Today we talk with Anna at BootyVintage …
How long have you been in business?
I started selling vintage sewing patterns, vintage clothing, and doing custom costuming in the 90's. I think I sold my first item on ebay (a silk turn of the century day dress) in 1997. I used a 60 Mb pink plastic Barbie digital camera to take the photos and a dial up modem connection to upload. Thankfully my equipment is a little more sophisticated now.
What motivated you to go into the vintage business?
There are only so many clothes I can wear at one time, and I wanted to share what I found but didn't fit. I'm less interested in collecting than in creating and wearing.
What did you do before this?
In addition to my vintage business, I have always had a day job in software engineering in the Silicon Valley. I also play French horn in a community orchestra.
Where are you based?
I live on the San Francisco Peninsula in California.
What's the weirdest/best/craziest/most beautiful thing you've ever found?
Several years ago I found 10 pair of Levi's big E jeans (super collectible, especially in Japan) at a $1.00/bag Rotary rummage sale. I felt like I was on Antiques Road Show! Another great find was a complete set of 1930's Shirley Temple doll clothes patterns I discovered hidden inside a manila envelope for another doll pattern. Once I found a real Hermés scarf at an Idaho thrift shop for $5.99. And then there are the other six thousand hours of digging through estate sales and flea markets to find nothing. C'est la vie!
What do you have in stock that you can't believe hasn't sold?
I think this pattern rocks, including the artwork, but it hasn't found its destined owner yet.
What do you dream about finding?
Someday there will be a big bold Lanvin necklace just waiting for me in a junk jewelry pile….
What do you enjoy most about working with vintage patterns?
I am crazy about the artwork on the envelopes. (I even like the way the early envelopes feel!) I love scanning and making thumbnails for Etsy. And of course I love sewing up items too. I just finished a 50's floor length summer bathrobe with a full skirt and fitted bodice. I feel so glamorous now that I am out of my shapeless winter fleece.
What do you wish someone would ask you about your site?
I'm always interested to know what people are hungry for. Is it wrap skirts or more shirtdresses, or … ?
It's a good day at work when …
I get off early from my day job and have time to sew before dinner.
The blogs I read (other than ADAD) are …
You'd laugh if you knew this about me …
I have never gotten a zipper in correctly on the first try in my life. Not once.
Oh, and in other news, it was frequent-commenter Eirlys's birthday yesterday, and her husband gave her a PRESERVING PAN. Which is all well and good (and I would, in fact, like to own one myself, not that I do any canning or preserving, it just seems like a fun thing to have in reserve against the coming apocalypse) but it's not very birthdayish. So in order to cheer her up a bit (and if you're on Facebook) I highly recommend joining The International Sewing Conspiracy.