Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: adVintagous

Dec 28, 2009

by Mary Andrews

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

I’m excited to bring you the next Quit Your Day Jobber who just so happens to have taken the plunge to focus full time on her success in selling vintage on Etsy. Allison of adVintagous started out listing a couple items from her closet in order to clear out some room and make a few extra dollars after realizing there was a Vintage Category on the site; she never imagined she’d soon be making a full-time living from it.  Allison went from a recent graduate during a recession working full time as a character photographer at a theme park to being her own boss bringing new life to vintage finds. Her best marketing advice is keeping up a shop newsletter and taking photos in natural light with a simple background. Allison is most thankful that Etsy has allowed her to concentrate on her true passions in life including vintage and birds.

How did you originally get into the business of selling vintage?
I’ve always loved the different eras of vintage — mod 60s, glam evening dresses, big poofy 50s skirts, all of it! I’d been collecting vintage dresses at thrift stores and estate sales personally for years, as well as shopping on Etsy for handmade goods. One day last year, I noticed that Etsy had a vintage section and decided to put some pieces from my own closet up on the site, and things just went from there. It’s great because if I find something really amazing, I get to buy it, even if it doesn’t fit! I always hated to leave something wonderful behind because it was too small or too large.

Tell us about your previous working situation.
After I graduated from college, I found myself working as a character photographer at a theme park in Orlando. While the park was fun, and the people were great, it was not a career that I wanted, and graduating during a recession didn’t leave me many options.

When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams or goals of eventually quitting your day job?
I knew that other people had been able to support themselves through Etsy, but it wasn’t something that I thought I would be able to do. My goal was to maybe find new homes for some of my dresses, and make a little bit of money to supplement my income. After spending a few months with just my toes in the water, I started selling vintage seriously this past March. I wasn’t expecting much, maybe a sale once in a while, but I was overwhelmed by the response to my finds, and was able to quit my day job this past summer. I’ve sold wedding gowns to brides, prom dresses, and even shimmery sequin pieces to bands for their photo shoots! I love the interaction with customers on Etsy, it’s very different from my experiences with other online selling venues, and everyone is so friendly and happy to communicate.

Did you do anything to prepare ahead of time, feel free to give us the nitty gritty business details?
At first, I cut my hours to part time, to make sure I wasn’t getting in over my head. Then, when I left the park for good, my husband and I made sure we had enough saved up to last a few months if things didn’t work out, sort of a safety net.

What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business? What’s your best marketing tip?
I’ve tried a ton of things — Twitter, Facebook, blogging, Flickr — but I think the most effective thing I’ve done as far as marketing is to have a newsletter. Once or twice a month, I’ll send an email to people who sign up, letting them know about sales, and things like that. I also had little business cards printed up for my shop. I’m always meeting people who ask what I do, and it usually starts a big conversation about selling online. It’s still a pretty novel idea to most people! It’s nice to have a card to hand out so they can see my site when they get home.

What have you found to be an unsuccessful promotion?
I’ve tried a few paid blog advertisements, and while I got some views, I didn’t really see any sales from them. In the end, I didn’t feel the money was worth it. I’m still experimenting with paid advertisements in different places.

Walk us through your typical workday.

  • I wake up around 8 a.m., when my husband leaves for work.
  • After he’s gone, I spend some time with our little bird, Peanut, eating breakfast and catching up on email and Convos.
  • Three days a week I volunteer at a local bird of prey rehab center, so on those days, I head to the center and spend the day with the birds.
  • Other days, I usually spend time visiting estate sales looking for those special vintage finds. In the afternoons, if the light is right I’ll take pictures, if not, I’ll process photos, and list items.
  • I usually pack up the day’s orders at night, so they are ready to go out in the morning mail the next day!
  • Afterwards, my husband and I will usually watch some junky TV or play video games to unwind.

 

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job? Is there anything you miss?
The best best best thing about not having a day job is that most of what I do on Etsy can be done in the evenings, or on the weekends. Having an “unconventional” job has left my days free for a different kind of work — volunteering! Animals, and birds especially, are one of my big passions in life, along with vintage and traveling. So three days a week I get to volunteer at a local bird rehabilitation center helping to care for sick and injured birds of prey, as well as educating the public about their importance. I love being able to devote so much of my time to something that means so much to me, and I would never have been able to do that without Etsy.

