I'm super excited to bring you my first interview in this Etsy Confessions series. I'd like you to meet Etsy seller, Eileen of Five Stones Vintage. I stumbled onto her shop ages ago, and I can tell you that she has an amazing selection of vintage items in her shop and she regularly updates her shop. She's as sweet as the items she lists and I have come to rely on her excellent care for her customers as part of my shopping experience. I've posted many an outfit wearing beautiful garments from her Etsy shop. I really love the novelty prints she chooses. They are right up my alley.
About Five Stones Vintage:
Five Stones Vintage is a labour of love, offering handpicked one-of-a-kind vintage.
Our taglines are "Go green, wear vintage!" and "You're one of a kind, dress accordingly."
They sum it up pretty well!
How would you describe yourself?
My name is Eileen, a tiny girl with a big appetite, a vintage lover who lives life on her own terms.
Hoards hoards of knick-knacks, very stubborn.
What are your interests?
I like old things & old ways of doing things (which is a bit of an oxymoron for someone with an online vintage shop, I know!) Apart from all things vintage (of course!), I also love thrifting, visiting flea markets everywhere, good food & most recently, cooking! I adore vintage swimsuits & collect them.
I am very happy & proud to say I am a full time vintage seller. Being self-employed is a wonderful experience & by far the most challenging thing I've ever done but I am so grateful everyday to be doing what I love. I truly believe that if you love your job you never have to work a day.
Five Stones Vintage is a one-(wo)man show and a work day is never boring. I oversee every aspect of the shop - from handpicking the stock selection, sourcing packing supplies, mending, cleaning & refurbishing, ironing, photographing, editing, measuring & listing to posting, promoting, replying queries, accounts & much more!
What is your favorite part of the job?
I don't think I could pick just one, but if I really have to... it would be when a customer tells me that she loves her purchase. That makes my day.
Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? (Are there other venues that you sell through?)
I chanced upon Etsy when browsing the web for vintage years ago & decided to open up shop there.
It all started late one afternoon, years ago when I sold my very first item a couple of hours after putting it up - an Avon Owl Perfume Brooch Pin with gleaming green eyes from a little charity shop in Santa Cruz, California.
It marked the start of a whole new world on Etsy.
I love that Etsy has carved itself out to be a leading marketplace for handmade & vintage!
Unlike other venues, there is a sense of community & the values of a common lifestyle aesthetic which I think has really set Etsy apart from its competitors.
Since August 2012, Five Stones Vintage has been a monthly staple at a local Arts Flea Market (organized by Public Garden).
It's a weekend I look forward to, because mingling with vintage lovers & chatting about anything under the sun is my idea of a good time! It is also a great opportunity to meet my online customers in person, because one of the things I love about what I do is making a personal connection through our interaction & shared passion for vintage! I hope to open a brick & mortar store someday.
Significance of Etsy shop name/about the shop?
The name Five Stones Vintage is inspired by the namesake childhood game. Five stones are usually home-made with fabrics scraps & filled with rice grains or beans & played sitting on the floor. For me, it represents a sense of nostalgia & childhood because I played five stones as a kid with my sister & grandmother!
Where do you source items for your shop?
Everywhere! I've always got my vintage spy-eye on. Every piece that goes into the shop is handpicked by me. Most pieces hail from Europe, USA, Japan & even Singapore, but really from anywhere in the world! It is always a thrill to find a piece of local vintage history - like this Allan Chai sequin disco top from the 1980's!
This Catalina swimsuit with a kitty cat print was sourced from Singapore & is my absolute, most favorite item ever listed in the shop. I think I almost regret selling it :(
What do you look for?
I generally look for things that deserve a glorious second-life! Beyond picking items I would want to wear, I am also shopping for every one of my customers so a good variety of sizes, fabrics & cuts is a must. For practical reasons, I tend to look out for items suited to our hot tropical climate. I have a soft spot for novelty prints & am particularly fond of the 50's & 60's as these pieces are more difficult to come by in the Singapore context.
Thanks Eileen for sending in this fantastic interview. I hope that you'll all check out her Etsy shop, Five Stones Vintage in the next few days for the Mid-Year sale for 15% off everything in her shop.
I'm also excited to offer my first giveaway on this blog. Follow the steps below to enter for a chance to win a $20 credit to use in the Five Stones Vintage Etsy shop. Thank you Eileen for this amazing opportunity!
a Rafflecopter giveaway