Saturday, April 1, 2017

March check-in: Shop birthday giveaway(s)

Bear with me as I get a little sentimental, because this month I am marking the FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of my Etsy shop.

This is one of the first product shots I ever took. My daughter was a few months old. I was still on part-time maternity leave, just starting to inch back into the world of being something other than a full-time mom. I was hungry — hungry for something that would give me purpose. Hungry to feel productive, to feel like I was doing something, that I was working toward a goal.

Every time I went to my local thrift store, I saw things hanging on the racks that other people were selling on Etsy for two, three, four times the price. And I had that dumb, naive thought that so many other people have had. I thought, "I could do this. I could buy stuff and sell it on Etsy."

So I did.

My first ever banner! Awww

To say I didn't know what I was doing would be an understatement. I really, REALLY did not know what I was doing. But I kept going. I sold a few things, and after I exhausted all the vintage I was willing to part with from my own closet, I bought a few more things. And a few more, and a few more. And here I am five years later with nevermindhowmany pieces of vintage completely taking over what used to be my bedroom, and I'm really happy to be where I am.

I haven't gotten rich, or quit my day job, or become an icon of vintage fashion. But what has happened has been pretty awesome. I've sold a lot of vintage (about to hit the 750 sales mark) and I've gotten to know a lot of really cool people — customers, other vintage sellers, and people who have commented on my posts.

It's encouraging to look back and see how far I've come, even as I continue to try to do a better job at this whole endeavor. I would love to be able for Bread and Roses Vintage to continue to grow. Mostly, I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me, whether with words of encouragement and support, by buying from me, or just being a friend.


Each week during April, I'll be running a different giveaway. Each giveaway will kick off on Sunday and run through midnight Friday, with winners announced over the weekend. Here's the schedule for the month, with more details to come when each giveaway launches:

April 2-7: $25 Etsy gift certificate (CLOSED)

Winner: @ explorin_lauren_

April 9-15: Personal thrift shopper 

Winner: @marcandkelli 

April 16-22: Goody bag

 Winner: Judy 

April 23-29: Handmade/custom item

Something made just for you, by me! Choose from a knit cowl, an embroidered wall hanging or a quilted makeup bag

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks again to everyone who has made Bread and Roses Vintage a success, and here's to another five years!
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February check-in

Hey hey, I'm back! Without telling a whole long story about blog fatigue and how I got my groove back, I'll just say that I'm inspired to do some posting here once more with a slightly different format. My goal is to check in about once a month and just post a few updates about what's new. So let's give this a try:

New on Etsy

After a quiet January, things have been flying out of the shop, and I'm super grateful to all my customers for the support. Unfortunately, I did have one mix-up in which I had to cancel an order, which felt absolutely awful 😧but otherwise things have been going smoothly. I'm excited to start listing more spring items in the shop, but in the meantime, I have some great transitional items listed. Here's a few of my current favorites:

Vintage 1980s Prairie Revival long-sleeve cotton dress | $23
New old stock floral print heels | $21

1990s J. Crew floral print boxy cardigan | $24
I will be continuing to add items to my $5 Sale section over the next several weeks, so be sure to check back there for some great clearance bargains (like these burgundy Hush Puppies boots). And here's a peek at a few of the great items that will be listed soon (let me know if you want more info, or if you'd like to reserve anything):

What I'm Making

I honestly don't remember what prompted me to knit my first self-drafted chevron hat, but I remember being obsessed with the idea for a while before I started, and being gleeful when the first one was finally off the needles, as you can see here: 

I knit a second one, and I'm now on my third, and I'm still not sure if I've got this particular crafting urge out of my system! Next steps are to try to write up the pattern and see if I can get it placed somewhere (maybe submit it to Knitty? or maybe just put it up on Ravelry). If you're interested in being an informal test knitter if and when I get a real pattern together, please let me know!