On a more selfish note, I also love not having a commute. Before, I was driving an hour to and from work each day, and usually getting up at 6 a.m. to do it. I’m a born night owl, so now I can wake up at a comfortable hour, and work into the night if I have to. I really miss having coworkers and friends that I see every day, though. Sometimes it gets a little lonely doing everything myself. I do make time to spend with friends and family, but it’s not the same as having people that you work with every day.

What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
One of the hardest things is having no one else to rely on. If I get sick, or have to go out of town, nothing gets done. Since I do everything myself, the photography, the listing, the buying, and the shipping, if something goes wrong, I know I have no one to blame but myself. I take it pretty hard when something like a lost package happens, even if there’s nothing I could have done about it. Also, it is frustrating when I tell people what I do, and they act like I told them I live on the moon.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? What advice would you give someone else?
I would love to go back in time and change the way I was taking pictures in the beginning. I had been switching back and forth between trying to take photos outside and trying to bring light to a dark room. When I switched to a well lit room with natural light and a simple background, it was like a breath of fresh air. Now I have to move furniture every time I want to take pictures, but it’s a trade I’m more than willing to make. I think photos are the most important part of your listing, the best description in the world can’t help a blurry, underexposed photo.

What goals do you wish to accomplish in the coming year for your Etsy business?

  • Aside from, of course, more hearts and sales, I would really like to make a dedicated shipping area at home. Somewhere I can lay things out for packing, and not have to run around finding tape, tissue paper, the scale, and all that. I think it would make shipping so much faster.
  • I also need to work on keeping up to date spreadsheets and records of expenses and sales. Not my favorite part, but something I would like to accomplish.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Having an online shop, and being your own boss is fantastic, but also a lot of hard work. I have so much respect now for others who do it full time! It’s not something that I ever expected to be doing, but I love it, and I’ve long since stopped wondering about the crazy places that life has taken me.

Thanks to Allison for sharing her story. You can see some of Allison‘s beautiful work in the Related Items. Check out previous Quit Your Day Job posts here.

191 comments

  • lorilooms

    lorilooms said 10 years ago

    How Fun! I love vintage clothing ;) Congrats!

  • LdyLux

    LdyLux said 10 years ago

    love the interview. it gave me ideas for my vintage shop. thanks for the tips!

  • Sammis2shoes

    Sammis2shoes said 10 years ago

    Very interesting! Thanks :)

  • HarrietsHaven

    HarrietsHaven said 10 years ago

    Very fun! Congrats!

  • oldworldprimitives

    oldworldprimitives said 10 years ago

    Inspiring story with helpful tips. Your shop is so cute!

  • sleepyking

    sleepyking said 10 years ago

    Her shop is so amazing. Pictures are incredible! Thanks for this very inspiring quit your day job interview.

  • maijutzeler

    maijutzeler said 10 years ago

    Great blog...and lots of helpful tip for my shop! Many thanks for sharing ^_^

  • jewelrybyjackie

    jewelrybyjackie said 10 years ago

    Awesome vintage adVintagous!! Keep going!

  • BlackbirdsCloset

    BlackbirdsCloset said 10 years ago

    fabulous!

  • outofline

    outofline said 10 years ago

    Cograts! Cute stuff.

  • KOALACaddie

    KOALACaddie said 10 years ago

    What a wonderful interview! The vintage red square dancing dress is fabulous. Best wishes for continued success.

  • papercutsbyjoe

    papercutsbyjoe said 10 years ago

    congrats! Great shop!

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome said 10 years ago

    Great advice, thanks

  • Waterrose

    Waterrose said 10 years ago

    What a great interview....I love vintage! and this shop is wonderful!

  • KarmaRox

    KarmaRox said 10 years ago

    Love to see a vintage shop represented! You go, girl!

  • BlueCrushBeads

    BlueCrushBeads said 10 years ago

    AWESOME Story! So inspirational, thanks so much for sharing.

  • peaseblossomstudio

    peaseblossomstudio said 10 years ago

    Oh how wonderful to see a vintage shop in QYDJ!!!

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 10 years ago

    love your shop adVintagous!! thanks for the great article!!

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 10 years ago

    Wonderful shop plus enjoyed reading your interview. Congrats and wish you great success in the future too.

