Hello long time readers, and welcome new reader friends!
Today I am happy to bring you an interview with the lovely Elise of Divine in Time Etsy Shop and blog of the same name. Enjoy!
1. How long have you been shopping vintage? What got you started/interested?
I’ve only been shopping vintage for about two years. My obsession began innocently, but how I got started is a little twisty turny. Long before Divine in Time, there was Divine in Mind, my jewelry business. I even have another shop on Etsy for my jewelry, but lately I’m so busy with vintage I don’t have time to make things.
I started to putter around with a lot of vintage bits and pieces I’d salvaged from old jewelry and I really, REALLY liked the results. I started buying lots of broken or “junk” jewelry on Ebay but after a while I wanted to see what I might be able to find locally.
I did a little digging online, found a couple of estate sales in my area and the rest is history. At first I concentrated mostly on jewelry and other stuff that could be made into jewelry, like old game pieces, scrabble tiles and things like that. But it wasn’t long before I found other stuff I couldn’t resist.
It really didn’t seem like I was buying that much. I’d only spend $15-20 when I’d go out, but the next thing I knew, every nook and cranny in my apartment was stuffed full of “treasures”. I had to do something. I gave myself an ultimatum. (in fact, I am once again in ultimatum mode) I couldn’t buy anything else until I had listed at least 25 items. Well, that was a strong incentive because I LOVE to buy stuff. So I got busy, listed 25 items my first weekend, and before the weekend was over I made my first sale!
2. Why do you love vintage?
I love vintage because to me, items are more than just inanimate objects. In some ways, they are repositories of the memories of the lives of the people who used them. We are here for a short time, but the things we used, the things we touched and admired, the things that brought us joy, the things we made with our own hands remain. The stay behind and they tell the story of who we were.
Sometimes it’s a personal story, like a photo album, or an old letter or a scrapbook or diary. Sometimes it’s a much bigger story. Sometimes it’s the story of our shared history; it’s about the events in our history, how that history impacts the people who lived it. It’s not about The Liberty Bell or the Mona Lisa, it’s about something as simple as a rubber button marked “Goodyear” on the back. It’s about the past showing us who we are and why we are where we are today. It’s intriguing.
3. Do you have any tips or tricks you could share for those wanting to start to collect vintage pieces?
I only have one tip, and that is BUY WHAT YOU LOVE. Don’t worry about value or whether it will be worth something one day. If it intrigues you and you like it, buy it, collect it, admire it, share it, love it. I find myself drawn to the strangest things like my collection of thermoses and carafes. I don’t know why they interest me, but they do. I haven’t paid more than $8.00 for any of them and my entire collection would likely fetch under $50, but I love them.
4. How do you know if something is "vintage" or "Retro?" Is there a difference?
I don’t know if there is an official difference, but I consider “retro” to be more of a style description rather than the age of an item. Vintage usually means that an item is older than 20-25 years. An item that is “retro” will also be “vintage”, but not all “vintage” items are “retro”.
Example-A pair of chunky patent leather Go-Go boots from the 1960’s would be “retro” in style and also vintage. A 1965 Monopoly game would be “vintage” but not “retro”.
5. What are your favorite vintage pieces to shop for?
O boy, that’s a loooooooooong list. I’ve never been good at focus when it comes to vintage. (as you might have noticed if you perused my shop). But I do have a few categories that always pique my interest.
Anything related to home crafting just cannot be passed by. I guess because I have always been an artist and crafter I love anything that was made by hand like old tin can dollhouse furniture or hand tatted pieces or paint by numbers etc… I love to see what crafters of the past used to do and the materials they used.
I also love anything travel related. I can’t seem to pass up old maps, or travel brochures, especially from the 1960’s or earlier. As exciting as travel is now, I think in the past it was even more mysterious and exotic and even taking a plane trip might have been a once in a lifetime experience.
I also have a soft spot for barware. I love how quirky and weird and sometimes even a little creepy it is. I don’t always buy it, but I have to look at it.