Goodbye and Moving On

Sigh. This is a very bittersweet post for me to write. I fee like writing it out makes it all so official. I'm quitting the vintage selling business. I've been selling vintage for five years now, and it is time to call it quits. I kept trying to convince myself that I could just sell kids vintage, but honestly, not having a shop to run in the past month has been incredible for my house, my time with Jacob Leigh, and my marriage. You see, I feel like I've been a little self-centered with this whole Etsy business for a while. Let me explain:

This article hit me deeper than I could ever imagine. I read it and reread it and couldn't believe that it applied to me- a young mom of one baby. I need to be more available to Jacob Leigh. Yes, I'm with him all day, and most of the time I'm physically super close to him, if not carrying him or playing with him. But I really need to be more emotionally and mentally available to him. I can still have a life with friends and outings and hobbies, but there is no task more important than caring for my child. I never want Jacob to feel that he comes second to a hobby. I especially want to be there during such a critical time in his tiny life, devoting my days to him no matter how tiring it may be. I will admit that part of me felt it wouldn't be "cool" to tell other people I'm a mom when they ask what I do. There is a definite snobbery I've encountered from people my age who think that it's silly to be "just" a mom. Well, it turns out that being a mom is hard work! Way harder than I imagined, and much more rewarding than I could have ever dreamed.

Josh has been blessed with a great job that allows me to stay home with Jacob. I've always known that when I had kids, I would want to be a stay at home mom. I want to be with my children as much as possible (because you can't spell "smother" without "mother," right?), to homeschool them, and to be there whenever they need anything. I am so incredibly lucky to have this chance right now, and I don't want to take it for granted. Right now, we don't need the extra income, and sometimes having funds in PayPal felt like having play money, especially when "work" is on a site full of beautiful vintage! Who knows, I may have to really need to work one day, and I don't want to look back and think, "Man, I wish I would have just spent my days with Jacob Leigh." Maybe it would be different if he took regular naps, or knew how to chill out, but he is always on the move, so working on the shop becomes a near-imppossible task, and always ends up in me being frustrated. I feel like I am not fully respecting how hard he works so I can be the mom I want to be, when my actions are saying otherwise. Josh has always been so supportive of me, pushing me to find ways to achieve my goals, so it was extra hard coming to this decision, knowing I had his support either way.

Our house does NOT need any more clutter. We live in a one bedroom house with a teeny office that's about to become our entry way, and my bins and bins and boxes and bins of vintage were taking up literally about 1/5 of the house. Add in printer labels, shipping scales, three dress forms, photo paper, measuring tapes, shipping boxes...it's a nightmare for me. Again, all fine and dandy if I actually had time to move this stock and work on the shop, but it's just been sitting in piles taking up space, begging to get destroyed by a mobile Jacob Leigh.

My mind does NOT need any more clutter. Nor does my day to day. I am at my best when I am well rested, have a clean home, and can cook the majority of our meals from scratch. Josh is super awesome at helping me with the household chores, but I honestly know that I could be doing more throughout the day to keep up with the house. Having items to list, photograph, and package everyday was adding so much stress. I hated that when Josh got home from work, I would have to quickly say hi, then hand off Jacob Leigh so I could work, and barely spend time with him before bed. I am (admittedly) prone to getting super cranky when I'm overwhelmed, so you can imagine this was making me a pain to be around. :)

Selling vintage is HARD WORK. There is a lot a lot of work involved to run a successful shop. Recently Etsy changed up their policies and listing quite a bit, and I honestly don't have the time to try to figure out the best way to make sure my shop gets views. I would rather have no shop and extra time than a shop that isn't carefully curated and photographed, so no shop it is!

I rented a space at House of Vintage here in Portland for a couple of months, and it was really successful! I got rid of a whole lot of inventory, sold a few lots as wholesale, and am shipping a big box of it to Rachel, of MouseVox Vintage, who will be consigning it through her shop. I am trying to get rid of the Tiny Vintage, I have several hundred pieces, and I'd love to sell them off as one or two big lots. Let me know if you're interested! I am going to keep a few special items to sell, like a 1950s Galanos coat and a dress we are certain was worn by Lucille Ball on I Love Lucy - you know, pieces that can actually pay the bills!


  1. Annie! I'm so excited for you! My mom was a full time stay at home mother and she always said she felt looked down upon by mothers who worked or had other things going on. Looking back, I am so incredibly thankful for all the time we had together.You are making an amazing decision for your son :) I hope you're still around Twitter and the blog. I'll miss you otherwise!

    xo, Bruklyn

  2. I think it is so great if you can be a full-time mom. what a blessing. Lawd knows it takes nearly everything we have to wake, feed, clothe, comfort, cuddle, teach, play, etc. And so to be able to do that, and then have enough energy to have a hot dinner for your man when he comes home and all sit as a family....well that's pure gold. i call it "neo-traditionalism" and i am a firm believer. xoxox

  3. way to go mama! you're such a fantastic mom. I'm also really nervous about having a full time job, plus my shop and my new baby soon...eek. Lots to think about. But in the mean time. You know who to contact about those baby clothes ;)

  4. Congratulations! This is a big step and you are very lucky to be able to do it. I hope I'll have the opportunity in the future as well. Right I'm 23, no kids, no husband (not yet) and my shop is fairly new. I love vintage and need a side job that will help me save up to move away. I'm considering Portland! Texas simply is not for me. Again, I think what you are doing is amazing! Can't wait to receive your email about your stock :) take care

  5. Annie, thank you for writing this post! I too am a new mom (my Milly is almost 9 months, eep!) and I work full-time teaching preschool. If I had my druthers I'd be home with Milly but our circumstances at least allow her to be with her Daddy at HIS job during the day. But enough about me, I just wanted to thank you for putting your family and baby first. It is so heartening for me, because I see the opposite all.day.long. I see a lot of families that pass their kids off to teachers, babysitters, whomever before they are ready, not because the parents are working, but because they have other priorities. It makes me so sad. But hearing from people like you gives me hope. Plus, we know that the first six years, especially the first year, are the most critical in terms of development and creating secure attachments to caregivers.