  • TwistedCrystals

    TwistedCrystals said 10 years ago

    brilliant! thank you for sharing :)

  • helgesok

    helgesok said 10 years ago

    Yay! So excited to see a vintage seller featured here. Awesome article, awesome store!

  • TwistedCrystals

    TwistedCrystals said 10 years ago

    Thank you sharing this with us! I love hunting for vintage treasures :)

  • urbanlotusboutique

    urbanlotusboutique said 10 years ago

    Allison has one of my favorite vintage shops on Etsy. So happy to see it represented here!

  • QuiltFinger

    QuiltFinger said 10 years ago

    Awesome! Shows the awesome potential of one simple idea! Very inspiring!

  • ItsBella

    ItsBella said 10 years ago

    yes, yes! what a fun shop advintagous is! and isn't that pink dress just lovely??

  • MinceCo

    MinceCo said 10 years ago

    nice stuff

  • artofjane

    artofjane said 10 years ago

    Too cool. How did u educate yourself on vintage stuff? Do things need to be mended? Do u do it yourself? So many questions. What a cool job.

  • CwButcher

    CwButcher said 10 years ago

    BRILLIANT

  • tracyburton1009

    tracyburton1009 said 10 years ago

    Your story is great motivation to become a full-time seller. Thank you for your honesty. All the best in 2010!

  • AnnBernadette

    AnnBernadette said 10 years ago

    Beautiful vintage! I agree about pictures being the most important part. I always love these inspiring features.

  • polkadotsandblooms

    polkadotsandblooms said 10 years ago

    Allison you are an inspiration. It has been great reading this feature. I was made redundant earlier in the year and really want etsy work for me, so that I can work from home spending more time with my family. It is tough sometimes, but these features always give me a boost. Well done and hope things work out for you.

  • MurrayDesignStudio

    MurrayDesignStudio said 10 years ago

    Thanks for the advice, hoping to do a switch myself. Still having a hard time with the photography issue- working during the day makes it so hard to get decent photos, let alone edit them for posting... Love the newsletter idea. Thanks!!!

  • louloudo

    louloudo said 10 years ago

    great story, and sound advice x

  • cottonbirddesigns

    cottonbirddesigns said 10 years ago

    Great article and lovely collection!

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 10 years ago

    Great article! Best wishes for your continued success!!!!!!!

  • asundrynotion

    asundrynotion said 10 years ago

    Congratulation and best wishes for continued success! Honest advice: it's all a lot of work.

  • SurrenderDorothy

    SurrenderDorothy said 10 years ago

    Bravo!

  • WickedDarling

    WickedDarling said 10 years ago

    I love your shop and I am so happy to see a vintage shop featured. Great article! Here's wishing you continued success!

  • uncommonvintage

    uncommonvintage said 10 years ago

    So inspiring to read about Allison's success!

  • lainedesign

    lainedesign said 10 years ago

    Congrats Allison!! Props on the volunteering too! Very inspiring...

  • postroadvintage

    postroadvintage said 10 years ago

    Go vintage! Congrats on your success! I wish you much more to come :)

  • AustinModern

    AustinModern said 10 years ago

    Congrats, you are in one of the best "pickin' spots in America!

  • sogrey

    sogrey said 10 years ago

    yay for featuring a vintage shop! :] adorable.

  • rebeccasanchez

    rebeccasanchez said 10 years ago

    So cool. Congratulations!

  • Morado

    Morado said 10 years ago

    Wow! her shop is super cool

  • kellymichelledesigns

    kellymichelledesigns said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring!

  • sillylittlelady

    sillylittlelady said 10 years ago

    I love this shop, I bought a vintage apron from her a while back and it is phenomenal! I use it all the time :)

  • ElizabethMironArt

    ElizabethMironArt said 10 years ago

    I love how inspiring your story is! Great items.

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 10 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiring story ~ Your vintage shop is wonderful! :)

  • Hairoix

    Hairoix said 10 years ago

    Congrats! Thanks for sharing your story :)

  • OhFaro

    OhFaro said 10 years ago

    Very fun read- Happy to see vintage being focused on here too! Cheers to adVintagous!

  • SassySisterVintage

    SassySisterVintage said 10 years ago

    So glad a vintage shop was featured. I totally understand when you mentioned that you tell people what you do and they look at you like your from the moon. I've had the exact same experience, including people who have no idea what vintage clothing is. I think they must have been living on the moon.

