Anyway, I have a great young lady to introduce to you today and to kick off this series. Rachel is an Art History student living in England (yes! England!) who sells vintage and handmade goods over at The Dorothy Days. She is a sweetheart and a half and her blog is ridiculously adorable and filled with the loveliest vintage goodies and snippets of her life in England. Definitely check it out!
Here are a few of my favorite things from her shop:
So fun! But enough with the pictures. Let's get on with the interview!
1. Where did the name The Dorothy Days come from?
I spent ages playing around with lots of different names trying to find one which I liked, was a little bit different and also suited my style. I finally came up with The Dorothy Days because of Grandma Dorothy. It is an old fashioned name and for me symbolises the era in which she was born and the days in which she lived in. These days were ones of elegance, etiquette and refinement which I felt suited my shop perfectly.
2. What made you decide to open up your own Etsy shop?
Vintage has been a passion of mine for a long time and I started collection tea cups and pretty pieces of china when I was quite young. I also have always enjoyed crafting and have taken courses in textiles and jewelry making. A few years ago I decided to turn my passion for both of these into a business and started selling offline at craft fair and vintage fairs. It is something I really enjoy doing so when a friend suggested I tried Etsy, I decided to give it a go and am so glad that I have! I still continue to sell offline but really enjoy selling online as well. It is wonderful to be able to reach a much wider audience. I had one lady from Hong Kong buy several tea cups so she could host vintage tea parties, a man from America buy a tea set as it reminded his wife of their trip to England and a lady buying a pair of my owl earrings for her bird loving mother. It gives me a huge buzz to know that people are enjoying items from The Dorothy Days from different countries around the world.
3. On your blog, you feature a lot of other products on Etsy. Do you have any shops that you regularly visit or that you have purchased things from?
Etsy has such a lovely online community and I feel very fortunate to be part of this. I like to feature other Etsy sellers on my blog as I feel it is important to support independent sellers and nowadays try to vintage and handmade as much as possible. I have a few shops which I regularly visit and when Christmas and birthdays come around I try to find something unique and beautiful from one of the shops on Etsy to buy for gifts. One year I bought the most beautiful hand bound journal for my sister, it was absolutely stunning and made with such care. The journal was covered in Japanese paper with a purple, green and gold pattern and had handmade paper inside. It has been something she really treasures.
4. How do you find the time to manage your blog, shop, school, and daily life all at the same time?
It can be difficult but when you love what you do and have a passion for what you do it doesn’t matter that sometimes your time is stretched. I manage it by being as organised as possible and trying to use my time as effectively as possible.
5. What would your perfect day consist of?
Jetting over to a beautiful tropical island and spending all day laying in the sunshine, going in the swimming pool and drinking cocktails !!! Hehe…I can dream!
6. Now what does your typical day usually look like?
I like to wake up early while it is still quiet so I can start working on the tasks for the day. I usually start the day with a cup of tea and settle down at my desk to check my emails, blog and Etsy shop. I have a lot of American customers so, because of the time difference, orders, emails and comments on my blog often will come through in what is my night time. It is strange waking up, logging on and trying to catch up on what has been going on while I have been asleep. I then have a very quick breakfast and dash out the door to my classes (I am studying for my degree in Art History). I spend the afternoon doing university work and stop at about 5pm. The evening time I have no real schedule, it depends what I have on and what mood I feel in. Sometimes I will snuggle up on the sofa and read, sometimes I will do some baking, I like photography so if I manage to finish my work early I will go out and photograph things. Weekends are usually when I work on The Dorothy Days, I shall either be doing a craft or vintage fair, sorting out my stock or photographing and uploading things to my Etsy site.
7. What advice would you give to someone who is wanting to get into the vintage/handmade goods business?
With vintage items make sure you do your research, the internet is a great resource but also books usually have far more detail. Talking to other vintage sellers is also a great way to gain knowledge. But the most important advice I would give is to enjoy what you do as if you enjoy doing it you are more likely to push yourself to do well.
Thank you so much to Rachel for answering my questions and being the first "Behind the Shop" post! Be sure to check out her blog and shop! And check out my interview over on The Dorothy Days!