An online shopping site called Crazy for That: Luxury Items You Can’t Live Without may not seem to be entirely in step with the times, but that depends on your definition of luxury. Since when does a luxury site include Items Under $30 and Eco-Friendly stuff? Crazy For That has an eclectic and affordable mix of accessories. And frankly to me, these days, that’s pretty luxurious. Check them out.
Okay … So What Is Etsy and Why Is It So Much Fun? October 30, 2008
This article is excerpted from the Wickedly Chic FaceBook discussion board and is written by the brilliant Liz Nonnemacher, chief editor and creator of Wickedly Chic.com, the web site Athena would be if she were a real grown up web ‘zine and took ads, and written up here on Athena recently.
According to Wikipedia, “Etsy is a website which provides the general public with a way to buy and sell handmade items.” The site follows in the tradition of open craft fairs, giving sellers personal storefronts where they list their goods for a fee. It has been compared to “a crafty cross between Amazon and eBay” and “your grandma’s basement.”
Eh … personally, I think it’s way cooler than that. There are over 262,000 sellers on Etsy as of right now, and if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind items that not everyone has, Etsy is a fun place to shop. Each seller has their own store and does their own pricing. So it’s like tons of little shops under one roof. Each shop has its own style. Some are more sophisticated; some are more country-style. And many fall in between. One of the things that I love the most is just browsing through, watching trends and checking out what’s out there.
What I would do to start out is to head on over to Etsy, http://www.etsy.com and click on the Register button in the upper right hand corner. You must be a registered member of Etsy to make purchases. Don’t worry. It won’t cost you a dime. It’s all free. You will create a user name and a password. Then you’ll enter your email address. And click on submit and you’re in. Now you’re ready to buy.
What are you looking for? Nothing? You don’t know? You want to treat yourself but don’t know what you want? Well … when you click on the Buy tab, you’ll be taken to a series of options. You might choose Local Sellers. Maybe you live in Pittsburgh or Kalamazoo, and you want to check out local vendors. You can look through Categories if you know, for example, that you are looking for a bracelet. You can even search by color. Maybe you want a peach bracelet or a blue purse. You can search by items that have recently been listed. Or you can simply go to Sellers and find items from sellers as soon as they are listed.
If you’re looking for jewelry, artwork, cosmetics, bath & body, clothing, hats, vintage items, candles, accessories,you name it, you can find it while browsing through Etsy. Sometimes you’ll see things that you’ve just gotta have. Right now. And if you are a crafty designer yourself, you’ll find plenty of shops selling stones, beads, yarn, fabric, etc.
Each shop is an individual store, so to speak. When you see an item that you want and you click on it and you’ve read all about it and you must have it or buy it for someone else, I would first make sure to read the shop’s policies. Each shop has their own policies, so make sure that you read up on them before making a purchase. Most of them are self-explanatory.
Check the seller’s feedback. At least 99.9% of the sellers on Etsy are honest and fabulous. There are few exceptions. Make sure you read the feedback from both buyers and sellers. Yes, Etsy sellers purchase from each other too! After you make your purchase, your seller will leave you feedback, and you are expected to leave feedback for them once you receive your item.
Now you’re ready to buy. Yay! What you will do is to click the green button that says Add to Cart. This will take you to the next page to confirm your added item, and you’ll see an option of two buttons to click. One will say Checkout (this means that this is the only item that you are going to purchase from this seller’s shop) OR the button below says Keep Shopping. Click this button if you want to add more items from this PARTICULAR seller’s shop. Otherwise mosey yourself along and click Checkout.
At this point, you’ll enter your address (or the address that you would like your item(s) shipped to). Because you must create an account and sign in, Etsy will store your address information once you make a purchase. Don’t worry. You can always change your address on subsequent purchases.
Click Next Step and now your item(s) will show up. This is the last chance to change your order before submitting. Change your mind? Just click the remove x right next to your item. Your shipping and item price will be confirmed in this step. Keep in mind that shipping charges will vary from seller to seller. This is important to note! Very important. You’ll find that some sellers will offer free shipping and others will charge varying prices. As a general rule of thumb, if you are stateside, you’ll find that shipping costs are lower from state to state. The same goes if you are in the UK or in Canada or Spain. Shipping within your own country is likely to be less than shipping from another country.