  • saintesmariesjewelry

    saintesmariesjewelry said 10 years ago

    Congratulations!!!

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 10 years ago

    Horray for vintage-CONGRATS! Vintage jewelry anyone to go with those sweet fashions?

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 10 years ago

    Horray for vintage!!!

  • funretro

    funretro said 10 years ago

    i have been in love with your shop for a while now. It was so great reading about you! congrats :)

  • Starrbeads

    Starrbeads said 10 years ago

    Bully for you! My Vintage store does 4 times better than my design OOAK store! I haven't even passed my first 12 months and I've pulled in a normal salary! I am shocked at the size and expanse that ETSY reaches! I love it!-Rachelle

  • vntgclothing

    vntgclothing said 10 years ago

    I recently gave up my 30 year nursing career to sell vintage clothing online. Most friends thought I was nuts....but I am surprising everyone....even myself!

  • tiemee

    tiemee said 10 years ago

    Loved the article!! Way to go!

  • JeweleryNut

    JeweleryNut said 10 years ago

    Wonderful article thanks for the insight.

  • GardenofYarn

    GardenofYarn said 10 years ago

    Great article! Thanks so much for the helpful tips!

  • sabrosavintage

    sabrosavintage said 10 years ago

    great article - congratulations!! yay for vintage!

  • LilydaleVintage

    LilydaleVintage said 10 years ago

    Awesome! Thanks to etsy for focusing on a vintage seller! Congrats to Allison!

  • zwzzy

    zwzzy said 10 years ago

    I'm a huge bird lover too, awesome! :D

  • shopgoodgrace

    shopgoodgrace said 10 years ago

    Great article. :) Congratulations!

  • callmemimi

    callmemimi said 10 years ago

    What a wonderful interview ! Great Shop !

  • decors

    decors said 10 years ago

    Congrats! I adores your studio's setup!

  • shellsherree

    shellsherree said 10 years ago

    Great tip on the newsletter ~ congrats, and thanks Allison!

  • congcongdesign

    congcongdesign said 10 years ago

    fun story.

  • BristolUpcycle

    BristolUpcycle said 10 years ago

    Great shop! Inspiring to a newbie!!

  • sergun

    sergun said 10 years ago

    wonderful.. congrats..

  • theredvelvetshoe

    theredvelvetshoe said 10 years ago

    What a fabulous story...my favorite kind! Congratulations to Allison and her thriving Etsy business! Michelle The Red Velvet Shoe

  • CwButcher

    CwButcher said 10 years ago

    HELL YEAH

  • thestapeliacompany

    thestapeliacompany said 10 years ago

    Perfect. I love the photos and the aesthetic. Good for you! :)

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 10 years ago

    Love your stuff, and thanks for sharing your story and tips.

  • VixVintage

    VixVintage said 10 years ago

    Thank you Allison, you have a wonderful shop!

  • artsyflorist

    artsyflorist said 10 years ago

    great story, keep up the work!

  • artsyflorist

    artsyflorist said 10 years ago

    Great story, keep up the work!

  • urbanknitfits

    urbanknitfits said 10 years ago

    Congratulations!!! Lovely vintage goodies! I hope to join you in quitting my day job! It's my New Year's resolution!

  • BabbidgePatch

    BabbidgePatch said 10 years ago

    congrats on your success! thanks for sharing, Allison!

  • hollyday

    hollyday said 10 years ago

    Lovely. Vintage rocks. :) I love your photos very much too.

  • LadyLuLus

    LadyLuLus said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring :) G R E A T items!

  • KayLynnStudio

    KayLynnStudio said 10 years ago

    Loved the article and absolutely love your shop! Thanks for the insight.

  • CocoHoney

    CocoHoney said 10 years ago

    Love the interview and your vintage items... I hope I'll be making more sales in the New Year.

  • halfpintsalvage

    halfpintsalvage said 10 years ago

    Great article! I'll have to check out more estate sales. Also, incredibly helpful info in regards to taking great pictures. It's hard work, but totally worth the extra effort.

  • stitchknitsew

    stitchknitsew said 10 years ago

    Great article! The pink is beautiful!

  • GemsByJoy

    GemsByJoy said 10 years ago

    Exciting to read about! You look like you are having fun:)

  • lifeofcolors

    lifeofcolors said 10 years ago

    It's great to be able to do things you are passionate about... sell online and volunteer offline. :-) I'm so pleased for you.

