Etsy Vintage vs. Pottery Barn Vintage

Things that make you go Hmmmm...
At this point, I think we are all aware that vintage and handmade are kind of a trend these days, but imagine my surprise as I was recently thumbing through one of the seventeen Pottery Barn catalogues that get delivered to my house every week, and saw not just the usual vintage "look" decor, but actual vintage pieces. WHAAAAT?!?!
Wow, I never thought I would be competing with Pottery Barn for vintage sales.
This week's Unique Picks from great etsy sellers takes a slightly different twist so I can get this off my chest...

Screen shot of Pottery Barn's Main Page.

Now I admit to having my share of Pottery Barn pieces in my home, mainly due to the fact that the Hubby and I registered there when we got married. Let's just say I was young and wanted that vintage look, but wasn't really privy to finding the vintage pieces I craved. It's been almost ten years since I registered for my wedding, I am now a little older, a little wiser and a bit thriftier. I realized that it was way more exciting to discover actual vintage pieces that were unique instead of buying "vintage looking" items that were a bit over priced and mass produced. I do understand the convenience factor of buying new "vintage look" items when folks are pressed for time and they aren't really concerned about having a unique piece, not to mention some folks are kind of creeped out about buying used pieces (fair enough).

Screen shot from Pottery Barn's "Vintage Finds" listings.

Pottery Barn selling vintage pieces online is a bit weird to me. No offense, but this is the kind of stuff they are going to buy to knock off anyway...
Sure they are bringing the idea of buying actual "vintage" to a much larger and mainstream customer base that already wants a vintage look. I know that a lot of people would love to buy vintage but don't always have the time to spend hours scouring flea markets, garage sales, or even go to antique shops, but that is where websites like Etsy, Ruby Lane, Go Antiques, Ebay and many, many more...have made buying vintage a little more convenient for many people with busy lifestyles. With all of these smaller internet retailers selling a plethora of vintage online with better selections, and often at better prices, why would someone decide to buy from Pottery Barn? Brand recognition? Cheaper shipping (maybe because they ship loads from their warehouses everyday and I am sure have a bulk shipping rate)? Folks may also be a bit leery about buying vintage pieces online because they can't inspect the item in person, but the fact is, with these vintage pieces that are sold (online only) from Pottery Barn, what you are actually getting is a bit of a crap shoot...

"Found Enamel Jug" listing from Pottery Barn.

In the item description it says...
"We purchased these vintage pieces from a collector who gathered them from small villages in Central Europe.

Milk Jugs range in size from 1 to 3 quarts.
Buckets range from 9" to 11" high
Water Jugs range from 9" to 11" high
Originally used by farmers for storing and serving milk, water and food products.
Each piece showcases slight imperfections that capture true vintage character.
Approximately 40 to 90 years old, they range in size, shape and color.
Red, Blue or White; let us choose for you."

Say Whaaat??? Did it say "let us choose for you" and what you get will range in size, shape and color?? Woah there...If I were to list a vintage item in my etsy shop and say something like that...well I don't think that would fly.

Are Pottery Barn Customers really buying their "vintage" sight unseen?
Listing for three vintage enamelware mugs from The Unique Bird on etsy. What you see is what you get, and the listing is pretty specific to the size and condition of the piece.

Sure they are taking part in the vintage and antique buying process, buying from a "collector", that's what all of us vintage sellers do (it's not like I have an endless supply of vintage goodness buried in my back yard).

I just wanted to share a few of the kind of vintage items they are now selling online at Pottery Barn "Big bucks grab bag vintage," and their etsy competition...

"Found Soda Bottle" from Pottery Barn.

 Antique soda bottle "found" in Strange Vagaries etsy shop. Less expensive than the PB option, plus you know what you are getting. 

"Found Soda Crate" from Pottery Barn. You should read the customer reviews on this item...not everyone is happy with the "you get, what you get" way of selling special vintage pieces.

Vintage Pepsi crate Found in Rhapsody Attic's etsy shop. 

Vintage Royal Crown soda crate from bluebell's etsy shop.

"Found Wooden Skis" from Pottery Barn.

Vintage wood skis found in McLovebuddy's etsy shop.
Assorted mid century "Found Cameras" from Pottery Barn. Don't worry they will choose one that's right for you!

Beautiful 1960's camera found in Corr Nucopia's etsy shop.

I love that more people are falling in love with vintage, but I think it's kind of sad the way Pottery Barn is taking such an aloof approach to selling their vintage.
Please, Support Small Business! Please support the vintage sellers that take the time to list each individual item, photograph, describe with care, and even do a bit of research on the history of these pieces, so you, the buyer, knows how special these pieces truly are.
Spread the good etsy word!!

