Friday, December 10, 2010

Tipple and Snack: The Interview (Mary Bosley Sits Down with Ira Mency and Tells All)

These are the types of treasures you will find at tippleandsnack.
It's no wonder with photos like these that Mary Bosley from Vermont does so well on Etsy.  In case you don't know, her shop Tipple and Snack opened on Etsy in November 2008.  She sells vintage and eclectic goods.  In just two years, she's tippling towards 2500 sales (2200+ in this shop + the sales she had when having a second store open.)   I sat down for a cup of virtual java with her, and this is what she had to say...

Flowers in the Little Leonard Cup draws you in, no wonder it sold quickly from her store.

Q: Tell us about you, and your shop...why vintage?

A: I'm a life long collector from a long line of collectors. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth by any means, but I was raised to value family pieces, and appreciate their beauty and worth. Most objects from my childhood had a story attached, and I treasure those memories. I still use our chocolate milk pitcher, though now it mixes martini's. (enter Ira's giggles here) Selling vintage goods also enables my addiction- I can sell off an old collection, and move on to my next obsession! I love Etsy's mix between vintage and handmade, and I'm thrilled when someone uses something from my shop in their own work.

Can you say MACRO lens photos?  The way she photographed these 1961 Ohio dog tags make you want to buy them, even if you don't need them.  
Q: With almost a million items on Etsy for Vintage searches, how do you keep on top of your sales?  Handmade sellers are in the same boat, getting lost in a big sea of Etsy items. So my question is what do you do to promote your Etsy shop and what things have and have not worked for you?

A: Hmm. I'm a minor social networker. I have a Facebook Fan Page for the shop, where I post new items, upcoming sale codes, and mentions of my shop in other people's blogs. I skate that fine line between posting often, and over posting. I know as a Facebook user, I get annoyed when pages post too often and too in your face. I'm also a member of the Etsy Vintage Team, and have shared in the resources that an Etsy Team can bring.

A pairing of owls! Hooot'd a thought?
 Q:  I agree with you there, teams are a great way to network with like minded individuals.  What about Twitter, blogging, and all that jazz?  I sometimes wonder if spending so much time on social networking is actually worth it when I could be relisting in my Etsy shop!

A: I'm not on Twitter and I don't have my own blog. I do give out my shop business cards when I meet people who are into collecting. I mostly rely on posting new items, and my awesome customer base. Building that took time, so I'd tell new sellers to be patient and keep at it!

Seeing gorgeous photos like this makes me want to redo all my pictures!
 Q: I noticed you had a second shop at one time, sold some things then combined it back, even though your second shop was more of a paper and ephemera niche' shop. Why did you decide to do this and what advice do you have for others?

A: I had the second shop for about a year, and have since folded the other inventory back into my main shop. It was about the same amount of work involved, but I found that my customers didn't necessarily jump between one shop and the other. Once they left mine, they were gone. It's about making it easier for them to make a sale- keeping them in one place helps. For instance, they are more likely to purchase a little paper item AND a painting from one shop, rather than one from each and have me adjust the shipping. That being said, my goods mix well together so my one shop can hold an eclectic mix.

Notice how pairing objects together when photographing is divine! Mary gives suggestions in her listing on what to use this sled for...
(ornaments not included.)
Q: What other things do you want the world to know about you?
A: In real life, I work in the advertising and tv production field. As a freelancer, I have gaps of time between projects. When the economy turned a few years ago I fell into Etsy. Over time, it's proven to be both a creative outlet and a source of income. My favorite part of the process (besides the hunt), is taking photos. When I look at my photographs from the shop's beginning, I cringe! I'm getting there, but there's always something to learn.

Author note:  Thanks to Mary @ TippleandSnack for being so helpful and honest and taking the time to talk to me. 

Team members: I urge you to share this article and convo Mary and tell her what a great shop she has and to thank her for doing this interview!


'Vintage : A picture is worth a thousand words' by RetroChalet

Perhaps it's my love for vintage and great pictures, or the interview with TippleNSnack that fueled my passion to do this great treasury. Here I'm featuring some Tipple items, some Recyclers Guild (wastenot) and Vintage Etsy Society Street Members, (vestiesteam) . I think great photographers of great wares sell more items! Time to redo my pictures! To read the interview, go to my team's Etsy blog located in my profile.

Vintage Orange Gingham Trim ...

Vintage Leather Famolare Pla...

50s vintage brown suede hand...

Colorful Enamel Paella Pans

Vintage 1960's Royal Sat...

Large Vintage Suitcase Perfe...

Mixed Transit Token Cufflink...

Vintage 1960s Dress in Holid...

Dansk Danish Modern Cast Iro...

Vintage Marx toy company Dia...

Vintage Slide Bingo Cards by...

Anglo Corned Beef Packing Cr...

Vintage Rusty Tools Instant ...

The Youngbloods Record Album...

6 recycled musical heart sha...

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