Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday Etsy Showcase: A Day Late!

Hi, friends!  :-)

How are you doing?  Things have been so crazy over here on my end.  It feels like I just haven't been able to catch up on my life; but it seems to be slowing down.  The last thing I want to do is neglect this blog (and my amazing readers!), so I am back and will be writing the rest of the week, including Saturday.

I didn't make it to the computer yesterday for my Wednesday Etsy Showcase post, so I am here today to tell you about an amazing Etsy seller who just happens to be my cousin, Audra.  Audra's Etsy shop, Knus, focuses on beautiful vintage finds with a cozy feel to them, and she does a fabulous job at finding only the best, sweetest pieces to display in her shop.

I was able to snag an interview with Audra about her shop, and I am so excited to share it with you all today!  :-)

All Things Luxurious:  How did you stumble upon Etsy, and why did you decide to sell your items there?

Audra: I actually heard about Etsy from my now sister-in-law when visiting them in San Francisco back in 2009. I would say that I've always gravitated toward vintage things and all that wonderful vintage stuff at my fingertips was like a revelation. It was a while later that I considered opening an Etsy shop; however, having a vintage shop is something I have always thought I might like to do.

ATL: What was the first item that you found for your shop?

A: The first item I consciously bought was a set of etched crystal glasses with beautiful cameo images of ladies on them. They were probably Edwardian, and too prissy for my taste, but were so unusual I had to buy them, which meant I had to sell them, too. They actually sold within 8 hours of listing them to a woman whose grandmother had had the exact set; she had been searching for them for years! That felt really special.

ATL:  Do you remember your first sale on Etsy?  What was the item?

A: I actually couldn't remember this, but I looked it up: a vintage wool twin-size blanket with a floral pattern in cream and rose.

ATL: Is your job as an Etsy seller full-time?  What is your typical day like?

A: Etsy is a side project for me, sort of more a part of my lifestyle than a job. I work as a fine art appraiser during the day, and I am a very visual person, so I am constantly looking at things and evaluating them out of habit. I think it has led me to really hone my eye for the unusual or special or just plain fun. My Etsy-related day involves checking my account for messages, listing items, perusing the cool things offered by other sellers, and if its sunny, snapping some pictures of my new inventory.

ATL: When looking for your vintage items, is there a certain theme that you try to stick to?

A: At first, the answer to this question would have been 'No.' However, I think my shop has always operated under the idea of 'Cozy' (Knus is a Dutch word that I learned while studying Art History in the Netherlands. It translates as 'cozy' in English, but the Dutch use it like we use 'cool', so to them Cozy is Cool--I really love this concept). Experience has helped me develop a style for my shop that fits with my interests and feeds my cozy hobby/obsession. It all came together rather recently, when I started my new blog, which focuses on 'the cabin as a state of mind.' The things in my shop reflect a cabin lifestyle.

ATL: Where do you find the things that you sell?  Do you shop weekly?

A: I work in the suburbs of Chicago, and most weeks during the long winter months I comb thrift stores! I try to patron ones that support good causes, like the Brown Elephant, which provides LGBT healthcare, the Animal Care League, supporting animal adoption, and Unique Thrift stores which donate to US Veterans, among others.

ATL: What are three business- or personal-related accomplishments that you are most proud of in your life?

A: Having a shop and using my creative eye is something I mentioned I have long wanted to do--I'm really glad that I finally took the plunge! I studied art and art history in college, and I feel like I do a pretty good job of using the skills and engaging my passion for creativity in different ways in my job and in my hobbies and free time. That being said, I think earning my degree in the subject I most wanted to study and persevering to find a job in my field is my biggest and proudest accomplishment. Education, marrying my best friend and traveling the world/embracing adventure are in a three-way tie!

ATL: Do you have a quote that inspires you or just-plain makes you laugh?

A: I can't say I'm much of an inspirational quote person, but I do enjoy a good laugh--for this, anything Oscar Wilde does the trick. I really love this artist-on-artist insult: Andy Warhol on Jasper Johns: “Oh, I think he’s great. He makes such great lunches.” Not sure what it means that my favorite quote is an insult, but its so cool in the original sense of the word.


Audra has been kind enough to offer my readers a 15% off coupon for her shop using the code COZY15 at the checkout.  Make sure to visit her awesome blog to really see the full scale of what she does -- it's pretty amazing.  :-)  I want to thank Audra again for the interview!

love, maria

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