Thursday's Unique Picks - Bite Me

Ladies and gentlemen: the story that you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Fantastic "Wanted" hand carved wood painting from Morning Star Design on etsy. In the case of the "tail" about to be told this Wanted Picture should also include biting.

This week's Unique Picks from great etsy sellers (who's names remain the same because these finds are so awesome you will want to be able to track them down on etsy) have been chosen to help the victim relay her "tail" that we call "Bite Me".

 I love this and it fits the crime, "Bite Me" paper banner from 5280bliss on etsy.

The following takes place
 Time: Monday, October 18, 2010 1:00pm
Place: Neighborhood Park somewhere in the capital city of Ohio

Terrific 1957 Dragnet book from MargesMemories etsy shop. The case you are about to be told is not included in this book.

and these are Just the facts ma'am.
A thirty something, young lady, we'll call her Sara H., enters the park for her daily walk.
Old lady walks towards the park entrance and Sara H. with three dogs. One dog is on a leash. The other two dogs are just roaming around free and easy. The two unleashed dogs spot the girl and rush towards her...barking like mad.

Scaredy Cat, super handmade illustrated magnet from Deli's Dainty Designs on etsy.

What's a girly to do? I mean, what's Sara H. to do?
Freeze in fear.

Superb printed proverb from yaelfran's etsy shop.

In this case the bark may have been annoying but the bite was definitely worse.

Evidence photo.

After one of the non leashed dogs bit Sara H.'s leg, she calmly confronted Old Lady, "Ma'am your dog just bit me".

1920's photo from Carmen & Ginger on etsy. In this great vintage photo, there appears to be a nice lady and her dog (wonder if that one bites?).

Old Lady responds, "Which one was it? I'll give it a spanking when I get home!"
Sara H. reports that as she was inspecting her leg to ensure there wasn't a chunk missing, Old Lady scooped up the three dogs, hopped into a white mini van near the park entrance and fled the scene.
Can you describe the puncturing pooch?

Tyler the Terrier, Cute as a button but actually a pocket mirror from BeeDazzlesGifts' etsy shop.

Yep that's what it looked like. Don't laugh, it may have been small but the teeth were still sharp. In this investigation we will call the dog ,"Tyler the Terror".

At least Sara H. didn't cross paths with Rex. He goes for the throat.
This fab handmade pup can be found in Gravel Alley Primitives etsy shop. While Rex may be up to no good, he was not at the scene of the crime.

Now Sara H., this must have been a trying ordeal, but did you in anyway provoke?

Jumping Jack-in-the-box! This1932 book illustration from snippets of time's etsy shop is sweet.

No Way! It's not like I entered the park A La Gaga wearing a meat dress...
Custom cool and clever handmade cuts of meat dress from Im Your Present's etsy shop. Go gaga with out having to go to the butcher.

Honest, there was no meat dress or any sudden movements before the attack.
Don't go barking up the wrong tree.
This is an adorable handmade merit badge from Lee Meszaros on etsy if for "barking up the wrong tree". Don't we all have someone in our life that deserves this?

Like McGruff says, "Take a bite out of crime"...and not people's legs cause that hurts.

Only you can prevent your dogs from going barking mad...
(truthfully, I have know some kids with a mighty powerful bite this service announcement may also be applied as needed).

Fantastic print designed as a Public Service announcement from life{with tigers} on etsy.

See Old Lady, here is a really great leash I found on etsy...
It's more like a fantastic doggie accessory than an actual leash...

Pumpkin Patch Plaid handmade leash from Jennie B. Goode Collars' etsy shop.

It is just like they say, Once bitten, twice shy.
(Especially when you have to go buy your turtle food at the pet store the next day, and there are dogs in every aisle).

This rad framed original graphic sign can be found in house of navarone 's etsy shop.

 I am pretty sure Terry the Terror had four legs but in the heat of the moment you just never know. Even if the dog did have three legs, clearly its teeth were in perfect working order.
Even though Old Lady and Terry the Terror may have been in cahoots there isn't enough evidence to convict, sorry Sara H. Case dismissed.

Thursday's Unique Picks - Thursday Night Special

Typically I tend to choose my weekly themes and topics based on adventures in garage sale girly world or at least some sort of random thought that pops into my head throughout the week, i.e. "Where do squirrels go at night?"
Doesn't get any better than this. Vintage souvenir Toledo postcard folder from INKPAINTER on etsy.
This week is no exception, I am going to take you on an adventure to a far away magical land called, Toledo.
Where you can go to a show, Buy a beer for $1.50 at a bar, have drinks after the show with the band's saxophonist, get told you look twenty-four by a twenty four year old boy, and have pizza delivered to your hotel room till four in the morning (Not that all of that happened. It may be unprofessional to talk about such things).
 Blogger about all things etsy, with a "The more you know" spin by Thurs-"days", and by night...