    Good luck on your path and thanks again for sharing your thoughts so honestly! Your son is so cute!

    ...and if it's any consolation, my daughter is never still either. We just say that she's "advanced"... your JL must be the same :)


  6. I can totally relate to this post and the other article you posted, as I recently made the same decision myself.

    Our babies are really similar in age and sounds as though they have the same sleeping patterns (or lack of!) so i can imagine how it is for you too. At the end of the summer myself and a mum friend decided to try and start a business making baby items and cakes to sell online and at markets. It was really exciting at first to have something to do for myself and be creative but as time went on I kept on feeling guilty that I wasn't doing enough on the business when I had to look after my baby. Life kept on getting in the way, like us both being ill and just having a clingy baby who only wanted to be held by me all day long! I would feel this huge amount of pressure from my 'partner' who would always be doing so much on the business. I felt bad for lying in bed with my sick baby and not be sewing.

    Then it all hit home and I decided enough was enough. I couldn't do two things, like start a business and look after my baby. And as soon as I made that decision a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. The only thing that is important to me is my family and being there 100% for my baby, everything else can come later. And I can't sacrifice that time anymore.

    I want to be a stay at home mum for as long as we can afford it, and I don't get this pressure to get back to work. It seems as though nowadays having a baby is seen as a career break, a little side project before you throw yourself back into 'real' work 9 months later. The job of a mother, just being one is no longer enough. It's not real enough and we are supposed to be doing more and more. It's crazy.

    But thanks for writing this post, it's made my decision seem even more like the right one.

  7. You've shared your heart beautifully, Annie-- it's not just the time, but the many directions your thoughts and focus need to be. Vintage will always be there, but Baby Jacob will grow so fast ( I say as 6 ft Gabriel walks by me!) You will look back and be happy you made this decision in the long run, I'm sure! I hope this next season in relaxed and fulfilling for you, he is definitively moving into the busy busy stage! As Josh once said about baby Jessamyn "walking and talking and wrecking things" Love you all so much--maybe we'll see you around Thanksgiving??

  8. This is very bittersweet, but I'm happy to hear that you're at peace with the decision. And I'm sure Jacob Leigh will appreciate all the hard work you do throughout all his years growing up. I commend you on following your heart.

  9. kudos for taking such a big and important step. i too had to face a similar decision. i've always been a single mom and had to work full time but when i had Zoe at 20 i felt the pressure of having "a career" "meeting my goals"..but very early on i realized Zoe was everything and the biggest thought that resonated in my mind was that i did not want to have any regrets when i looked back at her young life. i was grateful i had a 9 to 5 job that paid great and fashion school would always be there if i ever decided to finish.

    So i had my full time job and came home stress free with no work on weekends and enjoyed every moment i had with Zoe and years later it paid off when i think back of all the fun memories we have together..all precious moments that no "career" or "goals" can ever replace.

    So now years later as Zoe is older, I went back to school part time at night eventually finished my degree and am now working on certain goals all with never having to sacrifice much precious time with her. i had amazing people around me in support and Zoe never felt alone or that her mama was not there.

    If i was in your shoes having the choice to be a full time mom, i would so take it. no fashion career can ever make me happier then raising my child full time. those snobby youngsters unfortunately see career as everything which is sad because all that can be gone one day and what do you have left? you are doing the most unselfish act for your child and husband and God will bless you for that...you'll see.

    Just wanted to encourage you as a young mom myself. Zoe and I are so close because i thought of her first!

    wishing you the best!


  10. Good for you, Annie! You are a wonderful Mama, and sometimes we have to kind of get to the end of ourselves so that we can be truly give (and receive) life. I struggle very much with the mental clutter and being fully available to my kids, even though I'm "with" them all day. There are so many distractions! I hope you find much peace, joy, and delight in your precious family and your home. Love you!

  11. i love you. this is such a brave and honorable decision. thanks for sharing.

  12. I am a stay-at-home mom and it is really a great and exciting thing. It is wonderful that you are able to do so, and I'm sorry that selling vintage became so stressful for you. You are a wonderful woman. Too many women seem to look down on people who choose to be with their kids at home, and really it is an admirable thing!!

  13. I could write a book on this subject but will try and keep it short...
    I've been a stay at home mom since my first was born and love it so much. I felt a little pressure from a few moms but most moms would say "you're so lucky" when they found out I didn't have to work. Well, this is my first year with both in school and I still don't work. I know a lot of moms are wondering why but are too shy to ask. Truth is, my husband makes good money and I still feel like the best place for me is at home. I figured while my kids are at school I can do all the things that take me away from them when they are home: laundry, cleaning, shopping, organizing, etc and when they come home from school, I'm all theirs to read to, help with homework, run around to scouts, baseball, dance or other activities. I'm used to it now & know people are wondering but it's our business and I'm not going to work just to make other moms feel comfortable with their decision.

  14. I guess I'm a little behind on your posts, whoops! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and that article. Although I'm not a Christian, I am religious, and this topic really hit home for me. I'm about to become a single mom after being a stay-at-home wife/mom, and I am so glad to have family to fall back on and support me during this tough time. I haven't decided whether I'll pursue a full-time job (and I am thankful that I even have the option of "deciding"), but I do know that my daughter is #1 in my life right now, and I should enjoy and take advantage of every minute with her while she's still young and growing.