Saturday, December 30, 2006

Ch-ch-changes

One more baby step: I've signed up for an Etsy.com account. I'm not a registered seller yet, but that will come soon, and I will, at last, have some cards for sale.

As for the changes, it looks like Ruby Red may be a my own stationery and handcrafted product line for a different type of business than I originally decided to start.

So, to date:

1. I am selling vintage fashion and home accessories at the antique mall.
2. I am about to sell vintage sewing and craft notions, along with my own crafty things, under the Etsy ID "vintagenotions".
3. I am starting to write more, and hope to possibly incorporate my vintage, antique, and crafty interests into possible articles and/or books.

And, I am hoping to one day tie all of these interests together under the roof of one little boutique shop where people can shop for everything from an indie-crafted plushie animal to a cabinet to house their plate collection or craft supplies.

It will have vintage clothing, jewelry, hats, bags, and other accessories mingled with hand-crafted items and original art and user-friendly antiques and fine "junk".

There will, of course, be a red door and a chandelier, and the coolest jazz and indie music you could ever ask for playing in the background.

But, for now, I'm happy with my baby steps ...

Friday, December 29, 2006

ICBIIB! (I Can't Believe I'm In Business!)

I didn't visit my case at the antiques mall for over a week because I was busy and Christmas shopping. Well, ok, that's not the real reason.

The real reason I didn't visit was I was scared.

What have I gotten myself into? Bad grammar aside (ending a sentence in a preposition, oh my!), I have been contemplating the ramifications of loosing $55 a month to a case full of inventory that just sat there.

Then, yesterday, I dropped by, just to rearrange things and keep the case looking fresh.

When I got there, the case looked different. It took me a minute to realize that items were out of place (wow! people have actually looked at the stuff!) and some items were--could it be?!!!--MISSING.

Hallelujah, I made a sale. Somebody stop me before I hyperventilate.

The good new got even better ... two of the items that sold were, in fact, the most expensive ones in the case. A gaudy gold Louis XIV-type mirror (plastic, vintage, so-hideous-it's-gorgeous) and a bakelite bangle. The bangle I had gotten by luck for around $1. I sold it for $25, no questions asked.

I'm giddy.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm addicted

I have a new obsession ... vintage/retro plastic costume jewelry, especially anything lucite or bakelite.

That's "bake-uh-light."

Bangles, in particular, have caught my fancy, but I am also fond of lucite purses from the '60s, carved bakelite pins or buttons from the '30s and '40s (I really, really want a black Scottie dog pin, but they're $25 or more), and funky lucite rings from the '70s.

Bakelite has a sniff-test as a preliminary gauge of its authenticity. I went to the Tennessee Flea Market this past weekend, and I can only imagine what passers-by must have thought when I rummaged through piles of vintage junk, grabbed a suspicious-looking piece, rubbed my thumb across it until it warmed in that spot, and then sniffed it tentatively. If I smelled the right smell (a distinctive formaldehyde-type scent reminiscent of high school biology lab days), then I was very, very tempted to buy it!

Unfortunately, the best pieces I found (vintage pot-holder loom and a fun green cuff bracelet) were at an antique jewelry booth where the owner new his stuff. I would have had to fork out $20 for the bracelet and more for the "loom".

In the end, I came home with two boxes of vintage buttons (a score were the big red carved buttons I suspect could be bakelite!), a couple of brightly colored children's birthday cards from the '40s, and what I think might be a moonglow plastic bangle bracelet from anywhere from the '60s to the '80s -- I can't tell.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ruby Red Began!

Big news.

Though the name may possibly change, and thought the focus has changed, the reality is still the same: I took a baby step on Sunday and officially rented case space at an antiques/home decor mall in Nashville.

Yep, peeps. After nearly two years of thinkin', and hopin', and wishin' … I'm officially in business!

I'm selling vintage-y things, with hopes to expand into larger "antiques" (of the primitive, cottage-style, or shabby chic variety), original art, and delicious little indie-crafts, if I can sell enough stuff to pay the rent each month. The way I see it? There are worse ways to spend $55 per month. Even if I don't make a cent off my new venture, I'll still learn a bunch about starting a mini-biz, and that can't hurt.

I'm finishing up my Christmas cards for this year and taking the extras over to the mall to sell--my love affair with paper and boutique-style cards has not changed, even if my business venture has! This year's cards are fab. I took a generic card base, added a tea-stained photocopy of a 1920's magazine story, then piled on pieces from vintage Christmas postcards, and topped it all off with pieces of vintage costume jewelry, Swarovski crystals, glitter--or all three!

So, if you have an extra $5, twenty minutes, and a hankering to go antiquing, take a little side trip to the GasLamp Antique Mall (Armory Drive exit off of I-65) in Nashville and visit case S112.

p.s. In honor of this new venture, I will most likely start a new blog. Look for it soon!