Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interview with Etsy Seller Eva from Tomorrow Never Knows

1. What drew you to vintage in the first place?

Vintage has always been a part of my life. My Mom was a huge thrift shopper when I was young and would often hit up Goodwill and other charity shops to buy me clothes and my Dad has always been a collector of antiques. My parents have a vintage pin ball machine and jukebox in our basement and my Dad collected random things to sell and still does. Both of them were a huge influence on me when I was younger. In elementary school it wasn't the coolest to be shopping second hand, in fact it was pretty much a mortal sin. So it didn't become truly enjoyable until I was in high school when finally I was able to embrace my individuality.

2. What do you look for when hunting for vintage goodies?

I can spend very long periods of time combing isles of second hand stores. I never have my thoughts set on particular items, rather I go through each isle scanning the racks. I throw every interesting item I find into my cart until it's pretty much over-flowing and then when I'm finished I sort through what I have. When I search for vintage, fabric is usually key. I can usually identify the age immediately based entirely on the fabric.

3. Who is your customer?

I feel like my customer is someone who understands themselves well and knows what they want and what they like. I would think my customer is someone who also enjoys one-of-a-kind items that are going to make them stand out in the crowd. I really think my focus with my vintage shop is those truly one-of-a-kind stand out pieces. Whether highly trendy or not, the kind of item that's going to catch someone's eye.

4. Do you have a dream piece that you would actually shit your pants if you came across it?

I've always wanted to find (and for super cheap) an amazing 50's tulle frilly dress. I found one once on Etsy which I did purchase and it's more or less a prom dress. But then I came across this other one which was super gorgeous and I saved the pictures of it but couldn't afford to buy it I think it would be the perfect wedding dress, despite having no desire to get married. Other wise, I love being surprised by crazy shit. Vintage is like that, just when you think it can't get any better it does!

5. Who are your style icons?

I'm a big Mia Farrow fan (circa Rosemary's Baby). Any Woody Allen movie also usually has great sophisticated inspiring looks. I love Amy Sedaris and anything she wore in Strangers With Candy. And Miranda July.

6. As always in fashion, everything old becomes new again (am I paraphrasing Iman?), it seems now more than ever vintage clothing is playing a larger role in trends. Do you pay attention to trends? What do you do to keep your finger on the fashion pulse?

I do keep my eye on trends. Not necessarily for selling purposes, but for my own purposes. I love trends! Despite the fact that they are really blurring now in the fashion industry (to the point where you can't keep track, and everything and anything could be considered a trend) I do thrive off of them. I think it keeps the fashion industry on it's toes, but trends also tend to signify certain points in popular culture. You can identify trends with certain points of history and that's what fascinates me about them. That's why I think vintage and trends go hand-in-hand with one another. I also think the reason why it's grown in popularity is because to some extent not only have we turned into a giant generation of irony but perhaps because designers these days just can't create fresh new designs that generate mass appeal.

I try to keep my eye on trends by checking out a variety of European street style blogs. As well as magazines like Lula, Nylon, Russh, etc. It also helps to follow your guts, step outside the box and wear what ever you feel like.

7. Let’s imagine that you are 1 of 25 bachelorettes being introduced to an eligible bachelor recruited by a Canadian cable tv network, what would you wear? Note: the dress code is semi-formal and pageant dresses are allowed. Also, the bachelor is rumoured to be [insert name of dream man here].

Haha! I love this question. For one the bachelor would be Ryan Gosling or Michael Cera and I'd wear that 50's white tulle dress that I have been coveting but could never afford.

8. Do you actively market your store? What do you currently do and what would you like to do to promote Never Knows?

I've started actively marketing the store more now. In the winter time it was difficult because, well winter always sucks! People just don't buy things so it probably wasn't the greatest idea to start an Etsy shop then. I also have a few other jobs to focus on next to this one, so I didn't concentrate on it as much at first. Now it's becoming more of a focus. Starting a blog, advertising through my various networking profiles, joining Twitter (ugh), and participating in sales is my new primary marketing focus. I would love to advertise more. I've contemplated buying ad space on Facebook. I suppose that is something I'd like to do once I have the money to. I also just bought a gallery spot on Etsy for the first time which should help. Starting a full-fledged website is also a big goal of mine.

9. You are currently selling on Etsy, which of course is a fabulous place for emerging sellers of all mediums, what do you like/what would you change about Etsy? What’s your next step as a vintage seller?

I love etsy. I was a huge huge buyer on Etsy before I started selling. I believe I've bought over 200 items on Etsy if my feedback is correct, which is insane!!

I think it's a great hub for creative people in general, and despite considering moving on to a different selling system I've still stuck with it. Etsy is a great community, and it will always be one of the greatest most ingenious ideas I think the internet has seen. As a seller I've certainly realized it has it's difficulties though. I like that it's open minded, but I also find Etsy can be incredibly overwhelming. I've heard a lot of people mention that, which I think hinders it a great deal. Some people would still rather shop on Ebay than Etsy, because Ebay is a little more concise. I think I would change the fact that it get's a little over run with stuff.

I was particularly weirded out when Etsy and Rosie O'Donnell were promoting the site together. Despite her work being for a good cause I don't think it was the right outlet for Rosie O'Donnell who was selling her "craft projects" which were old awards that she glued some old crap to. Perhaps that's just my personal opinion, and no offense to anyone who loves Rosie. I don't mind her, but I think her selling mechanics were a little off the wall and embarrassing. If I were a artisan who spent hours on projects that they were later donating money to a charitable organization, I would have been pissed that they were promoting a B-list celebrity instead of focusing on shops that do good deeds. I kind of thought that was a bit in bad taste.

*Hibou here, interjecting to put my two cents in and say that the Rosie O'Donnell Etsy crafts are the ugliest shit I have ever laid eyes on.

10. Who would win this battle of the birds: Owl vs. Ostrich.

Easy...owls. Owls can fly. I'm sure if you had an owl big enough it could pick the ostrich up, therefore having the biggest advantage of the two.

*Thanks Eva, I can't wait to see what you come up with next!!!



  1. An enjoyable read! However I should have taken Eva's wise written advice and avoided looking at Rosie's 400 dollar doodled on store bought thingy*ma*hoo's ...Sigh. It was like a train wreck - I couldn't look away...


  2. Rosie is an artist on many platforms. Who are we to judge another artist on how they decide to promote themselves? I am one sided on the issue though. I have purchased a number of etsy items by R. O'donnell and she has also given me a number of her works to donate to underprivleged children.

  3. Rosie is definitely a artist on many platforms..no doubt about it. I agree. The thing is, etsy has a number of users who donate profits to charitable organizations. Something I hope they would put more focus on, espeacially relating to independent artists not backed by any celebrity status. buildanest.com is a organization I'm really attracted to.