Kitschy, wacky, cool embroidered vintage dish towel from Flea Market Treasures etsy shop. Are they Skanking? More on that later...

Last Thursday night was not my typical Project Runway Thursday.
(Really? What did you think I was going to say I usually did?)
When was the last time I had a big night out on the town, on a Thursday? Let's say college.

Vintage movie theater sign from Worldwide Jickie on etsy.

I was asked by my little sis, to accompany her to Toledo to go to see one of her all time favorite bands,

For the slacker in your life...awesome original photograph from From the Rooftops etsy shop.

Not a slacker like someone who hasn't installed base boards in their home for over two years...(just saying to no one in particular)  but,
The Slackers.
Join me as I discover that ska's the limit with this week's Unique picks from awesome etsy sellers as they help me to illustrate my Thursday night special adventure.

An American band with a musical vision to create "Jamaican Rock N Roll" -Vic Ruggiero Lead Vocals, Organ. 

I will never be charged with "discovering" a new band or being on the cusp of a new trend in music. Sister keeps me on track though. She has been a loyal fan of The Slackers since she was in high school.

The venue: Frankie's Inner-City in Toledo, Ohio.

My introduction to The Slackers live and a lesson in ska, all in one night.

"Ska'd for life", ska inspired necklace from Pokey Dot's Designs on etsy.

Ska was derived from a mixture of Jamaican music, combined with American jazz and R&B, and became popular in the early 1960s.- Ska Music 101.

 Music snob I am not and don't pretend to be one. Regular geek yes, but was allowed attend a show with the cool kids.

Awesome, honest buttons from Beanforest's etsy shop.
Helpful tips that I, a virgin Slacker show goer, picked up throughout the night.
Great original photo,"wallflowers" by matchstickgirl on etsy.

Don't expect to be a wallflowers while at a Slackers show. Everyone dances,
or should I say "skanks". I don't mean slutty either. It is the type of dancing that is associated with the ska sound. I'm not sure if I really had any of the right moves but I just kept going trying to keep up with the crowd and my sister.

Even the young ones can skank. Printed Toddler Tee from YoungPunks etsy shop.

Tips on skanking can be found in this article from MADispencer. Please stop rolling your eyes, I never claimed to be cool, I just try to stay informed and not look like a complete fool all of the time.

Sister was in rare form. I don't think I have ever seen her so excited or get down quite as much as she did that night.

Wear your dancing shoes.
It's the little things that I love, like these mini vintage wingtips from Scarlet Circus' etsy shop.

but this pick might be more suitable for actual wear...but keep in mind they may see a few spilled beverages.

Beautiful vintage velveteen flats from Captain Cat's etsy shop.

What clothes to wear? Hint: don't stress about it. Keep it loose.
Adorable top coincidentally called "Easy Skanking" from CRYSTAL by Olinda Mayor.

If you want to look like the band, this little guy about sums up the uniform...

He knows what's up...a fedora. Vintage porcelain figurine from lancetx on etsy.

Just a ssuggestion...
Bring cash.
 "Cash Money" print from Orange Beautiful's etsy shop.

When you are at high dollar venue like Frankie's and they have $1.50 PBR cans, things run much more smoothly if you don't need to use plastic at the bar. Heads up, $5 min to run credit cards.

As scene from the bar..while waiting for a few folks trying to convince the bartender to run their credit cards, even though their purchases were under $5. Blah. Tried to be patient but was missing out on the fun.
 So you don't have to shove your ID, cash and peppermints into your pockets (and don't have your big sister to hold your chap stick in their purse). Might I recommend something like this...little sis.

Keep your hands free for dancing and hair flipping with this little cell phone wallet wristlet from Kerri Ann Handmade's etsy shop.

Just is cute and practical. Where would you have put that chap stick if I wasn't there?

My last tip...please do it for yourself, and for the sake of others.
Wear deodorant. Please.

It's natural, it's handmade, sandalwood smells sexy, and it's found in Lucky Girl Boutique on etsy.

You are bound to get sweaty dancing around, but you don't need to smell like B.O.

Vintage magazine advertisement for deodorant from Totally Old Ads on etsy.

I mean what if you run into Bob Dylan...

Great felt finger puppet from Mullishmuse's etsy shop.

O.K. so maybe Bob Dylan wasn't there...but The Slackers did cover one of his tunes.
Regardless, it's best to avoid being the stinky one.

I hope these tips from a novice show goer have been helpful. If you are "old hat" at these shows and are well acquainted with The Slackers scene, please don't be offended by my lack of knowledge on this subject but bare in mind I picked up my own little piece of advice on one of the walls of the bar...

What wall? Why don't you take a little trip to Frankie's and tell me yourself...