Q: Tell us briefly about yourself – What are your interests and hobbies?
A: I am a wife and stay at home mom of 4 children – 3 girls, 1 boy, 2 cats and a very large lovable golden retriever. I love to read and get lost in a great book. I consider myself a sophisticated potato chip connoisseur. I love to decorate, redecorate and my surroundings. My favorite place to be is at our summer lake home in a small northwest Iowa town. When I am there I spend my days either on the end of the dock or hitting the local flea markets.
Q: Describe your style in three words or less:
A: Vintage eclectic
Q: What inspired you to open Hunt And Found and start selling antique goods on Etsy?
A: The inspiration to open my Etsy store can be summed up by 3 words-desire, desperation, and distraction. I have always had a desire to open my own store however that was happily backseated by the commitment of being a stay at home mom and raising my children first. The desperation was my need to lessen my mounting vintage inventory in my home curated by my endless thrifting and flea marketing. Yes my children have thrown down the hoarder word a time or two. And lastly, my need for distraction. My mom and lifetime best friend, whom I called a million times a day and shopped with endlessly, had just passed away from a brain tumor. I was facing an enormous void in my life and I knew a distraction of some sort was needed. So one night when I was window shopping on Etsy the lightbulb went on…an Etsy store was a perfect fit for me. I had my shop, it was an online shop but perfect for the stay at home mom and everything could be worked around my kids schedule. My vintage shopping was now considering “going to market” for my Etsy store. And was it a distraction. YEP, I was a one man show…sales started and I have been crazy busy ever since! I even dedicated a shop section to my mom called Josephine’s closet.
Q: Most of the items that you sell in your Etsy shop have an industrial feel to them. Are you drawn to these types of antiques? If so, why?
A: I do find myself drawn to vintage industrial but I honestly can’t tell you exactly why I am. Perhaps it is the metal of industrial pieces, I find metal a great texture to add to a home. Maybe it is the color of the vintage metal-it is usually very simple and drab but has a calming feel when incorporated in a home. I could even speculate that the clean lines that most industrial pieces possess attract me, I do favor modern edge when decorating. I also think when decorating your surroundings and putting something in your home that does not typically belong in a home-like a great industrial piece that was maybe once used in a factory-makes a great statement piece and makes everyone go “WOW where did you get that-I love it!!”
Q: Where do you go for antique inspiration? Are there particular blogs that you like to read or magazines?
A: I find the most inspirational places for vintage would have to be the flea markets in Okoboji, Iowa where our lake home is located. Many of the vendors have been selling their whole life and are really good at what they do. They come from different states so you get a good mix of vintage from different regions. My favorite magazine to read is Country Living and my fav blog would have to be Apartment Therapy. They both do a great job of featuring the vintage lifestyle of today.
Q: I’m always fascinated by what kind of antiques you can find in a certain region of the country, like the abundance of early American primitives that you can find in Pennsylvania. What kind of antiques are plentiful or popular in the mid-west?
A: The Midwest vintage finds are plentiful in what I consider “vintage farm fresh.” You get a variety of what a farmer would use to make his living off of the land which might include colorful egg gathering baskets, chicken feeders, turkey feeders, farm harvest tables, 3 legged milking stools, wagon wheels, milk cans, the discs of old plows, galvanized buckets and old horse collars.
Q: Do you have a flea market or a special place that you like to visit for your finds?
A: One of my fav places to shop vintage that tops my list for vintage finds-hands down is Junk Bonanza in Shakopee, MN. This is the mecca of vintage and the early bird ticket is a must and a very very very large vehicle for getting your vintage finds home is mandatory.
Q: What is the most unique antique item that you’ve had on your Etsy store (Hunt And Found)?
A: My most unique vintage find has not made it to my Etsy store yet. One day while on the hunt, the sweet man that I was dealing with must have known by my persistent inquiries of what he had that I was looking for something different that day. He disappeared to his back room and reappeared with these very carefully wrapped items. When he unwrapped them I knew I had to have them! So simple but just so very unique. He had three glass corked bottles of vintage mineral samples from the University of Nebraska science department. They were from the 1950’s and the shape of the bottles were very scientific looking, the vintage labels were vintage amazing -everything about them was perfect!
Q: Is there any special treasure that you are looking for – for your own home?
A: The special treasure for my own home seems to be an on going hunt and one I consider a benefit of my job : ) It is an ever changing treasure item but I think one item that has been on my list from very early is a vintage drafting table. I have found several but they just have not had everything I am looking for in one. I know the one I want is out there and one day when I am NOT looking for it is when I will find it!!
Special thanks to Julie for the interview and be sure to check out her Etsy shop, Hunt and Found!
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