Monday, May 16, 2011

Inside Etsy Vintage Seller's Shop : RetroBabs

RetroBabs brings one of a kind eclectic finds, and a touch of ReMix too!

RetroBabs, or Barb, as her friends know her ventured onto Etsy one day with the help of her daughter, Bec.  It seems there was no turning back.  I took some time to interview her to find out how her "RetroBabs Vintage and ReMix" shop came to be.

How did you find Etsy start?

Barb says, "Bec was constantly telling me to go to Etsy because there was things she wanted me to buy.  I started searching the site and realized they had vintage.  I had been a big collector for years and I loved all the shops.  I decided it was something I could do and a good project for Bec and I to do together."

Baby Quilt, found HERE.

What role does your daughter, Bec play in your shop?

"She told me she wanted to be a silent partner (then having been a newly wed and all-married in June of 2010).  I supply the vintage fabric and Bec makes what she wants out of it.  She is a talented seamstress."  *Read about Babs and Bec here*

So how did you prepare for your "grand opening" in August, 2010?

"I started to collect some items to put in the shop.  I went to resale shops, antique stores, searched through my own collections, flea markets etc.  I decided to start listing items and it was then that I realized it all had a theme of sorts.  Mostly mid-century modern stuff. "
Lovely Desk Accessory, Found Here.

Mid Century Modern seems to be THE theme in your shop? 

"I was drawn to mad men, rat pack type items, and also desk accessories were selling. I have many male customers they buy things like york barbell weights, martini shakers and Ice -o-matics.  At Retrobabs we also sell a lot of fabric items from towels, apron, curtains, linens, and gloves. "

Lovely Seashell ReMix frame!

What is the "ReMix" end of things?

Barb explained that Bec re-mixes items that would normally be discarded into functional can-use items mixed with original artwork. You will find everything from Baby Bibs to plates fashioned into clocks, or hand sewn dish towels incorporating older fabric remnants.  She explains, "Bec's items are finally starting to sell. It took a while for the ReMix to catch on. We have sold three clock/plates to date. " 

Juicy Strawberry Pitcher. Find it Here.

What is your personal favorite item in your shop?

"Right now my favorite item in the shop is our Juicy Strawberry ceramic pitcher and the Mad Men type barware set of glassses with its groovy metal tray.  I want to keep them myself but I think my husband will make me move out of the house!"

Temporama cups by WhatsNewontheMantel

Do you collect anything? 

"I have to admit I am a collector of many things, atomic dishes, (I love Temporama), pottery, hand blown glass, elephants..... "

What have you learned from your experience on Etsy?

"When I first made my shop I thought you were supposed to keep everything separate from your personal life. Privacy wise I tried to separate my art life from the Etsy life.  Many of fellow Etsians including encouraged me to let people know who I am and what my art is.  With RetroChalet's help I started my RetroBabs blog and set up one for my personal artwork.  I now try to link everything together so folks get the full picture of our shop and us."

Etsy Teams ROCK!

What is your favorite part of being an Etsian?

"My favorite part of Etsy is the  community and the customers.  I did not expect this, such camaraderie and fantastic friendships.  I have 57 positive comments and customers write me letters, send photos and one actually sent a thank you gift to my home!! I then joined the Vesties team (focused on vintage) and that really helped me hone my shop and I picked Martha's brain (Team Captain of Vesties) at a local meet up."

Barb is a member of several teams, all of which help curtail her Etsy experience in positive ways.  Catch up with RetroBabs: 

RetroBabs Shop

Check her Facebook Page out!

RetroBabs Blog

On Barb's Art and Pottery Blog

On the Vesties Team


RetroBabs (Babs and Bec) said...

Thanks to Cindy at RetroChalet for the great post. We are honored and we love being part of this team!

Rough Magic Creations said...

What a wonderful interview! Thanks so much for giving us a peek inside this wonderful Etsy shop!
:-) Rough Magic Mollie and Prospero Joe


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