Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Girl in Town

Last Thursday I went to an estate sale where I asked the sales clerk if it would be possible to just transport an entire room to my house. The homeowner had been a seamstress, and there were bins and bins of mostly vintage lace (not antique, but 60s to 80s vintage) patterns, notions, buttons, and two dress forms. I wanted both dress forms, but didn't need them and didn't really have room for them. I decided to leave them, even though the prices were reasonable. 

On Saturday - half price day - the pull of vintage trim was too great, so back I went. Both dress forms were still there, and I just couldn't leave without the better one. 
She doesn't have a name yet. Her foam is showing a bit at the bottom but I plan to put a fun dress or skirt on her so that won't matter. I like that her proportions are more generous than my mannequin. Apparently the previous owner had to add a bit of padding to her tummy and hips at some point - I can totally relate. I thought about removing the extra but decided to leave her be as she seems comfortable with her size. 
She's been making herself useful, displaying some of my lovely necklaces. Her tattoo is a bit distracting, but I like it.
I may put her to work displaying items for my Etsy shop. We'll see. The lack of a head could be a problem.

Just FYI, Stewartform applied for a patent for this style of dress form in 1963. I only found one other online so they may not have been overly popular (don't tell her!)

I'll show some of the lace from this sale and another in my next post.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Attire for the New Year

When I first bought my mannequin I dressed her in a pretty vintage aqua jacquard dress. I loved it and loved the color in my studio - it was so much prettier than it looks here - but the dress was too small for her and had to be left open in the back. No one saw, but still...

So, I sold the aqua dress and tarted her up in a "girls just want to have fun" red party dress with gold sequins.

This one was much too big and had to be clipped in the back. Plus, I don't love red. It stood out like a sore thumb in a room full of neutrals with touches of aqua and pink. The dress was fun, but it annoyed me every time I walked into the room.  

So...I've been on the lookout. A few weeks ago there was an estate sale at the former home of a local antique dealer. I found lots of pretty things, but my favorite was this vintage dress.

It's a bit stained and has a large tear in the skirt but it's on a seam and can be mended. The entire dress is rows of lace stitched together. The ribbon is black velvet. There are no labels, so I'm guessing it was home sewn but don't know for sure.

I think this dress is pretty amazing. It fits my mannequin perfectly, and the price was so low I gasped when they told me.

I'm thrilled with it, and now I smile every time I walk into the room and see my Southern Belle mannequin.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Etsy Stats

This post may not interest anyone at all, but for those who hate statistics I've included photos of a few of my favorite Etsy sales from the past year to add some fun.

Vintage Beaded Sweater

My Etsy shop is something I started after I retired as a way to possibly make a bit of extra cash for art supplies and classes and as a way to spread the wealth - so to speak - from the estate sale shopping I love so much. I do make some effort to promote my shop but not in a big way and haven't paid a lot of attention to demographics (bad shop owner!)

Vintage Nightgowns
I truly DO appreciate all my customers, and while I was doing some year-end paperwork I decided to really look at where they're from. I already knew that California is by far my best source for customers in the US (89 orders since I opened my shop) and that Australia is my best international market (9 orders.) I hoped that I'd had customers in every state, but not quite - vintage lovers in Connecticut, Vermont and Wyoming haven't found me yet. Ditto for DC.

Vintage Ribbon with Metal Dispenser

Florida and Washington each represent 21 orders, and there have been 20 from Texas, 19 from Michigan, 17 from New York and 16 from Illinois.

Vintage Millinery

There have been 13 orders each from Ohio and Pennsylvania, and 12 from Oregon. I've had 12 on-line sales in Oklahoma, but many more at the two Glitter Markets here in Oklahoma City last year and a few at a two-day antique and vintage show in 2013. 

Vintage Pendleton 49er

I've had five orders from Canada, four from the UK, and one each from Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Japan and Italy. I don't usually list international shipping rates in my shop, so I'm thrilled when people like my items enough to contact me for international shipping.

Vintage Glass Ornaments

I won't list all the states where I've had fewer than twelve customers, although they're certainly as important to me as all the others. 

If you've been a customer, thank you very much. And if you've made it this far, I appreciate your indulging my statistical curiosity and thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 

Last, but certainly one of my best sellers - vintage lace!
I'll be showing off my mannequin's new attire in my next post. She's gone from "girls just want to have fun" to Southern Belle.