Two and a half years ago, I became an antiques dealer. I didn't really mean to, I guess, it just sort of happened. I was following lots of blogs, and realized I loved the ones with vintage style to them. The bloggers were talking about going to flea markets and collecting something called ironstone and using words like "chippy" and I sort of fell in love with all of it. I noticed most of the bloggers I loved had an etsy shop where they sold vintage finds. That was so cool, I thought. And I thought I could do it too. So I started going to antique malls and flea markets and estate sales - things I'd not really done before. I started learning the difference between ironstone and china, what items had the best patina, and how to spot an awesome score in a sea of total crap. It was a blast! I loved every minute!
After starting my etsy shop, I had a little garage sale. That's where I saw a girl named Abbe who I knew painted furniture and liked old stuff like me. I took a chance and sent her a facebook message to see if she ever needed some pretty old things like I sold. We talked. She told me she wanted to start a store. A real brick and mortar store. At that moment my dreams came true!
In March of 2012 The Cottage Collective opened its doors. It was amazing. People lined up outside just to buy the old stuff I loved so much. And for two years now, I've spent countless hours buying and selling, hunting and gathering, roadtripping, scavenging and pricing. It is so wonderful. And...it is so much work. The good kind, the fun kind, but still a lot of work.
I've also noticed something over these two years. Everyone else started to think vintage was pretty cool too. I used to find all sorts of great things at cheap prices, then resell them for a good price. But I've noticed it's becoming harder and harder to find "good vintage" at a price I can turn. I think everyone else is after it too!
So I've had to rethink some things. I still love vintage. I still love buying and selling. But maybe the little shop I loved so much wasn't the right place for me anymore. It's been such a magical experience the last two years, but it might be time for a change. So, this month will be my last month at The Cottage. I'm so sad to see that chapter close, but also so excited to see what the future holds. I'm not entirely sure what that will look like just yet, but I do have some dreams. I think I'd like to continue selling, but at my own pace and in my own way. That might include re-opening my etsy shop. And I'm also doing some dreaming about a once-a-year tag sale right in my very own backyard. We shall see. I'm not entirely sure what's next, but I know it will be a wonderful journey. Because the thing about being an antiques dealer is...it's kinda become a part of who I am. So no matter the form it takes, I'm just glad to be a part of this unique unique niche that is vintage and antiques!
I'll be sure to keep you posted on what's next! Thanks for following this little journey!