
$140.00 USD
Vintage 1930s Children's Long Socks New Old Stock Size 6
Vintage 1930s Children's Long Socks New Old Stock Size 6
marybethhale
$10.00 USD
Edwardian Bon Marche Paris Boys Suit Size 10
Edwardian Bon Marche Paris Boys Suit Size 10
marybethhale
$200.00 USD
Edwardian Boys White Shorts
Edwardian Boys White Shorts
marybethhale
$20.00 USD
Victorian 1890s Men's Trousers 34 to 35 Waist
Victorian 1890s Men's Trousers 34 to 35 Waist
marybethhale
$160.00 USD
Vintage 1930s New Old Stock Baby Socks
Vintage 1930s New Old Stock Baby Socks
marybethhale
$10.00 USD
Vintage Evening Bag
Vintage Evening Bag
marybethhale
$28.00 USD
1930s Little Girls Socks New Old Stock
1930s Little Girls Socks New Old Stock
marybethhale
$12.00 USD
Antique Black Lantern Sleeve Bodice XS
Antique Black Lantern Sleeve Bodice XS
marybethhale
$74.00 USD
1890s Blue Wool Challis Little Girl's Dress
1890s Blue Wool Challis Little Girl's Dress
marybethhale
$90.00 USD
1910s Blue Wool Art Deco Cutaway Walking Suit
1910s Blue Wool Art Deco Cutaway Walking Suit
marybethhale
$380.00 USD
Antique Blonde Chantilly Lace Flounce 17" x 92"
Antique Blonde Chantilly Lace Flounce 17" x 92"
marybethhale
$120.00 USD
Antique Crochet Wool Petticoat
Antique Crochet Wool Petticoat
marybethhale
$220.00 USD
Antique Victorian Folding Parasol
Antique Victorian Folding Parasol
marybethhale
$180.00 USD
Little Girl's Red Taffeta Dress Size 6 Years
Little Girl's Red Taffeta Dress Size 6 Years
marybethhale
$45.00 USD
Art Deco Linen Collar With Jabot
Art Deco Linen Collar With Jabot
marybethhale
$24.00 USD
Ponte Rialto Venice Italian Boater Hat 7-5/8
Ponte Rialto Venice Italian Boater Hat 7-5/8
marybethhale
$110.00 USD
Baby Christening Gown 4 - 6 Months
Baby Christening Gown 4 - 6 Months
marybethhale
$85.00 USD
Victorian Purple and Black Silk Bodice Size Small
Victorian Purple and Black Silk Bodice Size Small
marybethhale
$140.00 USD
Antique Off-White Piano Shawl
Antique Off-White Piano Shawl
marybethhale
$140.00 USD
1920s Little Girls Velvet Cloche
1920s Little Girls Velvet Cloche
marybethhale
$78.00 USD
Antique Child's Hand Stitched Corded Bonnet
Antique Child's Hand Stitched Corded Bonnet
marybethhale
$36.00 USD
Victorian Brooch Antique Costume Jewelry
Victorian Brooch Antique Costume Jewelry
marybethhale
$24.00 USD
Antique Little Girl Dress Size 4
Antique Little Girl Dress Size 4
marybethhale
$40.00 USD
Antique Silk Wedding Shoes
Antique Silk Wedding Shoes
marybethhale
$90.00 USD
Antique Embroidered Netting Infant Cap
Antique Embroidered Netting Infant Cap
marybethhale
$35.00 USD
Antique Victorian Bodice XXS Petite
Antique Victorian Bodice XXS Petite
marybethhale
$80.00 USD
Victorian Petticoat 31" Waist
Victorian Petticoat 31" Waist
marybethhale
$65.00 USD
Victorian 1885 Floral Embroidered Silk Parasol
Victorian 1885 Floral Embroidered Silk Parasol
marybethhale
$350.00 USD
Antique Black Lace Skirt 22" 23" Waist
Antique Black Lace Skirt 22" 23" Waist
marybethhale
$90.00 USD
Edwardian Embroidered White Linen Dress Circa 1912 XXS 00
Edwardian Embroidered White Linen Dress Circa 1912 XXS 00
marybethhale
$200.00 USD
Antique Shaker Bonnet
Antique Shaker Bonnet
marybethhale
$80.00 USD
Victorian Large Stocking Purse
Victorian Large Stocking Purse
marybethhale
$110.00 USD
Victorian Men's Trousers 32/30
Victorian Men's Trousers 32/30
marybethhale
$190.00 USD
Antique Embroidered Baby Bib
Antique Embroidered Baby Bib
marybethhale
$16.00 USD
Antique Baby Dress With Embroidered Floral Tendrils
Antique Baby Dress With Embroidered Floral Tendrils
marybethhale
$45.00 USD
Vintage Lavender Floral Smocked Girls Dress Size 3 to 4 Years
Vintage Lavender Floral Smocked Girls Dress Size 3 to 4 Years
marybethhale
$30.00 USD
Irish Lace Insertion Piece
Irish Lace Insertion Piece
marybethhale
$14.00 USD
1920s Silk and Lace Garters Pair
1920s Silk and Lace Garters Pair
marybethhale
$85.00 USD

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