BUT don’t let this stop you! Choose items based on what you like and not where they come from. So you pay a few dollars more. How cool is it that you can buy from all over the world? One of my favorite pairs of pants (although my husband doesn’t think they’re so sexy) came from a shop in Thailand. They’re thai fisherman’s pants, and they’re awesome. Got ’em on Etsy. If you want to know more about them, I’ll send you over there. Let me know.
But wait … do you have a Paypal account? If you do, great. If not, you can pay through Paypal using any major credit card without having an account or exposing your information to the Etsy seller. Using Paypal is free whether you have an account or not. Some of the sellers are taking what’s called RME payments but I don’t have an RME account, so I have to skip over that. If anyone has any info, feel free to share it.You might see something on Paypal mentioning low fees…don’t worry. That’s only if you are a seller. For instance, I take advertising payments on Wickedly Chic through Paypal, and I pay the fee. So when you purchase something on Etsy, you aren’t paying any fees and you can simply pay with a credit or debit card. On the other hand, if you want to pay strictly with a credit card and do not want to set up a paypal account, that’s not a problem.
Once you make your purchase, you can always sign in and go to Your Etsy. Once there, you log in and you can see the status on your account. Most sellers will mark that payment is received or the item has been shipped. But sometimes they forget and you can always send them a convo to ask about it. What is a convo? It’s Etsy-ese for conversation. Let’s say that you see a necklace with a blue stone. You might think …”I love that necklace but I’d like to have a pink stone.” Well…send the seller a convo and see if that’s possible. Most sellers are very accommodating and love to do what they can to please their customers. You might also send the seller a convo if you have questions about ingredients in bath items, etc.
Another reason that you might need to send a convo to a seller is regarding payment. There are some buyers who prefer to pay through a check or a money order. If this is your situation, you will need to contact that seller to make sure that will be acceptable. Some will say yes and some will say no. You’ll want to make sure and not take any chances.
You will receive a confirmation to your email account once you make a purchase. And chances are, you’ll hear from the seller too. You might not…but don’t worry. Most of the sellers are very busy making one-of-a-kind items (OOAK) just for you!
There’s an entire Etsy world out there with amazing sellers who have things that you just can’t buy anywhere. It’s easy to begin, and, I have to admit … very addicting.
OH! One of my favorite features on Etsy is that all of your information is stored in Your Etsy. That means that years from now, you can see the actual listing for each item that you have purchased even if that particular seller has closed shop. Sometimes we buy things and then forget where we purchased from. This isn’t a concern with Etsy. ALSO, let’s say that you are just browsing but don’t want to make any purchases. But you see a store that you like. Go to the bottom right of the seller’s shop where you will see Page Tools. You’ll see that you can click to Add Seller to Favorites. That way, next time you go to Etsy, you have your shop already stored without having to grab a pen. You can even add an individual item to your favorites but beware … next time you come back … it might be gone!
The following are some recent Wickedly Chic articles featuring Etsy sellers. If you want to poke around before taking the Etsy plunge (and I know it can be daunting), you might browse through some of these Wickedly Chic favorites. Because they’re wonderful.
Prim Pantry & Jamie Noel, http://www.wickedlychic.com/774/fresh-and-chic-the-prim-pantryjamie-noel-jewelry-october-16-2008
Deb’s Design & 4th Avenue Soap Co, http://www.wickedlychic.com/761/indies-of-the-week-debs-design4th-avenue-soap-co-september-11-2008
Happy shopping! Let me know if you have other questions or other suggestions. And if I missed anything (and I very well might have), feel free to post & assist other shoppers!
Crazy for Kitschy October 22, 2008
You may not know it to look at me or my home, but I adore vintage kitsch. I store my jewelry in state souvenir tumblers, and have a collection of 1950s plastic sunglasses without the lens and tiny Frankhoma boots, just to give you a hint of how deep this fetish goes. EyeforModern.com is just the place to indulge your urges to connect with a kitschy past, with home items from mid- to late-century. Check out this Peter Max “Love” bowl from the 1970s—just what I need to remind me of my Love cereal-eating childhood. That’s what kids today are missing: a little snap-crackle-pop culture in the morning like a Peter Max-decorated cereal box. Get your classy kitsch here.
Catwalk Thrift: Style on a Budget 2 October 14, 2008
By Louise Sleigh
Here’s another little beauty I picked up for next to nothing at my local thrift store. It’s not vintage but it really does have that vintage “feel” about it. Made from 100% PVC in a lovely shade of deep red. Looks great worn with jeans, trousers or skirts. It’s fully lined with two side pockets and fastens at the front with a chunky red zip.
