Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Etsy Confessions: The Velvet Moon

One thing I am really enjoying about introducing you to some of my favorite Etsy sellers on the blog is how much I am getting to know them myself.  I've been flattered by how much time they have spent really thinking about my questions and I feel almost like I can hear their voices in the responses.  Jaime Blackwood, the sweet Etsy seller over at The Velvet Moon sent me one of those awesome interviews last week.

What I really love about the selection of vintage items in her shop is their cool rock'n'roll bohemian vibe.  So please, meet Jaime!

How would you describe yourself?  
I'm a big believer in the power of positive thinking and action.  I try to live my life by those guidelines and I can honestly say that I have found true happiness!  I am endlessly grateful for what I have and extremely excited for what my future holds!  I feel that life is what you make it and we each hold the key to our own success and joy.  On the inside, I consider myself to be a true Scorpio.  I feel that the complexities of this water sign really sum up who I am as person.  On the outside, I usually prefer a nice blend of comfort and style, I love the outdoors, I have a special tea concoction that I drink every morning, I love my Toyota Tacoma, and I have an amazing fiance, who is also my best friend and an endless supply of love and support!  All I need now is a cute little puppy named Ruby!  

What are your interests? Your profession? Your aspirations? 
As an individual, I sometimes feel like I'm many different people because so many different things interest me!  I love music, especially Southern and Classic Rock, obviously vintage clothing, the 70's, sewing, tattoos, documentaries, spirituality, feminism, nature, recycling, organic food, bike riding, ice cream, history, cooking, warm weather, sharks, dreams, the ocean...the list could really go on forever!!!  As a professional, I consider myself to be the Owner/Operator of an online vintage clothing boutique, The Velvet Moon.  I am the only employee, so I find, purchase, and/or repair all the clothing, style, model and photograph it, edit the photos, and list everything myself...and I love it!  I've actually been thrifting since I was about 12 or 13, so it's no surprise that I've decided to turn it into a profession.  My aspiration with The Velvet Moon is to turn it into a secure and comfortable career.  I've gotten a lot of inspiration from Etsy's Quit Your Day Job series, as well as other helpful business articles and tips on their blog.  It just gives me hope that my dreams will someday become a reality, and in all reality, the process is already in motion!  

Why did you decide to open a shop on Etsy? How long have you been on Etsy? 
I opened up The Velvet Moon in November 2011 with a handful of handmade velvet bell bottoms, with the intention of selling upcycled, handmade clothing.  I then decided to start adding some vintage pieces to make some extra cash and add some volume to the shop.  So in the beginning, the shop was a mix of vintage and handmade items.  Then in May 2013, I decided to open up my second Etsy shop, House Of The Rising Sun, which is all clothing and accessories, handmade from recycled material.  That allowed me to make The Velvet Moon strictly vintage, and my main focus.  It's funny to look back at how this store started out, and where it is today!  Like Paulo Coelho says in The Alchemist, “making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”  Although I didn't start out planning to be the owner of a vintage boutique, I feel that it's exactly where I am meant to be.

Significance of Etsy shop name? 
The name The Velvet Moon is from the Jimi Hendix song "Burning of the Midnight Lamp".  I was trying to come up with a name for my shop and it seemed like everything I thought of had already been taken.  I was looking to music for inspiration for a name, and one day while listening to Jimi, I heard these lyrics: "The morning is dead and the day is too, there's nothing here to lead me, but the velvet moon".  I was looking for something with the word "velvet" and I loved the feel of it with the word "moon", and so became "The Velvet Moon".

Where do you source items for your shop?  What do you look for? 
I get most of my items from two local thrift shops, as well as yard sales.  Every once in a while, if my area is having a dry spell or I need to purchase a lot of clothing, I go to a warehouse which is about an hour and a half away.  It's literally a warehouse full of boxes with labels like "women's bell bottoms" or "80's dresses".  It's a thrifters dream!  I spend about 2 hours digging through these boxes, looking for treasures!  And I've never been disappointed!  I think I actually enjoy my local thrift shops more though, because I never really know what I'm going to find.  I really enjoy the element of surprise, which is why I can't really go out looking for something in particular.  It just needs to be vintage and in fairly good condition, no stains or tears that I wouldn't be able to repair myself.  I always think about how I'll be able to style an item too, and if I can't imagine a girl looking great wearing it, I'll pass.  I have to say, looking for pieces for the shop is my absolute favorite part of my job! 

What do you like about Etsy? 
I love Etsy!!! It's the perfect marketplace for vintage sellers like me.  They really do make it so easy to be shop owner.  I mean, I have to put in the hard work with the listings, but they provide a space where you can keep track of your sales, item views, and traffic, they provide charts and comparisons, great business advice, and the shop fees are totally affordable. They allow you to personalize your own store, but still keep guidelines and standards.  I'm proud to be an Etsy shop owner and there are so many other awesome shops that I admire!  Whether you're a seller or a buyer, it definitely feels like a community.

Here are some other places you can follow Jaime:

Facebook page
House of the Rising Sun Etsy shop (her second Etsy shop where she sells unique pieces made from recycled and upcycled items - a girl after my own eco-conscious heart)

And, for the entire month of November, Jaime is graciously offering a special discount code as part of this interview.  Please enter the code "confessions" at checkout to receive 15% off your total order!

1 comment:

the style crusader said...

Ah, this shop looks and sounds amazing. I love the long floral dress - so cool. xx

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