Talking Shop with Ronnie and Jennifer of Hoof & Antler

talking shop
So today we are hearing from the folks behind Hoof & Antler, an Etsy shop out of Philly. What drew me to this shop was their obvious sense of humor and masculine selection. Their shop reminds me of my Grandpa’s garage, which makes me happy. One of my weird quirks is that I am grateful to people who appreciate vintage as much as I do and it makes me doubly happy when someone sees things that I don’t see. What I mean by that is when I am in a thrift store I have a certain set of things that catch my eye. The things in this shop are not things I would shop for, but I am really glad other people do because then those things will be appreciated, too. See, I told you it was quirky. I want all the little vintage things of the world to get equal love ❤ Yes, I'm crazy, the secret is now out!
Anyway, on with this wonderful interview:

Can you introduce yourself to my readers?
H&A is made up of the the boyfriend/girlfriend combo of Ronnie Gouger (32) & Jennifer Candeloro (29). They live together in a South Philadelphia row home along with their two pups, 14 year old Pug/Chihuahua named “Pugslee” and their 3 year old Morkie, “Basil.” In addition to running Hoof & Antler, Ronnie also manages a team of systems analysts for a major telecommunications company and Jena is a freelance graphic designer.

Ronnie with his prized vintage prosthetic leg that he scored @ the Brimfield Flea.

Ronnie with his prized vintage prosthetic leg that he scored @ the Brimfield Flea.

What sparked your interest in vintage?We’ve both always had an interest in hunting for treasures at local flea markets, thrift stores. etc. When we started dating (and eventually moved in together) our collectieve interests intensified, resulting in an apartment stuffed to the brim with fun and unique vintage items. Eventually we realized that we had a pretty good eye and decided to turn our hobby/obsession into a business!

A Hoof & Antler set up at the Brooklyn Flea, Philly, recently.

A Hoof & Antler set up at the Brooklyn Flea, Philly, recently.

...and another shot of a recent H&A booth at the Brooklyn Flea, Philly.

…and another shot of a recent H&A booth at the Brooklyn Flea, Philly.

Do you have any collections of your own?
Ronnie – I absolutely love antique late 1800’s Circus Freak & Sideshow act cabinet cards. This is a relatively new interest for me so my collection is relatively small, but steadily growing. I also am a huge fan of antique books, vintage anatomy charts & maps, and antique quack medicine bottles.

Is etsy your sole source of income?

No. As noted above we both have jobs. Additionally, we’ve begun selling or wares in “real life” at the Brooklyn Flea Philly market (a spin off of the popular Market in Brooklyn, NY ( ) and can be found there most Sundays.

Do you use social media to enhance your success on Etsy and if so, how?

Yes, we have a pretty decent following on our FB page ( which we use to post information on promotions, newly listed items, etc. We also have recently begun using Instagram quite a bit (hoofandantler) to post fun stuff and have been surprised at how quickly people notice you through that venue.

What has been your biggest Etsy success and your biggest Etsy fail?

Our biggest Etsy success was our first sale, which took place a few weeks after we opened the shop in April of 2011. We can remember it like it was yesterday…someone with the ID of “PukeSkywalker” bought a pretty great vintage flannel shirt which he said was exactly like one that he had worn for years until it fell apart and was no longer wearable. PukeSkywalker will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

They have a selection of vintage flannel shirts so you could find your own perfect men’s flannel, too 🙂
from here

What are your favorite places to score vintage treasures?

It’s funny because we get asked this alot and it’s always a tough question to answer because we are always on the lookout. When you go to a flea market or estate sale you expect to come home with some fun stuff, but the more rewarding finds are those least expected, like coming across a random yard sale or yes, we’ll say it, finding an amazing piece of vintage on the curb nestled within someone’s trash. One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.

What is a typical day like working for yourself as a seller on Etsy?