  • NoisyButterfly

    NoisyButterfly said 10 years ago

    I love vintage. Very cute items.

  • moosomething

    moosomething said 10 years ago

    hope to be there one day...

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 10 years ago

    Great article and your pictures are really beautiful with a beautiful setting in the backgrounds. Thanks for all of the inspiration.

  • LadyLuLus

    LadyLuLus said 10 years ago

    :)

  • cottonbirddesigns

    cottonbirddesigns said 10 years ago

    Great article!

  • veronicasclothing

    veronicasclothing said 10 years ago

    Not only are your vintage items fantastic, wow, just the photography makes me want to reach out and touch your fabulous clothes!

  • ryder

    ryder said 10 years ago

    Wow! that's a great article. LotZ of grand information!

  • battysbath

    battysbath said 10 years ago

    Congrats! What a great article :)

  • SomethingAloha

    SomethingAloha said 10 years ago

    Congratulations! I think it's great this opportunity has allowed you to do what you love...epecially volunteering! I really like your advice on taking pictures. I like to take pictures of my items outside so I can use the natural sunlight.

  • SomethingAloha

    SomethingAloha said 10 years ago

    Congratulations! I think it's great this opportunity has allowed you to do what you love...epecially volunteering! I really like your advice on taking pictures. I like to take pictures of my items outside so I can use the natural sunlight.

  • hazelmehoo

    hazelmehoo said 10 years ago

    congratulations and thank you so much for your honest advice...very encouraging! Happy New Year!!!

  • FlanneryCrane

    FlanneryCrane said 10 years ago

    Had an eye on your shop, so it is such a pleasure to "meet" you and hear your story! I love your intro photograph-Lovely! I wish you much continued success in 2010!

  • FlanneryCrane

    FlanneryCrane said 10 years ago

    Or READ your story! Sorry about that...

  • wrappedNwarmth

    wrappedNwarmth said 10 years ago

    that was a great article. It's inspiring me to want to do more with my shop. Have a Happy New Year and much success in 2010...

  • FrancescaStella

    FrancescaStella said 10 years ago

    Congrats! Great shop! I love all vintage things too!

  • jessicawoodcapps

    jessicawoodcapps said 10 years ago

    I love all your vintage finds!

  • thevintagecloset

    thevintagecloset said 10 years ago

    yay for VINTAGE FASHION.....what an AWESOME interview, keep ones like this coming ETSY! :o)

  • HausProud

    HausProud said 10 years ago

    Yay! Great interview. I love these installments and couldn't be happier to see a vintage shop featured. I always wonder what fellow vintage Etsians do and loved the peek into another sellers world. Thank you for sharing your story and all the wonderful volunteering that you do.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 10 years ago

    Love the story! I have the same feeling for vintage.

  • Luncheonettevintage

    Luncheonettevintage said 10 years ago

    Thanks so much for this piece! This is a great interview and I'm thrilled to see you featuring a vintage shop. So much creativity goes into selling vintage and this is a super example. adVintageous is a sweetie too. and I love the photo of the photoshoot. You hit all the marks. jana the luncheonette lady

  • AmbivalentRelics

    AmbivalentRelics said 10 years ago

    In love with all things vintage.....

  • vintageretrocat

    vintageretrocat said 10 years ago

    Congratulations! I have been a vintage dealer for several years and just recently began selling vintage on Etsy. Glad to hjave you abord, and I'm very happy to see a vintage dealer featured in a blog.

  • vintageretrocat

    vintageretrocat said 10 years ago

    Congratulations! I've been a vintage dealer for several years and have just begun listing with Etsy. Glad to have you aboard. I am also really pleased tio see a vintage dealer featured with Etsy!

  • GetReadySetGO

    GetReadySetGO said 10 years ago

    congrats!!!!! this is an AWESOME interview and i'm so glad this seller got a chance to share her story- she is a complete doll and i know from myself and other buyers that she is a dream to do business with. great choice for the quit your day job interview:)

  • nomoredisco

    nomoredisco said 10 years ago

    Well done - inspired to start looking out for vintage treats!

  • DowntownGirlDesigns

    DowntownGirlDesigns said 10 years ago

    wonderful story. very inspiring.

  • maxandolivia

    maxandolivia said 10 years ago

    love the shop!

