You don’t always have to be a crafter to be successful on Etsy. I chatted with Etsy shop owner, Veronica Staudt of Vintage Meet Modern about her amazing vintage jewelry collection on Etsy. She was kind enough to share her tips on how to become a successful Etsy seller and why she started selling vintage jewelry.
Veronica has had a love for jewelry since she was four years old. She developed a keen eye for which jewelry was valuable through her grandma and aunt. Before kids, she also worked as a stylist and sales associate at Neiman Marcus in Chicago.
Even though she left Neimans to start a family, the love of jewelry and the passion of styling never left. Her story is a great reminder that you can still pursue your passions after having kids. You don’t need to choose one or the other. Now, on to her story!
Why Did You Start Selling Vintage Jewelry?
“I fell in love with jewelry because it always fit, and regardless of age the pieces often remained in perfect condition, and in many cases over time went up in desirability and even appreciated in value. I fell in love with vintage because all the pieces we were sourcing where unique – either the piece was special and was an important part of fashion history or the person it came from had a great story.
As our collection grew, I learned that collecting vintage jewelry was a lot like coin collecting; there were actually volumes of books and databases full of information on the pieces. It has become much like a treasure hunt for us. We have a large library of books which talk about collecting vintage designer and costume jewelry.
I still get a thrill whenever we can find a piece that has been documented or photographed in a book or has been seen on celebrity or in ad campaign from the past. I also fell in love with vintage personally. I would often go someplace and the first thing people would notice was my jewelry. They would always ask where I got it from, and I would reply, ‘It’s vintage.’ People would be in awe and say, ‘That’s so cool!’ Now we are on a mission to bring [everyone] the most beautiful collection of designer and vintage jewels [they] can find!”
When and How Did You Start Vintage Meet Modern?
“Vintage Meet Modern was born on my dining room table, with my two small daughters at my side.
I had inherited a huge lot of vintage pieces and was getting ready to put them online, and my daughter, 8 at the time, asked ‘What is vintage?’ I, of course, answered her, ‘Vintage is something that is 20 years or older.’ And her response was, ‘but everything here looks new? It looks all modern.”
In that ah-ha moment, I replied back, ‘You are right, it’s like an introduction – ‘Vintage Meet Modern.’”
Why Etsy Rather than eBay or Other Online Vendors?
“I decided that the collection spread out on the dining room table was not headed for an eBay auction but decided, that my company, my style, my dedication to a sustainable fashion movement needed to be connected to a place where we could grow and connect with clients and that is how I turned to Etsy.
I did a lot of homework about where I could sell vintage goods and have them respected, understood, appreciated, and desired. At the time there were not very many selling platforms that allowed for that. Etsy is one of the few that appreciates what makes vintage special and unique.
While a majority of sellers on Etsy are handmade sellers, I do believe in my heart that Etsy supports the vintage community because they want all of their goods to be appreciated and be part of the sustainable goods movement. Etsy was also one of the few places that allowed sellers to be more than a user name or number, and that is truly why I believe Vintage Meet Modern has been successful. The ability to connect with our clients through personal conversations and correspondence is what makes Etsy a special and unique place to buy vintage.”
When Did Your Business First Start Seeing Success?
“I started selling vintage jewelry on Etsy in July of 2011, but we did not really hit our stride until March of 2013. My goal has always been to provide an exceptional buying experience for our customers but it was around that time that I really buckled down and started studying and connecting to other vintage sellers and creative entrepreneurs.
We have found tremendous support in online groups, most notably Got Vintage, which is an active community of vintage sellers on Facebook. Got Vintage also has a team on Etsy. Etsy ‘teams’ have been a huge part of our success. The support, collaboration, spirit can’t be matched on any other selling platform. Etsy sellers really do have a community feeling to them.
You can ask a question and almost always someone has an answer or has been in the same situation. Forums are full of good usable and practical ideas regardless of whether you sell vintage or handmade. When people ask me about how I feel about selling on Etsy, I am proud to say, it feels like my own little boutique in a shopping center. I know that customers have come to Etsy as a destination to find unique, high-quality items, and it’s up to me to promote myself, work hard, and distinguish myself so that they find what they are looking for.”
Wrapping Up – Top Tips for Selling on Etsy
Can’t you just hear the passion oozing from Veronica’s story? She gives amazing tips on how to grow your at-home business, and I don’t want you to miss them. Here are my top three takeaways from her story that can be applied to any Etsy business, whether selling vintage jewelry or homemade creations:
- Profit Follows Passion: Veronica says, “In the beginning, it was supplemental income that my family needed but as time grew on, I found I really, really enjoyed selling online. Part of the fun was that I truly loved all the aspects of what I was doing and that is how I fell in love with selling vintage, specifically jewelry and accessories.” She could have tried her hand at something that promised to be more “profitable,” but that would have worn her down quickly. Instead, she chose to pursue something she was passionate about, and the profits followed. Money will not carry you through working at home for over a decade, but passion will.
- Keep Learning and Growing: What is Veronica’s library full of? Books on her trade. After almost 15 years in the business, she is an expert. However, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t stop growing and learning all she can about her trade.
- Connect with People in the Same Trade: It can be easy to think of others in our same field as competition. However, when we shut out others in our line of work, we are only inhibiting growth. When Veronica connected with other vintage sellers (many of whom would be considered direct competition), her business flourished through the help of an online community who shared a love for vintage and business.
Passion or profits? Which one are you pursuing? Share your experience below.