Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Positive Profiling

Hi there, another month come and gone and I’m that much closer to January!  This past weekend was a good productive creative one.  My weekly stop at the second hand shop turned up some good treasures, I found some old linen clothes in beautiful colors, a 1961 Early American Pyrex bowl in mint condition and…



Drum roll please…
  








"allure" photo from
copperlamp.com

"poppy" photo from
copperlamp.com
  Two beautiful spoons!  Now, before you roll your eyes, these aren’t just any ‘ole spoons.  They both caught my eye in the silverware bucket because amidst all the shiny stainless steel they were a dark orange-brown color.  I snatched them up, paid $1 total for them and took them home to clean them up and find out who they were.  Turns out that the first one I found is a Teaspoon from the Rogers Co 1959 “allure” pattern.  The second is a R&B (the lower line for Reed & Barton) berry spoon in the 1914 “poppy” pattern.  They have both cleaned up BEAUTIFULLY, I was afraid at first that the silver had rubbed off them (they’re plated) and was looking into having them re-plated but after some TLC they are still silver and just lovely.

My family suffers from some sort of disease which makes us seek out vintage goodies with the intent of selling them but after finding our treasures we find ourselves physically paralyzed when it comes time to sell them.  I’m fighting it with all the technology modern medicine has to offer.  I’m keeping the bowl, but I’ll sell the spoons.  I had to reason with myself that if I sold the bowl I couldn’t sell it for much more than $10 but I would pay more for that for it.  Plus if I sold it I run the risk of having it break in the post.  The technology was no match for that particular rational that the disease supplied.  With some very potent medicine I was however able to purge a boring bowl out of my cupboard so that my disease didn’t develop into full blown hoarding.  The spoons however, can’t serve any immediate purpose like the bowl (besides looking very pretty amid all my clutter) so my plan is to sell them and keep looking for others to sell and maybe someday I can afford an entire set.  Preferably in that 1914 poppy pattern.  Thanks medical technology.
Any who, the topic I’m looking at today is writing a good profile.  I want to be one of those etsians who has such an engaging profile that you feel like you know them and you want them to come over for Sunday dinner with the folks.  Luckily the Handbook has an article for that.


The article is “Getting To Know You: Tips and Tricks for Writing an Engaging Profile”, written by Stacey Brook. I consider myself a fairly good writer but I am concerned about the exact thing that she talks about in the opening paragraph, getting tied up because the subject is me.  I want to present myself in a positive light but I am concerned (probably rightfully so) that I’m just going to sound fake, or obnoxious or like a complete nutter. Ms. Brook also states what I had already suspected. That a good profile is critical for being successful on Etsy.

While it is just plain lovely (I suppose) that shoppers can browse while sitting at home in their skivvies on the settee they completely miss out on the sensory experience of a brick and mortar establishment. You have to supply what you can of that with your shop appearance, item descriptions, and profile. It also helps to give your products some personality and history. If I’m looking at three bowls online, one was mass produced, one was handmade but I’m not really sure what the artist was like, and one was lovingly hand carved by an artist living in the Ozarks who loves iguanas and velvet I’m much more likely to go with the hand carved. They’re just more appealing when carved in the Ozarks surrounded by iguanas.

So, based on some guided questions here is who I am:

I’ve been creating little things my whole life but never thought of myself as an artist until high school when I began taking art classes. I happily let Art dominate my schedule through high school and into college. I have a B.S. in Public History which is fun but pretty much useless until I add a M.S. and Ph.D. to the collection. All of my free time (an endangered species lately) is either spent outside with my family or surrounded by piles of “stuff” engaged in some sort of creative process.
"Even for a seasoned wordsmith, writing about yourself can be an intimidating prospect. As with any self-portrait, it’s tough to capture yourself at the perfect angle and incorporate all of your best attributes in the frame.”


Capitol Reef National Park is just a short drive
away from my family home



I am a born and bred Utah girl, except for a few years as a child I have always lived in Utah and I love it. The nature that surroundsme is inspiring and I also have the incredible opportunity to be near my ancestral home in central Utah. It really was my ancestry that inspired my shop. My forebearers were a fun
bunch who did what they wanted and did it passionately. My G-G-Grandpa’s family was once criticized by a neighbor for having too much fun in life. I want to create, so true to the family legacy, I’m going to create. I’m going to seek out vintage treasures and only sell half of them, because that also runs in the family. The original Worthen's Mercentile was my Grandpa's store and it is in his honor that I call my Etsy shop by the same moniker.

Ilove to recycle old linen and cotton clothing into quilts. My quilts are simple, I use lots of solid colors and simple quilt patterns. I truly believe that they will be a favorite item in the recipients' home through the decades. The cotton and linen I use is gently worn so itis already soft but it is still durable with plenty of life still in it. I love picking out raw material and then carefully transforming it. For example sometimes I’ll find a shirt made out of the softest linen of the prettiest shade but it has a hole or stain which makes it very difficult/impossible to rehabilitate it for wear. I love taking the material that is still good and giving it a new life as a quilt. Every time my grandmother gave someone a quilt she would tell them “now you can be wrapped in my love any time you want, even when you are across the globe.” To me quilts symbolize love.

I love selling vintage for the joy of transformation as well, it is such an exciting feeling to spot that beaten and bruised item, take it home and clean it up so it can stand proud again. Sometimes it is hard to part with those items because I’m just so happy that I could keep them out of a landfill that it is hard to let them go. But, when I have no use or room for them it is very fulfilling to know that someone who loves it is getting it.

So, there it is. My profile. I know it is long… but hey it gives them a good glimpse into the inner workings of my grey matter. Right? If it is too long I welcome comments…

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