Those of you who know me well realize what a dreamer I am. I love to think up interesting things to make and do and I have a perpetual quest for inspiration. Here is one source of my bright ideas - Grandmothers attic http://www.etsy.com/shop/grandmothersattic. Elizabeth is fun, funny and full of energy (she throws an anual Christmas party at her home with, was it 50 decorated Christmas trees?). I asked her to provide some shots of her basement "stash" and someday I dream of going there. Here is her story:
My little niche in the Etsy world is grandmothersattic. Just like your own grandma’s attic, it is filled with vintage treasures, kitschy décor, books and more! How did it all start you ask? Well let me share…..
I once had a dream of opening a brick and mortar store. It would be filled with a mix of antiques, collectibles and handmade folk art. I came up with the name years before my dream even became a reality! In 1998, I moved from the East Coast to the Midwest, back to the very town where my grandparents once lived! A family friend and I opened our shop and I enjoyed three incredible years as a shop owner. After I met and married my husband, I moved an hour and a half away from that little river town and rented booth space at antique malls instead. As the years passed, I decided to close my booths and focus on my day job, weekend job and position as a design team member for a monthly scrapbooking club.
I was first introduced to the lovely world of Etsy when I was on this design team. We were perusing the site, sharing link after link to one awesome creation after another, carefully choosing those special and unique items to order and include in our kits. One night, I was sitting at my computer and the idea came to me that Etsy would be the perfect way to share some of my own vintage ephemera and treasures that I often incorporated onto my scrapbook layouts.
I pondered what I should name my Etsy shop. I wanted the name to bring to mind vintage treasures that one would find tucked away in an attic, a memory box or an old general store that time had forgotten. I tried a few but they were taken until I stumbled upon grandmothersattic! And there, that night in front of my computer my little Esty shop was born!
I love to go to antique stores, shows, flea markets and estate sales. As a collector myself, this gives me a good excuse to look not only for myself but also for my shop. My inspiration for the type of merchandise to carry in my shop often comes from my own customers. I love to know what they use these little pieces of the past for. I often ask my customers and sometimes they share. I’ve had pictures sent to me of pewter monopoly pieces hanging from little strings on a front porch in the woods, I’ve heard stories about favorite childhood books rediscovered and I anxiously await pictures from one customer’s wedding next fall to see how she incorporates hundreds of scrabble tiles, anagrams and hangman letter tiles into her table displays. I’ve made new friends, exchanged treasure boxes with fellow collectors, visited blogs and websites I never knew existed and been blessed many times over with fabulous customers who support my endeavor. I feel I’ve come full circle, back to where I began with my dream of a shop so many years ago.
One day, I hope to find the time to sit down and create handmade collages myself but in the meantime I will continue to hunt and gather unique vintage treasures for those artists and collectors who inspire me so.
And now for a sampling of the goods . . .