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!