  • lonetagrace

    lonetagrace said 10 years ago

    to hear that it is possible to go from only having your "toes in the water" to quitting your day job in one year is so encouraging!

  • debrossehardesty

    debrossehardesty said 10 years ago

    So inspiring! Beautiful story.

  • circleinthesand

    circleinthesand said 10 years ago

    **waving** from NE FL. Congrats on your shop doing so well!!

  • AfricanGrey

    AfricanGrey said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring! I too graduated from college during the recession. Etsy has been such a great outlet for me too! Congrats on your success :)

  • greatgrandmaagnes

    greatgrandmaagnes said 10 years ago

    Yay for vintage sellers! Congrats on the feature...really inspiring!

  • hotacrossbuns

    hotacrossbuns said 10 years ago

    Very encouraging to know, since i lost my job, im hoping i just dont have to go back to one!!! hee hee hee congratulation!!!

  • sammysgrammy

    sammysgrammy said 10 years ago

    The name of your shop is so clever. I've always loved vintage and estate saling is my idea of "retail therapy". Congratulations on your success both in sales and having an article about you on ETSY's front page. You've attained!! I hope 2010 is a banner year for you

  • alipink

    alipink said 10 years ago

    Great article and great seller. Nice to see a vintage seller featured.

  • Osier

    Osier said 10 years ago

    i agree alipink, so refreshing to see a vintage seller featured! more, more!

  • FickleFrog

    FickleFrog said 10 years ago

    I'm with U, I wish I had a room dedicated to etsy shipping. It's in my den and I have to work at it daily to keep it neat. I too, am glad to see a vintage seller featured. Thanks

  • UpcyclerEmporium

    UpcyclerEmporium said 10 years ago

    Very inspirational in many ways. Hope to make my shop as successful! Great tip on the newsletter. Congrats on living the GOOD life!!!

  • LizzyBdesigns

    LizzyBdesigns said 10 years ago

    Great shop, thanks!!

  • UrbanJungle910

    UrbanJungle910 said 10 years ago

    Congrats! This article has been very helpful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing! I love vintage as well.

  • TheCurio

    TheCurio said 10 years ago

    As a newcomer to Etsy, this was very inspirational for me! Thanks so much for telling your story. I love so many of your vintage things!

  • TimmerysBebeBling

    TimmerysBebeBling said 10 years ago

    What a GREAT article! I am also a newcomer and find stories like this inspirational as well. THANKS!

  • VirtuallyVintage

    VirtuallyVintage said 10 years ago

    Thanks so much for the inspiration! This is exactly what I needed to read. I'd like to start listing my warehouse full of vintage clothing and costumes this year and the notion that I may be able to support myself has given me the motivation I need. I especially took to heart mention of the newsletter... as a new Etsian, however, I'm not sure if this a service Etsy offers or if it's something that Allison does on her own... I hope to learn more... Cheers & Happy New Year to all my new colleagues & friends here & here's to many happy return customers...

  • Lady80

    Lady80 said 10 years ago

    Love this spotlight! I also sell vintage and I would LOVE to do it full-time, so I am inspired by this story. It can be done..

  • thyme2sew

    thyme2sew said 10 years ago

    Thank you for the inspiring story. I have been selling vintage items in a store front but thinking of changing to Etsy full time. Your story inspires me to get going. Check out my vintage fabrics.

  • BlessedRepublic

    BlessedRepublic said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring! Keep up the good work! Thanks for sharing.

  • DIYing2Craft

    DIYing2Craft said 10 years ago

    What an inspiring story...some great practical tips too! Her items are really great, and seem to have a sort of unity even though they are gathered from different sources and eras.

  • jbeaudet

    jbeaudet said 10 years ago

    Great story! Thank you for the inspiration and the tips too!

  • TerrierTrousers

    TerrierTrousers said 10 years ago

    Awesome Article! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • PuppyDogsNPolkaDots

    PuppyDogsNPolkaDots said 10 years ago

    I love the story. I actually am in Orlando too. Congrats on your success. I know you must love not having to commute in Orlando, I know how that is!! :)

  • moonstone11

    moonstone11 said 10 years ago

    This gives me hope!

  • AngelEllie

    AngelEllie said 10 years ago

    thank you for sharing your story, great inspiration!

  • HandmadeByKat

    HandmadeByKat said 10 years ago

    Your photos are fantastic. Very inspirational! I know I need to work on that. Going to take your ideas to heart. Thanks!

