Moss Cottage Vintage has just gone through a major change. Due to the sluggish economy these last years, I have felt that my profit margin at the Fredericksburg Antique Mall isn’t were it should be. I am doing well on Etsy, but that is because my overhead is so low.
I like having a space in the mall because I like to “play” at displaying my items. But the space I was in was just too big and too expensive to make it worth my while.
So, out with the old…
And in with the new!
I love my new space! It’s surprising how much stuff I was able to fit in there and my sales have already increased!!! If you come to the Fredericksburg Antique Mall, my booth is the third one on the left on the ground floor, right before you go into the back section. Send me a message if you are coming and I’ll try to meet you there.
Now onto some arts and crafts. Here are two cards I made recently. One for my nieces 16th birthday (she loves anything Tudor) and one for a gentlemen who loves fishing.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Moving the shop was quite a big ordeal and I’m also busy with some household renovation projects. I hope I’ll have a chance to “art” again soon.
It has been 17 years since I opened Mossy Cottage. I decided to specialize in vintage linens and costume jewelry with other items to “fill in”. I have been known as the “linen lady” in Fredericksburg for years. As I watched my sales decline over the last couple years I realized that the younger women today do not care about setting a nice table with linens. Most don’t even know how to cook a meal without using prepared foods or eat out for most of their meals. And although I am a staunch user of vintage linens I decided to make a change at Mossy Cottage.
I had a huge sale on the linens and sold most of them off. Then I refilled the booth with vintage and retro kitchenware, office supplies and industrial items, sewing and crafting items, clothing accessories and flower and garden items. Happily my sales have started to improve and I even get men into my booth now!
Here are a couple pictures of the new and improved Mossy Cottage!
DIY wedding and party items.
Vintage office supplies and industrial items.
Retro kitchenware and kitsch.
Vintage sewing and crafting items.
Vintage purses, gloves and some small linens.
Kitschy planters and garden items.
I’m excited about this change after 17 years and really enjoy my new merchandise (and hunting for it)! But one thing that will not change is my own love of vintage linens!
I have been very busy this year rearranging the shop and giving it a new look. I am doing this partly because I am carrying some different merchandise than before and partly to keep like merchandise together. I think the shop was somewhat “confused” before with retro and Shabby and industrial all mixed together. Now I have grouped similar items for more cohesiveness. I’m really starting to like the way it is coming together and enjoy going to the shop again instead of dreading it! Martin has come in twice to help me with bigger changes that I couldn’t do by myself. What a sweetheart. Anyway, here are some pictures I took today from the shop in Fredericksburg.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures. If you are ever in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area be sure to stop by. Thank you for looking and I’ll leave you with one last picture.
P.S. I did vacuum before I left!
Most people love to shop. I love to shop. I love to shop for anything vintage, shabby, chippy or retro. I can justify buying vintage items because I turn around and sell them in my shop or on Etsy. That is my real job. I also LOVE to shop for craft supplies. I have a little harder time justifying money spent on craft supplies because that is more of a money-making hobby than a job. I can only sell a few crafts in my shop due to merchandise rules. I try to sell crafts on Etsy but the competition is fierce! I do sell crafts at the Vintage Home Market Shows and the Christmas Show and the Fredericksburg Expo Center. But all in all crafting is not how I make a living.
So, that being said, I have decided to cut way back on my craft supply spending and “scrap my stash” instead. I am going to use up as many of the supplies I have on hand as I can. After all, I bought those things because I liked them and intended to make something with them, right?
My second* project I made while “scrapping my stash” is these cute Easter decorations. They will be going to the antique mall. I used up lots of bits and pieces I had on hand including the large puzzle pieces. Sadly they hardly made a dent in my stash!
Here are some close-ups of each piece.
I hope you like these Easter pretties. Look forward to more posts on “scrapping my stash” which I will be writing. In the mean time, take a look around you and see all the wonderful stuff you bought to craft with and get making!
*To see my first “scrapping my stash” project, please see my last blog post titled, “Goodbye Old Friend”.
We’ve all heard the saying, “When one door closes, another opens.” This has been so true for my shop Mossy Cottage.
As business expanded at my William Street location I was able to get a second smaller space upstairs. I called this space Mossy Cottage Too and it had more retro and industrial merchandise. For the last couple years, however, sales upstairs have not been so great, mostly because only about 1/4 of the people who come into the mall actually go upstairs.
To boost sales I started an Etsy shop several years ago but really didn’t put much effort into it. Earlier this year I decided to work harder at my Etsy shop and run it like the real business it is. Well, once I started to put some time and effort into it, my Etsy shop finally took off. I love that I can list items and run the shop
in my pajamas from home.
That being said, I decided to give up my Mossy Cottage Too space upstairs at the mall, and concentrate on my larger downstairs space and my Etsy shop.
Here are some
blurry quick pictures of my new business plan. Please notice that if I had one more item to squeeze into my booth downstairs I literally would have needed a shoe horn!
So there is a quick tour of Mossy Cottage as it is now. I love having the retro mixed with the shabby chic mixed with the industrial. It all can coexist nicely.
