It’s like I keep saying, a main source of inspiration for me in my vintage and reselling adventure is learning from other successful sellers. I love scouring their shops and checking out what has sold. As we know, selling vintage is often a very OOAK type business…so there is no way to completely imitate another seller. Which is great! Running a unique-to-you shop is what will spell success in the long run. (Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links)
This is the 4th interview in this series: Meet the Vintage Seller and today we will pick the brain of Atty from Atty’s Vintage and Atty’s Sprout Vintage (kids stuff!). Atty’s shop first came to my attention on Instagram! Her clean and professional photos plus her fun variety of items totally caught my eye. We’ll talk to her a bit about using Instagram later on. Note too how the story behind the vintage plays a large role in her online selling.
Atty’s Vintage was opened on Etsy in 2009 and as of right now, it’s had 5519 sales. Her kids’ vintage shop, Atty’s Sprout Vintage has been open the same amount of time and has 5823 sales. Impressive stats!
Let’s get started.
How long have you been selling online? How did you get into the biz?
I have been selling online since 2009. About ten years ago, I went through a phase of constantly rearranging furniture and switching out vintage accent pieces in my home. The pieces that were out of rotation, I decided to sell on Craigslist. I had so much fun buying and selling and quickly got the vintage selling bug, hard! The inventory was growing and I needed a bigger audience for all my finds. That’s when I discovered Etsy.
Is this your full-time job? If so, did it start out that way?
I was in the salon business for twenty five years and selling vintage on the side for the last five years of that. I was getting burnt out of salon life so I decided to take a “break” and sell vintage full-time for a while. It’s been three years now.
Most of my items are from estate sales and a small portion from thrift shops. Part of why I love selling vintage is that I get to preserve and pass on someone’s history. With estate sales, you can get to know a bit about the owners whose items are for sale. That connection makes the vintage so much more meaningful to me and my clients really appreciate the information. You can’t get that at thrift shops.That’s a fabulous aspect of estate sales that I hadn’t thought much about.
Scouting for inventory is a weekly occurrence. My poor car- so many miles driving all over town, and then some, for the sake of vintage! Listing happens almost every day… and not fast enough by the sight of all the storage bins around my house. Backlog is the story of my life- gahh!
Do you do this on your own? Any helpers?
I am a one woman operation …and wishing there were three of me. Hence the backlog!
You are on Etsy now with the 2 shops. One for kiddos and one for everything else. Have you thought about separating another niche out into another shop?
The thought of opening another shop gives me heart palpitations. Two Etsy shops is plenty for now. Handling my social media pages feels like running a third shop!
Ha! I believe it!.. and we’ll talk more about the social media in a minute. But how about one of my favorite questions first. What are your top 2 favorite sales of all time from your shop?
This is a hard one. There have many favorites that have sold. For me, it’s the story of who owned the item that makes me love it. There are two estate sales that have stuck with me. The first was the estate sale of Mrs. Dorff. She was a school teacher for over thirty years here in the Twin Cities. Her home had so many sweet memories of her teaching days. You can view photos from her estate sale and items listed/sold on my Instagram page by searching #avdorffestate. The other is the estate of Mrs.Offerdahl, who worked for Sears for nearly forty years. Her and her husband’s entire life belongings was kept in that tiny house. They liked to travel, she had a thing for rooster figurines and he a thing for postcards. As cluttered and tight as that house was, there was a something so magical and comforting about it too. Photos of her estate sale thus far are also on my IG page, search #avofferdahlestate.
Such fun! I love seeing the photos you take INSIDE estate sales on Instagram. And a great use of hashtags to collect all the photos from the estates together. Okay, so what would you say are your top 2 favorite items listed in your shops right now?
1950s Branchell Melamine SetIn the kids shop it would be these books purely for nostalgic reasons. It takes me right back to my teen years in the 80s. So many memories!1980s Paula Danziger Books
I read those books too! Over and over. The nostalgia is the best part of selling vintage. And the colors on that Branchell set! Wonderful!
So, any goals for your shop(s) in the future?
I’m right there with you on that. I need to list more every day too. So here’s another fun one to think about. If you could travel back in time to when you started selling…what advice would you give your newbie self??
Don’t be afraid to spend more money on higher priced items for the shop.
That is so true! It’s a process a lot of sellers I’ve talked to have to work through.
Okay now let’s go back to the social media aspect of your vintage selling. We know you’re on Instagram, because that’s where I found you. Any other platforms?
Do you ever sell directly on them?
How do you feel that Social Media has helped your sales? Sales from social media has been a slow and steady incline. It just goes back to gaining followers- the more followers, the more sales from social media. I’m trying to find the balance of posting regularly without it consuming too much of my time. Something I never expected when I started promoting my businesses on IG/FB is how much support my followers have given me. Their enthusiasm and encouragement motivates me to find and list more great vintage everyday – which equals more sales!
That is a very important aspect of social media, I think. It’s that “social” part that can influence us in a good way. Finally, any tips for using social media?
True, true, true!
Thanks so much Atty for spending a few minutes with us!