A typical day is commonly spent photographing,doing research, responding to customer inquiries and listing new items. One of the keys to Etsy is keeping active within your shop to continue to drive customers there, so we try really hard to list a few new items 4-5 days a week.

What have you learned about photography as an Etsy seller?

Lighting is key!!! Lighting can make or break a photo. A clean white background also helps quite a bit!The better your pictures are the better chance your items will make it into treasures which generates traffic to your shop.

Don’t you just love these skeleton key necklaces? Sometimes something so simple is just so cool. They have them in different colors, too.
from here




My husband and I are dreaming of buying a small mid-century atomic ranch here in New Orleans and I can’t help but think about how I would decorate it. I know that vintage wallpaper has to be in the plans somewhere….ok, maybe in every room if I had my way! Lol, at least one wall! Here are some Etsy picks that I love. A lot of these papers come from shops that have quite a selection of great vintage papers. You can see the links below the images, but some shops to check out are:Elementstyle, thriftypyg, frausvenson & kitschykoolage Thank God for Etsy!

I could see using any(all!) of these papers somewhere in the home from my daughter’s room, my office, the kitchen, bathrooms or the foyer I just want these amazing patterns everywhere.
What do you think, do you like wallpaper? Would you use one of these?

ever after

fairy tale wedding

Wow! This post today is totally why I write a blog and focus so much of my energy on scouting out Etsy awesomeness. I never knew how much great vintage wedding stuff there was because I had just never looked. Especially the stuff from the 30s. That’s where my choice of theme stemmed from, 30s dresses are just so appealing to me. They look like they are pulled straight out of a Disney movie….or maybe Snow White looks so perfectly thirties because she came to be in 1937….yeah, that’s it! Either way, I really enjoyed doing this post and I hope you enjoy it, too! XOXO, RW

“S” for Snow White!



This whole post was totally inspired by this beyond amazing shift dress by Charm of Hollywood that I found in Wearitagain’s Etsy shop. Ohmigosh. This is the sort of thing I live for.

This combines 4 of my favorite things: Andy Warhol, cats, vintage and games!

A Cat-Zine!

Talking Shop with the lovely & sweet Ms. Mary Lawler of Little Bird

talking shop

Hey guys! I have another enlightening interview for y’all today about what it’s really like to sell vintage on etsy. This seller caught my eye with her creative approach to styling her shop. From her unique names she gives to each item to the photo locations she uses it’s all so romantic, the perfect homage to her love of vintage. She says she is inspired by her Grandmother and that touches me because I am so close with my Grandma whom I adore! Anyway, to start off with why don’t you introduce yourself to my readers?

Hi, everyone! My name is Mary Lawler and I run the Etsy shop Little Bird Vintage. My vintage shop was named after my grandmother, Tiba, whose name in Hebrew translates to “little bird.” While I never had the opportunity to meet her, my mother always told me wonderful stories about her and her choice of clothing. I enjoy rummaging through old boxes of antiques and strolling through flea markets on a crisp, fall day. I am a huge classic literature nerd (Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, etc) and find that music as well as art keep the wheels turning in my head. I majored in English at a small college in Pennsylvania and worked as a costume designer during and after college. Currently, I run my Etsy shop and also work as a freelance costume designer assisting/dispensing advice to musicians with wardrobe concepts for album covers and music videos.

That’s so cool, Mary. So what sparked your interest in vintage?

My interest in vintage goes back all the way to when I was a young girl. Vintage textiles have always been a part of my life. I have always been intrigued by clothing, particularly items that are from older time periods. I can remember being quite young and staring at my mother’s wedding dress and looking at the fabric and details. I also remember looking at my father’s khaki dress shirt from when he served in the Marine Corps during Vietnam. I recall looking closely at the medals and patches that were beginning to fray. It seems those moments, among others, left an impression on me as a young child and a spark for collecting. For me, it’s more than just looking at a piece of clothing or label. It has more to do with the significance of the item. The pieces that I’ve collected over the years, and that are my parent’s, hold memories deep within the fibers. Obviously, those memories cannot be seen, but for me, it adds a level of importance to the garment when I am selling, buying, and collecting.

