Thursday, July 3, 2014

Meet our Members! - B. from Umbrellafant

The SPS Team is an international team of artists, artisans and creators working together to promote their finest work!

Every week we are happy and proud to introduce a member of our outstanding team! They come from different backgrounds, countries, cultures and artistic horizons, but they all have one thing in common : they are driven, creative, dynamic, and dedicated to their Etsy business and to their team, SPST!


Today we are thrilled to introduce b, a passionate treasure hunter and shop owner from Illinois, USA. ! She opened her Etsy shop, called "Umbrellafant", in May 2013.

In b's shop you will find an amazing selection of vintage treasures: barware, jewelry, home decor items, vintage books and paper items, glassware, cooking tools and more!

Let's meet b and learn about her life as a full-time Etsy seller! 

Why do you sell on Etsy?

Selling on Etsy is my full-time job. After so many years of life, I finally figured out that it is possible for me to knit together my passion with earning a little money!

What are the specific challenges, struggles and joys of a vintage shop owner on Etsy?

Let's start with the joys... I get to hunt around and buy things that I normally wouldn't be able to afford or have a place to keep. Yet I can hold, research and enjoy something old ~ and that delights me!

Challenges... I'm not very adept at time management! Processing items, especially on the vintage side of my shop, is very time consuming : cleaning, researching, photographing, listing, etc. Time definitely gets away from me! Hours can slip away while I'm promoting or 'playing' with my teams also! I just need a bit more structure in my day.

How did your Etsy adventure begin?

Midlife crisis? I have been a stay-at-home mom and a caregiver for my parents for many years. With my parents gone and my kids more independent, I shifted from living-in-reaction-to to something more purposeful. 

I've shopped on Etsy for years and it seemed natural to me that if I wanted to give more of my attention to my creative side and try to make a little money, Etsy was the place. My thought was to sell my wired creations; thinking I could never actually let go of anything 'vintage' once I had my hands on it! But as I said, my shop here has given me the best of both worlds ~ acquiring and letting go! 

What is the strangest or funniest thing you have ever found or sold?

Hmmm... My shop is pretty tame! I have found some interesting items in my journeys, though. I am eerily intrigued by these large antique baby pictures in which the baby's real hair and clothing are used. I won't put anything I don't really like or am not comfortable with in my shop. No antique baby/hair/clothing pics in my shop...yet!

How do you choose the vintage treasures you sell in your shop? Where do you find them? How do you select them?

I prefer estate sales, thrift stores and sometimes flea markets (getting more difficult to find good enough deals at local flea markets to re-sell). I rarely do garage sales: thrifty time management. I have become friends with a woman who has a place that is like a mini flea market. I've bought many things from her for myself over the years, now I mostly buy from her to sell. She has been a wonderful encourager and mentor to me also. 
I mostly buy what I love. I also buy what catches my eye that I think someone else will love. 

Are you a buyer on Etsy as well? What do you usually look to buy? 

Oh, yes! I've been buying here since 2008. Lots of gifts for others - mostly handmade. Supplies like wire, beads, ribbon. Not so much vintage anymore, but I still do buy some ;) Oh, and gift cards, for sure!

What is the one thing you would like to change most on Etsy to accommodate your business?

This question requires that I have taken the time to think...not much of that with my 'time management' issues! I'm for anything that saves time.(Do you sense a theme here?) I'd love to clear out my favorites by being able to eliminate SOLD items. I wish there was a more fair way to get a treasury to the top. All in all, I'm very happy with my Etsy experience. ♥

Which is your favorite social media to use and recommend to other sellers for cross-promoting?

Wanelo brings quite a few views into my shop. I also use Facebook and Pinterest. I would like to start a blog soonly and link my shop to it. So far it looks way too time-consuming just to figure it out!

If you could give 3 tips to new Etsy shop owners, what would they be?

1) Join a couple of great teams and participate in their activities;

2) Pay close attention to your photos. Clear, bright (good contrast as opposed to dull), neutral backgrounds (think 'treasury material');

3) Customer service! Be someone you would want to buy from.

How can a team such as SPS Team help you develop your business?

I'd love some blog advice! I think the team blog is such a wonderful idea and tool and you guys really know what you are doing!

In all the areas this team uses to support and promote, "keep up the good work!". I need to spend time reading more advice from my leaders and fellow teammates. There is so much rich experience here that I know can be very helpful.

Thank you so much b for your great insight, wit and generosity!

Visit b's shop today :

You can also follow b on different social media platforms :
Facebook :
Wanelo :
Pinterest :


If you are a member of the SPS Team and wish to be featured on our Team Blog in the series of articles 'Meet our Team Members' do not hesitate to contact our Leader, Natalie!

Read some other amazing stories from our Team Members :

Vintage Shops:
- Archaica from ArchaicStudio
- Ellen from The Chilly Dog


My name is Natalie. I am a French-Canadian gal, but I live in South Korea. My passion is called "Hanji" : sumptuous Korean paper made of mulberry pulp. Hanji has been used for a thousand years in Korea to create decorative or ceremonial objects. For me, it is essential to offer useful and practical objects, that can enjoyed on a daily basis. Tissue cases, pen holders, jewelry, fridge magnets, hair accessories: let the beauty and unique character of Hanji paper make our everyday life objects irresistible!

Hanji French Barrette Hair Pin Patchwork Multicolor Bold Colors Sturdy Stainless Steel Barrette Handmade  Triangle Blue Black Hanji Paper Dangle Earrings OOAK Handmade Swastika design Hypoallergenic hooks Lightweight

Follow Natalie's Blog For The Latest Updates To Her Shop:

1 comment:

  1. Great to know you & your shop. Your shop is filled with wonderful items!