  • recrudescence

    recrudescence said 10 years ago

    Great photos! Very clean and straight forward. I am really impressed with the quality of your products. Photos, photos, PHOTOS! I really need to find the best way to photography my items. Having a little trouble. Grrrrrrrr. Congrats on the QYDJ article!

  • dustyrosevintage

    dustyrosevintage said 10 years ago

    Great to see a vintage story! I LOOOOVE that she volunteers with some of her free time. Good for her!

  • TaraBell

    TaraBell said 10 years ago

    Great article, wonderful etsian...

  • artowl

    artowl said 10 years ago

    I love that you do everything yourself-especially photographing yourself.Congrats on your success and the birds are lucky to have you.

  • KatieConry

    KatieConry said 10 years ago

    You have the best stuff ever.

  • PortugueseVintage

    PortugueseVintage said 10 years ago

    I love the ideia of the newsletter!

  • PortugueseVintage

    PortugueseVintage said 10 years ago

    I love the ideia of the newsletter!

  • pattyscollectibles

    pattyscollectibles said 10 years ago

    Great story and good advice!

  • adVintagous

    adVintagous said 10 years ago

    Thanks so very much to Etsy and Mary, and everyone who read! The article was great, but I think I liked reading the comments best of all!

  • thedootdootstore

    thedootdootstore said 10 years ago

    What a lovely story! Very inspiring and informative. And such neat finds! I would like to see some more general info on how other vintage sellers find their inventory- estate sales, thrift stores, bulk bins, etc. Not their secrets, obviously, but just a view of which places yield great finds. I agree that photos are the backbone of a good store. I also have to do some furniture arranging and it's a real pain. Still hunting for the perfectly lit spot with a white wall... and without pesky electrical outlets muddying up the view!

  • oshunluv420

    oshunluv420 said 10 years ago

    I'm new to Etsy and this story was just wonderful! It was very inspiring. I'm a single mother with dreams of one day being able to quick my job and work from home. I 'm typing this with a smile :)

  • greetzfromtiz

    greetzfromtiz said 10 years ago

    I think it's just fantastic, working from home and selling the'for me' most beautiful product:Vintage!I wish wish wish...

  • YellowElm

    YellowElm said 10 years ago

    thank you for sharing your story Allison!

  • raghousenternational

    raghousenternational said 10 years ago

    very cool. I love that she's shooting herself...

  • kathcojewellery

    kathcojewellery said 10 years ago

    Thank You! some great advice and ideas, congrats and well done!!

  • MyGrandpasPen

    MyGrandpasPen said 10 years ago

    I know what you mean about a dedicated shipping area - loved the picture of the bed covered with orders!!

  • urthgypsy

    urthgypsy said 10 years ago

    I am soooooooooo pummped right now!

  • designed

    designed said 10 years ago

    Very inspiring .. it is so much fun having a job you love. Conratulations and all th ebest for a successful business.

  • ashleyeaston

    ashleyeaston said 10 years ago

    congrats! love your shop! :)

  • sweetplanet

    sweetplanet said 10 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful vintage clothing!! So many things I would love to own, I don't know how you are able to part with most of them. :) Great story, very inspiring!

  • wabisabi7

    wabisabi7 said 10 years ago

    I just listed my first item a few days ago and more today, thanks for your inspiring story and ideas I can try myself.

  • FruitOfMyHands

    FruitOfMyHands said 10 years ago

    These "Quit Your Day Job" sections are my most favorite features on Etsy, this one included.

  • LisaLMK

    LisaLMK said 10 years ago

    One of my favorite things too is to search flea markets and antique malls. Still looking for the time to hit estate sales - really want to do that ! Your pictures are great ! I loved the bedroom shipping area- perfect and very organized ! Great story. Good luck ! Lisa

  • VintageBygones

    VintageBygones said 10 years ago

    Thank you for sharing! I have just started selling my one of a kind vintage inventory on Etsy and I appreciate the motivation your article has given me. Best, Heather

  • thebestdays

    thebestdays said 9 years ago

    It sounds like you are living YOUR best days! Good luck and thanks for sharing and inspiring me to hang in there.

  • jantiques

    jantiques said 9 years ago

    Thanks very much for sharing, love your shop, and your pictures, that is one thing I want to work on in my shop. Thanks Jan

  • roguegirlvintage

    roguegirlvintage said 9 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiration! Great article with some concrete suggestions to try in the future. Continued success!

