Saturday, February 5, 2011

GSArcheologist Etsy Shop: How Our Past Plays Into Our Present

Atomic Chip and Dip in the GSArcheologist shop.

I always find it interesting what people sell in their shops are a direct reflection of who they are, things they've grown up to love, and the reasons why.  For instance, someone who crochets may do so because their best memories when little was when grandmother taught them how, they continued to crochet their whole lives and are good at it.  It makes them who they are today. Same with any seller.  So I took a few minutes to interview this shop on Etsy.  They aren't a member of our team, but I thought you would find it interesting.

Tea for Twelve, the photos are lovely here in this shop, and this set at $29.95, a bargain.

Q: What does the GSArcheologist stand for, and tell me how this all came to be?

I began thrifting and garage sale purchasing when I was in college and needed furniture for my first apartment. I went to Indiana University and on the edge of town was a guy who use to buy estates and sell stuff out of his barn. For most people I'm sure it seemed like a pile of junk but for me each piece was a story that defined someone's life. I still have a few of those pieces from his barn and that was 34 years ago.

The tune tote comes with 18 records and is a great deal for $18.
Q: So after college, I assume you kept a love for antiques? 

My husband and I graduated from IU in 1979. (I am now an art teacher and my husband is a graphic designer.)  Back then, there was a recession and teaching jobs, especially in art, were not plentiful. I took a job at a high end furniture store and trained in interior design and consulting. My husband worked for a printing company. At some point I left the furniture store and retrained in graphic design. During this time we bought our first home and we still found purchasing slightly used or antique items to be the best way to furnish our home. I had a sculpture teacher at IU from Nigeria who taught us how to finish and work with wood so I began to apply my skills there. Refinishing furniture became my hobby.
Adorable picnic basket, $28 in the shop.

Q: So fast forward until now, how did your love for your antiques grow and what brought you to Etsy?
After various other jobs, I went back to teaching. My husband, who worked for Design Institute America and later as a partner in a custom furniture company, also shares an interest in thrifting and so we go often together. When my sons were going off to college I began to garage sale more actively in the summer months. I just kept doing it. I have furnished both their homes from top to bottom and probably didn't spend more then 500.00....except for mattress and box springs. When I found things that I felt would otherwise be thrown out I rescued it and sold it on ebay.
$29.95, Children's Singer Sewing Machine. It's never to late to learn to sew!

I can't remember how I came across Etsy but when I found it I thought it may make a good venue for smaller items. I look for unique items that a designer might have an eye for. I also look for items for people like me who liked and appreciated industrial design and furniture and collect items from certain eras. I rarely price things over $50.00 and the average price is from $15.00-$25.00.

And that is how an art teacher with a passion for antiques found Etsy and the "The GSArcheologist" store came to be. 

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