I feel a sense of peace having just one booth again. Having an active Etsy shop helps with the sales, but doesn’t require another rent nor schlepping anything upstairs (which gives my knees a sense of peace)! If you would like to visit my Etsy shop here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MossyCottage
Yesterday was a totally fun yet freezing day. My friends Barb and Juliana went flea marketing with me in Richmond. To an outdoor flea market. Did I mention it was freezing? But you know what? When you start digging through boxes of treasures and looking at all the goodies you kind of forget your pain, right? No, but you plug on anyway.
Here is what I got at the flea market and the antique mall we stopped at on the way back.
Just look at all those flea market treasures! I need to break it all down for you so you can wallow in all the vintage goodness.
I got these four chalk boards that were made in Portugal. Who knew the Portuguese are expert chalkboard makers? Not me! And I got the prim little wooden shelf because, well it’s a shelf and who doesn’t need another shelf? The tomato pin cushion is filled with stick pins I can up-cycle for journal and mini-album covers.
There was a really nice lady who was selling all kinds of crafting stuff for 25 cents a package but since I already have enough crafting stuff I just walked away. NOT!!! I did refrain from buying the whole bag for $10.00 though and I thought that was pretty good of me. But I did dig through the bag picking out some things I could use. I stopped picking when I could no longer feel my fingers because they were frozen. Getting my money out of my bag was a comedy of errors and I had to dash after a stack of $5.00 bills the wind took out of my numb hands. For an old lady I can still move pretty quickly, especially when I’m chasing flying money!!!
Well, after I recovered my flying money and my dignity, I noticed a stack of books on the same lady’s table. She said all the books were just 50 cents each. Hello! I got some beautiful books that looked brand new like the Pooh Treasury book and a Beatrice Potter book. I also got a book called Miss Spider’s Tea Party. This book was $1.00 because it is MASSIVE. I have never seen such a big book. Although the book is in great condition I bought it with destruction in mind. I want to take the pages with graphics out and hang them in my laundry room. No kidding, the pictures are poster size. Look!
Now how cute is that? Look at it. Just look at it! I’m sorry, you could not stay in a bad mood after looking at a picture like this unless your heart is made of stone. So the nice lady got more of my money and I walked away with a big smile on my face and an even bigger book. What I was really looking for though were linens and lace. I did end up finding a few linens throughout the day.
My favorite linen buy is the bright 1960’s table runner on the bottom. It will add a lot of color to my Spring shop displays. I didn’t find a single piece of lace at the flea market so I was kind of bummed about that. But when we went to the antique mall I found this!
I know, don’t hyper-ventilate like I did when I saw these. Juliana actually found this box first and she bought two of the paper rolls of trim first. And some of the trims are actually no more than shoe laces but for 75 cents a roll who could resist. I had to ask the vendor twice that they were only 75 cents a whole roll and not by trim type. I heard angels singing when she said it was indeed only 75 cents per paper tubey thingy. After selecting my three tubey thingies I found the two pieces of lace with the little roses on it. They are by far, no doubt about it, hands down my absolute favorite find of the day!!! I LOVE them. When I asked the vendor how much they were she said I could just HAVE them. Juliana and Barb almost had to do CPR on me. I told the lady I could not just “HAVE” them because they are so awesome. I told her I must give her something for the happiness she was providing me. I told her I would give her another 75 cents, the same price as her tubey thingies, for these two precious pieces of eye candy. She laughed at me. Some people just don’t understand people with LOD (lace obsession disorder).
I swore I would not buy anymore Christmas stuff this year because the shop is full of it and I really don’t want to have to store the leftovers until next year. So here is the Christmas stuff I ended up buying. I have no words for this lot. Not one word.
And last but not least, here are the things that really don’t fall into any other category of stuff I bought. Yes, there is a big box of PINK Q-tips. I don’t think I really need to explain why I bought those. I bought a beautiful vintage Austrian crystal brooch from a dealer who obviously doesn’t know the value of good old costume jewelry! I’m just saying. The little Italian lacquer box is a stocking stuffer for my mother-in-law because it is an old souvenir from Austria. Yes, she is Austrian and no, I didn’t spoil the surprise because she doesn’t read my blog. The box of chalk is for my Sunday School room because we write our prayer requests on the board each week. The last piece of chalk we have is so small it’s hard to hold never mind write with!
Now, the plastic fruit (grapes or raspberries?) are in this category because I thought they were your run-of-the-mill plastic fruit lights that had been put in the wrong box (pictured above the lights). But no! I plugged them in to see if they work and my breath was just taken away. You see, not only do they alternately flash on and off, but they play “Jingle Bells” at the speed of sound!!! I was actually confused at all the noise and action when I plugged them in. Could somebody please explain to me what flashing fruit (grapes or raspberries?) have to do with jingle bells. I know I can be dense sometimes but I’m just not making the connection here.
Now you can see from all these great purchases that the
early frozen bird gets the worm! So don’t let the bitter, cold and damp weather deter you from flea marketing because you may miss the opportunity to buy a set of “Jingle Bells” flashing fruit lights of your own!