Hello friends! Do I have a treat for the vintage lovers today…the beautiful, blonde, Ms. Brooke of Daisy&Stella vintage is talking to us about what it’s like to sell vintage on Etsy and does she ever have a collection of amazingness. We are talking seriously drool-worthy dresses with all of the little details that make vintage so exciting.
Can you introduce yourself to my readers?
Hi all, I’m Brooke aka Daisy from Daisy and Stella Vintage. I grew up dragging my feet to countless auctions and antique malls and it wasn’t until my late teenage years when I finally started to appreciate all the unique items I was exposed to. One of my biggest regrets is the day I turned down my mom’s 1970s lace up knee high leather boots which went into the donation bag!
How did you come up the with the name Daisy & Stella Vintage? Who are Daisy & Stella?
My best friend Becky and I lived together for over 5 years in college and were both into 1960s 70s fashion at the time – most of which was accumulated from our favorite vintage shop at that time which was JuJu and Moxie.
At some point we came up with fun nicknames for each other – I was, Daisy, and she was, Stella. I was completely enamored with vintage, mainly the hippie vibe with embroidered bellbottoms and crop tops, and started dreaming that someday we would own a combined vintage and coffee shop, where Becky could also display her artwork. We even had a savings ‘jar’ where we started saving little by little for our dream shop.
I always felt that ‘Daisy and Stella’ would be a fun and inviting name for a vintage shop, and while I am the sole owner of Daisy and Stella Vintage, I have been using it for the past ten years. I no longer plan for a physical shop as ETSY has given me much more freedom and financial stability without worrying about paying the rent so to speak.
What sparked your interest in vintage?
Coincidentally shortly after the boot incident, a friend and I got lost on our way to downtown Madison and happened to run into a St. Vincent de Paul on Williamson Street which is a pretty hip & laid back neighborhood. This particular St. Vinnies had so many retro & vintage items and I was instantly attracted to the 60s/70s hippie vibe. A few years later I spotted my first 1950s party dress in a shop window with red velveteen polka dots on white organza and I instantly fell in love with the clothing from that decade.
Do you have any collections of your own?
Most definitely – vintage fashion is my weakness and passion! There are a few vintage items that I don’t think I can ever part with including a 1930s net & lace dress and bolero set that I wore to my wedding last year and a 1930s black net evening gown that my dad had purchased for me about 7 years ago.
My dad has since passed and the memory of that day still makes me smile. I hope to be able to wear that gown at least once as she’s truly remarkable and shouldn’t be hidden away in my closet!
DaisyandStella Vintage seems to specialize in amazing bridal-wear
Is etsy your sole source of income?
Halfway through college, I dreamt of having my own vintage shop. I kept this goal alive and after 6 years working for a wood truss association I had saved up enough money to quit and try ETSY full time. This is my third year with my ETSY shop being my full-time job and nearly full source of income. I do have a few local buyers and am about to partake in my first vintage flea market so that’s exciting!
Do you use social media to enhance your success on Etsy and if so, how?
I do have a facebook business page @ http://www.facebook.com/daisyandstella, along with a twitter and pinterest page. This year I also started a blog @ http://www.daisyandstella.com hoping to get more relevant in the Google searches. I post probably too many additional photos on my Facebook page of the items I have listed for sale as the 5 picture allotment on ETSY just doesn’t seem to be enough to show all the detail.
What are your favorite places to score vintage treasures?
About once every year there is a vintage clothing & accessories auction in the Milwaukee area that I attend. For me, auctions are by far the most exciting place to score vintage and my adrenaline really gets pumping! Each year I get more knowledgeable about vintage items and so I am more able to bid with confidence. I also seek out vintage flea markets, estate sales and antique malls and am always on the lookout during a roadtrip.
What is a typical day like working for yourself as a seller on Etsy?
Unfortunately my days are anything but typical and I do hope to get more organized and scheduled with my work day. My main workspace is in my basement and so depending on the lighting, I try to take photos either early in the morning or very early afternoon. I have a 15 month old puppy and so every day around noon time we go for a 3 mile run. After lunch, I usually clean up all the photos, research labels and work on listing descriptions. Usually I will wait until the end of the day to package any orders that came in and head out to the post office which is less than a mile from my house. I also like to spread out my listings, so twice a night between 6 and 9pm central time I will publish a new listing if possible.
What have you learned about photography as an Etsy seller?
Photography is key to ETSY success and something I still struggle with on an on-going basis. I have done quite a bit of research on shutter speed and aperture to improve my photos. Looking back at my earliest listings, the photos were very dark and grainy as I had been shooting in ‘auto’ setting which is something I would never do now. I still have a hard time photographing black dresses as many times the details get lost and dust spots appear.
Do you get a lot of repeat business and if so what keeps your customers coming back?
I have an amazing repeat customer base which is about 15-20% of my business. I came from an association where customer service was key and that is a top priority in my business. It is my goal to answer any questions within a couple hours of receipt and to ship out any orders within 24 hours of purchase if possible. I also like to keep my customers informed on when the package ships with the tracking information and anything else that may arise.
What is your favorite era for vintage things? Why?
This is such a hard question for me as the 1950s is what sparked my true passion for vintage. I am drawn to the full skirted dresses of this era and am always on a lookout for my next party dress. In terms of collecting and coveting, the 1920s and 1930s Art Deco gowns definitely take the cake for me. I recently listed a late 1910s early 20s wedding dress that I had in my collection for over 6 years! I get too attached to these dresses that have so much intricate detailing that you never see in modern dresses and I love to think about the unknown story, history and woman behind of each dress.
Thanks, Brooke! And readers, let me just finish by saying it was terribly difficult to choose which dresses to showcase in this interview because there are just SO many great things in this woman’s shop. You truly will find something you LOVE, or just want everything like do!