VKC: Tell us a bit about yourself and your shop, OhSydney.
Kristen: I began my Etsy shop after Sydney (Sydney the SURPRISE!) came along. I couldn't return to my previous flight attendant job, since I didn't want to leave my new family behind. I had already accumulated an extensive collection of vintage toddler duds from my mom, who had saved pretty much every single outfit from my childhood. When I stumbled across Etsy and realized that you could sell VINTAGE as well as art and crafts, I knew I had to get on board! Now I get to stay home with my kiddo and earn a bit of income
VKC: Why are you drawn to vintage?
Kristen: I was in middle school when my mom pulled out a few pairs of her old bell bottoms for my sister and I to play dress up with. Dress up? Heck no! I wore those beauties to school, and thus became the wierdo (I grew up in a really tiny country town, and non-conformity was frowned upon unless you wanted to get teased). My parents were also avid yard-salers, which I'm still hooked on when I can find the time. I also came to appreciate the awesome power of thrifting with my grandfather. He would take me to the Salvo downtown on Fridays (where EVERYTHING was half off, can you imagine?). Friday soon became my favorite day of the week!
VKC: Where do you find your treasures?
Kristen: I generally stick to thrift stores, but my town isn't a large one. The thrift store circuit can dry up pretty quickly if I'm not patient, so I occasionally have to yard sale. I've purchased items on eBay before, but I was careful to only buy items with grainy pictures or clothing that came in a big lot. I don't want to become the dreaded "reseller", but when you live in a small town and crave thrifting like a normal person craves coffee, sometimes you have to get creative!
VKC: What is your process like?
Kristen: I normally wait until I have a good amount of clothing to list in my shop, then I try and take the pictures of said items all at once. I've become more and more comfortable and confident with picture-taking and editing the photos, but I still have a LONG way to go before I am up to par with some of the amazing shops I've seen on etsy!
VKC: How do you promote your business?
Kristen: I really only get exposure when I have an item or two featured/mentioned in a blog. I have business cards that I give out whenever possible, and I've actually been able to trade items for ad space on a few blogs. Other than that, I just rely on word-of-mouth!
VKC: What do you do when you are not creating/working?
Kristen: Honestly, I absolutely love thrifting. It's pretty much all I want to do when I get any spare time! Besides raising my little girl (almost two years old), I like reading thrillers. We had a yard sale a while back, and letting my books go was almost comparable to giving away a beloved pet. I could totally benefit from having a spare bedroom just for my books. Speaking of spare bedrooms, my saint of a mother is storing my Barbies in one of hers. I began collecting them when I was young, and I have about 500+ in my collection. I have all of the obligatory holiday dolls and generic collectible dolls, but my favorites are slightly random. I have every single Kelly doll, and they aren't really made anymore (sad face). I love the vintage dolls, of course, but I don't like spending too much on them unless I come across something that must be mine. My third favorite category of dolls are foreign dolls, especially from the late 70s, early 80s. I have two Teen Talk Barbies, one has a British accent (so cute!), and one speaks in German. I also have a really cool French Barbie board game, which will be fun to make up rules for when Sydney is older!
VKC: What is your favorite item in your shop or that you have sold and why?
Kristen: I found this owl bag at my favorite little antique store. I sometimes kick myself for selling it! I also loved this little German toy that I found at a yard sale. I definitely regret letting this one go, it would have been fun to pull out every once in a while and let Syd play with it.
VKC: How do you juggle your business and your family life?
Kristen: I've been a stewardess. I've worked for the Ritz Carlton. I was even a Hooters girl for almost three years. Nothing has been as amazing as being a mom and getting paid for something I've always done anyway! Motherhood is what allows me to do my business! I think if I had a regular nine-to-five, I wouldn't be able to give my local thrift stores the love and attention they get from me now. :-)
VKC: What giveaway or discount would you like to offer our readers?
Kristen: Since my items are generally gender specific, I would LOVE to offer my vintage duck lamp, great for a girl OR boy.
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