Here’s a quickie post because I am busy with The Vintage Home Market this weekend. I just wanted to show you how great the booth turned out. A great big thank you goes out to my sweet hubby Martin for helping me get it all there and arranged. So just sit back and enjoy the photos.
If you are in the Central Virginia area, please come to the show and see us. The show information is at the bottom of this post. There are lots of dealers with really cute vintage items to see and buy!
I really hope I get to see some of my dear readers at the Market!
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!
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!
People love to attend flea markets, antiques shows, craft shows, art shows, etc.. But what many people miss as attendees of these shows only, is the glamour of what goes on behind the scenes. I am posting this quickie little blog to show you the glamorous day I had today setting up for this weekends Fredericksburg Big Flea. Before anything can be set up, it must be schlepped into the hall.
Here is Martin working so hard bringing me my goodies. Thank you sweetie!
Oooh, that looks like a lot of stuff!
First the “bones” need to be put in place.
As you can see though, it is pretty “rough” behind the scenes. Oh and did I mention cold? You cannot see from these pictures, however, all the huge loading doors on both sides of the hall were wide open, so we basically worked for 4 hours today in the freezing cold.