I'm also trying to make headway on a quilt that I started ... ugh, I think during the summer? I keep taking long breaks from it and then coming back to it, but I'm almost done with the quilting, and then I just have to figure out how to bind it.

This is my first time putting together a quilt, and it's been an interesting experience. I don't think I have the patience to do this on a large scale, but I am enjoying the technique, so I've been brainstorming about smaller quilted projects.

Finally, I am close to wrapping up a super sekrit embroidery project that I'm really excited about — I can't show it to you here, but here's a look at my planning process, which pretty much says everything about how I like working (i.e. USE ALL THE COLORS).

What's New

A lot has changed since the last time I posted — well, really just one major change. I got a new job! After 13 years (my god I still can't believe it was that long) working at my local newspaper, I started working as a communications specialist for local school districts at the end of July. This has been a really big transition for me, and my family — I could go on and on about it, but I'll just hit some of the highlights.

For starters, I'm working much more regular / predictable hours. I go to work in the morning and I'm usually done by 4 p.m. every day — and then that's it. No rushing to get work done after hours, staying up late, etc. On the other hand, my schedule is a lot less flexible, which was definitely an advantage for us as working parents with a young child.

One of my big hopes about taking this job was that it would help me feel less burned out — and it definitely does. I knew I would really miss writing my newspaper column, so I've been pushing myself to write more (even though it hasn't shown here), and have actually gotten a few bylines as a result! You can follow my "non-fashion / day job" Twitter to see more (hopefully) of my writing.

What's Next

Once I finish this quilt, I'm eager to knock out a few quicker sewing projects (although I still have a few unfinished objects hanging around that I should really tackle instead, but, you know, the lure of the new). For summer, I'd love to make the sleeveless version of this top out of a remnant of vintage silk, with a contrasting fabric for the neck band: 

I'm not 100 percent sure this color combination will work, but I like the idea of pairing a geometric print cotton with the soft botanical print of the silk.

Also on the crafting front, I've been reaching out to a few artist friends about doing some visual art / embroidery collaborations, which I'm really excited about. If you are a visual artist (or if you do any type of lettering / calligraphy, etc.) I would love to talk to you about collaborating! 

One of the things that's great about my new job is that I'm learning a tremendous amount, including things about social media, marketing and strategic planning that I'm hoping to apply to my Etsy shop. I've set myself the goal for this year of creating a marketing plan for Bread & Roses Vintage, and I'm also hoping to help my husband with some marketing strategies for his book business. 

And in April, my Etsy shop is going to mark its fifth birthday, which shocks me on several levels. For one thing, I can't believe I've been doing this for FIVE YEARS. For another thing, I can't believe I got started when my daughter was only a few months old. I took my first-ever product shots on the floor of her nursery while she was napping! 

My daughter and me in 2012
I'm hoping to do a big giveaway (or a series of giveaways?) in April, as well as having some great sales, so I hope to have more on that when I check in next month. If you have an Etsy shop or business and would like to collaborate on a giveaway, please let me know

Whew, that was a long check-in! As always, you can stay up to date with me on Instagram (and, to a lesser extent, on Facebook and Twitter). And I would love to hear from you, so drop a line in the comments or get in touch any time! It's good to be back 😊

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A New Adventure: Print Top + Khakis ... and a 4-year-old

This post is in collaboration with Schoola. I was sent clothing in exchange for a blog post about their site and mission.

So, you guys, this is my first affiliate post. I've gotten a few emails here and there, but nothing has ever seemed like it fit with what I'm about. But when Schoola approached me about its Summer Adventure campaign, it was really serendipitous. You see, my husband and I decided a few weeks back to withdraw our daughter from preschool for the summer — partly to save a few bucks, partly to spend some more time with her. So I'm a few days away from a seriously major summer adventure of my own.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Guest Post @ Shaped by Style: Polka Dots + Stripes

This is a drive-by to let you know I have a new post up over at Shaped by Style, where we're featuring striped skirts this month:

Stop by and check out some of the other looks we've put together — or see more pics from me here