So that leads me to ask about your personal collections. What do you keep for yourself?

I have a few 1920s beaded dresses and jewelry. I love anything with lace, sequins, rhinestones, or beading, so I have a few 1940s/1950s embellished blouses. I also collect 1940s/1950s/1960s dresses with embellishments as well as novelty patterns (bows, birds, bees, etc). My twin sister and I have also began collecting a brand that our mother used to wear in the 1960s. It was a brand called Ladybug. They were a junior line created by Villager. They are tough to come by, but we have found three pieces so far. If it has sparkle, a peter pan collar, or a great print, I will collect it all like a raccoon that hoards shiny items!
Dress Collection
(These are in Mary’s personal collection, the one on the right is by Ladybug brand as she discusses above.)
Ha! I relate to that! So Mary, do you use social media to enhance your success on Etsy and if so, how?

Yes, I do! I use Facebook ( and Twitter (@LittleBirdVtg). Whether that is with shop updates, garment/accessory previews, or coupon codes, I update both accounts several times a week. I find that you cannot go too long without updating, as you may lose followers and interest. You have to keep things fresh and exciting for the customer!

And what are your favorite places to score vintage treasures?

I love going to thrift stores and antique malls to pick up vintage linens, jewelry, and clothes. I just purchased an old plaster 1920s mannequin head with a 1930s rhinestone headband at a tiny hole in the wall thrift shop. It’s cracked and has a few flaws, but I love it. The woman who sold it to me told me it came from a dear friend of hers who had passed away. I felt honored to own such a lovely piece. I think one of the best things about pickin’ for vintage treasures is that you truly never know what you will find and who you will meet along the way.

What have you learned about photography as an Etsy seller?

It is a constant learning process for me. I started out taking (truly!) terrible photographs of my items. You definitely need great natural lighting and close ups of details such as buttons, patterns, flaws, etc. I learn something new everyday and I am always asking for advice from my sister about photography/editing. I am slowly getting better at taking photographs and editing. With lighting and editing, it is something you just have to take your time with.

Do you get a lot of repeat business and if so what keeps your customers coming back?

I have only had one repeat customer so far, but all of my customers have been so kind and supportive. I love reading feedback and getting conversations about how much they loved their new garment or accessory. I love packaging the items with ribbon and special trinkets. I want my customers to feel like it’s Christmas morning when they pull their wrapped package out of their envelope! I truly love selling on Etsy and strive to provide wonderful customer service to my customers.

What is your favorite era for vintage things? Why?

1920s: The attention to detail in garment and accessories blows my mind. I love the beading, lace, and ethereal quality of 1920s dresses and blouses. They are generally such delicate items, so it is always a treat to come across pieces from that time period.
1940s: I love the sharp shoulders, pleated detailing, and platform heels. Pieces from that time period always remind me of Ann Savage in the 1945 film, Detour. I think pieces of that time period have a tough edge and that is why I love them!

1950s: I love the fit and flare styles of dresses of that era because they accentuate your figure. I love the novelty print dresses and feminine details of blouses, too!

1960s: Gotta love those mod shift dresses! I love the dresses from this time period because of their shape and comfort. I love the look of the squared toe ballet flats with a slight heel. If it has glitter and a bow, that doesn’t hurt either!

Favorite Fashion Icon?

Oh, my, this is a tough one. It’s so hard to choose! Who doesn’t love Grace Kelly? I admire the classic style of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and the feminine and funky style of Carey Mulligan. All classy ladies!
Fashion Icons
Thanks so much Mary, for sharing your experience with us! And when I tell you she has some awesome stuff in shop, I mean it, go check her out! I could have put double the pictures in this post and not covered everything I love in there right now! Here are the others I couldn’t leave out:

I have to stop myself, but I think you get the idea. And she organizes the shop by color, it’s luscious! So go, go!!