  • littlekittenvintage

    littlekittenvintage said 9 years ago

    So inspiring! Thanks for sharing your tips & giving others the courage to pursue their dreams!

  • OnTheRoadVintage

    OnTheRoadVintage said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for the inspiration. I needed that!

  • shantyirish

    shantyirish said 8 years ago

    what an inspiring article. i too hope i can earn a living off of this someday.

  • StashingVintage

    StashingVintage said 8 years ago

    Awesome Allison! I admire you're ambition! I dream of spending my time rescuing & caring for horses & mules. So far it hasn't been my time yet but change, sweet change is gonna come for me! Thanks for sharing your passion for rescuing birds!

  • vintagenelly

    vintagenelly said 8 years ago

    Whether I'm ever able to this full-time, I love reading articles like this!! It gives me ideas, inspiration and motivation!! Thanks!

  • AltogetherLeather

    AltogetherLeather said 8 years ago

    Gorgeous store - thanks for sharing your experiences! So cool that you get to volunteer and help take care of birds!

  • amandabaker1028

    amandabaker1028 said 8 years ago

    Very cool interview. Also really love your shop and especially that it is arranged by size. An Etsy pet peeve of mine is having to click on every item to see what size it is.

  • 4oldtimesandnew

    4oldtimesandnew said 8 years ago

    You have a beautiful and unique shop! I really appreciate all the insights and tips you (and others) are so willing to share. I hope to develop my Etsy shop into a "real" shop and you have given my renewed encouragement! And loved hearing that you're able to devote time and effort volunteering! Just yesterday I enjoyed a trip to the TX State Aquarium (Corpus Christi) and witnessed the results of such efforts - "animal ambassadors" including several different hawks. Beautiful birds!

  • AKingsThings

    AKingsThings said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story and tips. There is so little vintage vs handmade. Good to see stories like yours...

  • meeshy

    meeshy said 8 years ago

    Everyone wins -- you, your customers, and the birds!

  • oppning

    oppning said 8 years ago

    I really love those stories. Especially this one because you are a vintage seller As a vintage shop ourselves, we are trying to reach the same success, but we just started. Hopefully next year ! It is very encouraging, because it is hard to evaluate how things are going to work out in the long run. Thanks for sharing your story !

  • FairyFiligree

    FairyFiligree said 8 years ago

    Great advice - lovely pictures & many thanks to the this lovely lady.

  • VintagePossessions

    VintagePossessions said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing with us all. I am doing the same thing as you, just waiting for the sucess to catch up! I will keep on pushing foward, thank you for the inspiration. It can get lonely so it helps a lot to hear others are going through the same thing. Congratulations on your success so far and may it continue!

  • VintagePossessions

    VintagePossessions said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing with us all. I am doing the same thing as you, just waiting for the sucess to catch up! I will keep on pushing foward, thank you for the inspiration. It can get lonely so it helps a lot to hear others are going through the same thing. Congratulations on your success so far and may it continue!

  • BoutiquebyGrace

    BoutiquebyGrace said 8 years ago

    Wonderful shop! What a life!!

  • PoetryofObjects

    PoetryofObjects said 8 years ago

    Congratulations! It's inspiring to read about those in the Vintage category stepping out and making their shop work successfully! You look so great in that pink dress!

  • KKCollectibleCollage

    KKCollectibleCollage said 8 years ago

    Hi! I love your story and we love vintage. Our store is new, and I was afraid vintage didn't do much since Etsy has so much wonderful handcrafted items available. It's so good to hear that you are doing so well, I'm inspired to get putting things in our store! Thanks! PS We have a bird too, and our 5 acres in the country is an unofficial bird refuge...I especially love the quail.

  • Julesnhearts

    Julesnhearts said 8 years ago

    wishing you the best of luck, hope it goes from strength to strength, thanks for tips on photography as that it what I'm struggling with!

  • stellartatter

    stellartatter said 8 years ago

    "Also, it is frustrating when I tell people what I do, and they act like I told them I live on the moon." This. I can relate. Sometimes, the thought that others do not see my work as "work" brings me down. It's even harder when the people closest to you are the ones who do not believe in what you do or what you can do. But, great to hear you are striving and thriving! Thank you for your story!

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