Good morning, everyone! I am very happy today to introduce you to Kim of PineappleMint! Jason and I got to meet Kim at this awesome Vintage Bazaar event here in Chicago a few weeks ago. I've been eyeing her shop for a while now and when I saw she was going to be in town, I knew I had to meet the lady behind this outstanding shop. Her shop photos are amazing and her listings are immaculately laid out--her items always grab my attention. I'm so excited that we get to feature her today. She has some great insight for fellow shop owners and I love hearing about all the details that go into making her shop a well-run operation. Enjoy! --Mitsu
1. Tell us about yourself!
Hi everyone! I’m Kim. I’m 30 years old and I currently live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, however I will be relocating (back) to Chicago next spring. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, but I’m a bit peripatetic and I’ve lived on both the east and west coasts, as well as in the middle. I try to stock my shop with wearable vintage pieces that can fit well into a modern wardrobe. I’m kind of a sucker for sweaters, bright colors, and fun prints.
2. How did you get started selling vintage?
I’ve been selling vintage here and there ever since I can remember. I started collecting it when I was a young teenager, so I’ve been buying and selling since then. I started my Etsy shop in 2009, as an experiment in cleaning out my closet, really! It proved to be fun and profitable, so I’ve been glued to Etsy ever since.
3. What inspires you?
Well, I really love vivid colors and fun prints, especially geometrics. I love the recent trend of fun tribal and Aztec inspired prints.
4. What are some key things you've learned since starting your Etsy shop that might be helpful to new Etsy sellers?
The one really important thing is to always be improving your photos! Having clear, well-lit photos is key to buyers understanding your product, even more so than having concise descriptions. Another thing I have learned, and am constantly re-learning, is not to get too discouraged during the slow times. There are definitely busy and not busy times of the year, if you spend the down time getting ready for the hectic time you’ll be thanking yourself later.
5. Do you sell your items in other venues besides Etsy (fairs, other websites, in stores)? If so, where?
Mostly I sell on Etsy, however I am starting to dip my toes into doing fairs as well. I did the recent Vintage Bazaar in Chicago (where I met the Etsy on Sale folks!) and plan to do the next one coming up in September in Logan Square (Chicago).
6. Describe your ideal creative work environment.
I have a room I use for taking photos, which I fight an endless battle to keep from becoming crazy cluttered. I like to do the more mindless things like editing photos and making listings while listening to music or watching television. I have a proper desk and working space, where I do more of my computing type tasks. And of course with vintage, there are always plenty of things needing repairs, which I like to do at night while I’m watching movies.
7. Define your style/aesthetic.
My personal style is kind of all over the place. I try to keep my dressing style as well as the style of my home quite simple. I don’t care for piling on the accessories or knick-knacks, probably in part because running a vintage shop involves bringing home a constant stream of items. If I let things get a little crazy, it gets really crazy really quickly! So, I try not to clutter up my house or my closet. I do tend to gravitate toward color, especially in the summer months. Lately I’ve been really into stripes and big pops of yellow, my favorite color.
8. Any shop goals for this year?
Of course I am always trying to improve my photos, so that goal is always present. I think there are a lot of newbie vintage collectors on Etsy, so I am also always working to improve my listings for those who might not be super experienced with vintage buying. My biggest goal for this year is one that will never be seen in the shop, as it is a behind the scenes goal. I am really striving to reach a point where my inventory is all neatly sorted and organized. I’m getting there, but it is a slow process since I have TONS of stuff!
9. What are some of your favorite items on Etsy right now?
I really love these fun breadboards by snugstudio – I think they’d make great wedding gifts.
I also love the leather necklaces being sold by underanewlight – so pretty!
10. Anything else you'd like to tell us?
Well, I definitely would recommend Etsy On Sale to any shop owners looking to have a sale! While the coupon codes Etsy recently rolled out are great, I think sometimes buyers miss them and don’t realize you’re offering a discount. When the price is marked down for them, they can’t miss it.
Thanks so much, Kim! PineappleMint is also having a 25% off sale right now through Friday! Be sure to check out her amazing vintage shop. I'm personally in awe of her dresses section and her adorable shoe collection!