The Study

Hi Friends! How is everyone holding up? Do you want to re-decorate your entire house that you’ve been staring at for six straight months like I do?

I wanted to show you the reveal of the study. If you recall we started it back in March when Momma needed a project. Brent build all the bookshelves with the kids and they came out beautifully!

The paint color is Benjamine Moore Dark Harbor and yes, it is a bit more expensive but worth it for the rich, dark color. I used high sheen and also painted the trim and crown molding.

I also wanted interesting knobs for the lower cabinets and found some on Etsy from a selling in Indonesia. I was thrilled with them! Brassy and old looking. I also found those cool wood chairs from Etsy.

I found a fancy crystal chandelier at Overstock and decorated with some vintage looking pillows. The table that I’m using as a desk was from a great site I just found called Scout and Nimble. Definitely worth a look.

My desk lamps are from One King’s Lane. Love the black shade.

Some of the paintings on the wall are mine and others are pieces that I’ve found throughout the years. I put them all in gilt frames, but that’s the only piece that matches. The mandolin is from my grandfather’s collection and when Brent is on a Zoom call he gets lots of questions about the mandolin and the “museum room.”

We have loved the coziness of this space. It not like the other rooms in our house and feels special.

Fiona, Birdie and Greta are big fans.

Vintage Chess Set

I decided it was time to teach my kids chess. And of course I needed to teach them on a cool, vintage chess board. Etsy is the perfect place to shop for things like this.

There are so many beautiful, old chess sets on Etsy! What I found fascinating was that most of them were sold from sellers in Russia or Eastern Europe. Who can explain this to me? I know nothing about the origin of chess. My beauty was shipped from a seller in Sofia, Bulgaria.

I love the board with letters and markings. I wanted a set that was pretty enough that I could leave out all the time. The set is sitting on this really cool shabby table that I found at this year’s Luckett’s Spring Market. It needed a little work to make stable, but the chippy quality makes me so happy. I also found four little stools from Olde Thyme Marketplace to perfectly go with the table.

I have been stunned by the fact that Reid continues to beat me every time and he’s never played before. Must practice.

 

…building a creative business: etsy

Trying to sell off Etsy? Selling furniture, vintage stuff, handmade crafts, jewelry? It can be tricky. I love the platform for artists selling their wares and it’s a beautiful place to browse, but….

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As a furniture-seller I have run into issues when it comes to selling on Etsy. It is a platform for people to browse and want to buy furniture, but before that happens I need to find shipping. I say this in the description of my pieces, but customers do not always read this important clause and it becomes a sticky matter.

In the shipping field I typically type zero dollars. This is not because shipping is free, it is because I am not a company that ships furniture. I am a person with a small business and I use USHIP, which is a bid-driven shipment site. The way it works is that I list a shipment with delivery address, pick up, size of piece and schedule and shippers going that way can bid on the job. These “shippers” can be professionals or people with trucks looking to earn some money. There is a rating system, insurance options and you can track these drivers. It has actually worked really well for me for the past six years.

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(Yes, it is the same site used on the show Shipping Wars.)

What are the Etsy issues I run into?

1. Shipping from East Coast to West Coast is almost triple the cost of the piece. I’m talking minimum bids of $900!!!

2. Shipping bids can be too costly for customers. Some customers do not realize that shipping from an independant seller is not like shipping from Pottery Barn. It is costly. A good price going from state to state is minimum of $200ish. I get excited when I get a bid around this price because it is reasonable. However, there are times that I have to convince the buyer that this is the best we can get. Not fun.

2. Customers purchasing piece BEFORE we figure out shipping. I then have to convo them, let me them know that I can’t sell what I can’t get to them, issue a refund. Everyone is disappointed.

3. Customers sad & disappointed and rate my shop poorly due to shipping issues.

Because of all this, I list very little on Etsy. Don’t get me wrong, I have been very successful selling on Etsy, but it takes patience and work to maintain. I think what buyers and sellers need to remember is that it is not a perfect system. You are not all of a sudden working for Restoration Hardware and have their platform. It is still your small business trying to make a complete sale.

If you can put in the effort and don’t mind interacting with people that are not used to this system then it can be a great resource. Just make sure you are aware that it is not always smooth sailing.

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