Wear the jacket with different accessories to keep it looking fresh and new. All you need is a little imagination and a few accessories and bingo! Enjoy the photos!
Catwalk Thrift: Style on a Budget 1 October 13, 2008
By Louise Sleigh of Catwalk Threads
With news of the dreaded “credit crunch” hitting our economies everywhere, many of us are watching the pennies (or cents). It certainly looks like things are going to be pretty gloomy, economy wise for the next couple of years. That doesn’t mean to say that you have to compromise on style. No, no, no! There are many ways to shop for style on a budget—and I don’t mean stuffing your shopping cart with the latest “fast-fashion” items from Primark! It’s more about empowering yourself and deciding on the look you want to achieve; going out there and adapting your budget buys to your own individual style.
To give you some inspiration, I’ve come up with “Catwalk Thrift” which is going to be a regular event involving me, showing you, my most recent budget buy. Here’s my first offering; I purchased this coat yesterday from my local charity shop, Minds Matter. It’s in beautiful condition with no faults or issues. All it needed was a gentle machine-wash (hand wash cycle) and it’s just like new! It’s made by JEMNI (Australia). I’m so pleased with this find because it’s such a versatile little number; more of a cardigan really but it’s the perfect cover-up for autumn/winter. Layer it with jeans, t-shirts, polo-necks, or leave it open and team it with a mini-skirt, turtle-neck sweater and tights/boots—whatever! This coat is so bang-on trend—perfect for the Luxury Bohemian look that’s so hot right now.
Dress the coat up or down to achieve a different look each time. See from the photos how a simple change of scarf, belt or teaming with a selection of different styles of jewellery, will dramatically alter the look of this coat.
For another “bang up-to-date” look, team this coat with bright, opaque tights and boots and a large, shiny “it” bag. Be brave! Clash patterns and textures for a really individual look!
Made from 100% acrylic, this jacket certainly has the appearance of wool. It’s a knitted fabric with a zig-zag, abstract weave in pink, orange, blue and white. It really is the most eye-catching coat. It has a reverse collar and fastens with three black buttons down the front. No pockets. Not lined. Hand wash only.
Please contact us to state how much (in pounds sterling £) you think I paid for this coat. I’ll post the answer on the next installment of Catwalk Thrift. Thanks for dropping by! See you soon. oxoxo
Good to Go-Go! October 8, 2008
By Louise Sleigh
Go-Go boots are a low-heeled style of women’s fashion boot worn since the mid-sixties when fashion silhouettes focused on accentuating the leg. The term “go-go” is from the slang term “go”, meaning something that was “all the rage”; the term “go-go dancer” that first appeared in print in 1965.
Go-go boots are either calf-, knee- or above knee-high boots with a low or flat heel. The style is a very simple shape with a chiselled, rounded or pointed toe. The boot was usually fastened onto the foot by a side or back zipper, although by the Seventies it was not uncommon to find lace-up versions which accommodated a wider variety of calf sizes. Heel height ranges from flat to low 3” shaped, with the occasional two-inch Cuban heel.
Materials were either synthetic or natural. The oldest designs were made from plastic or vinyl in various colours, the most popular being white. Before the introduction of go-go boots, women’s boots were generally worn during bad weather, for rugged activities or for horse riding. André Courréges is often cited as the originator of the fashion go-go boot which was made of white plastic with a clear cut-out slot near the top and was featured as part of the “Moon Girl” look featured in his Fall 1964 collection.
Manufacturers began mass-producing runway knock-offs in contemporary colours and materials. These knock-offs were extremely popular with teenagers, who could be seen wearing go-go boots on both the street and on television dance shows. They were often seen worn by “Dolly Birds” in England during the 1960s. Other famous names associated with go-go boots are Nancy Sinatra, Jane Fonda (Barbarella) and designers such as Mary Quant and Yves Saint Laurent who designed their own versions.
By the Seventies, go-go boots were referred to simply as boots, as fashion trends progressed and maxi skirts and trousers became more popular with only the feet visible. Emphasis shifted to the height of the heel and then along came platforms.
There are many versions of go-go boots that are still worn today, although ‘go-go’ boot is often used to describe any stile of knee-high boot, regardless of heel height. NFL Cheerleaders, including the Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleaders and the Oakland Raiderettes often wear go-go boots as part of their uniform; high-heeled versions of go-go boots are still worn by exotic go-go dancers today.
Now That’s Wicked October 2, 2008
If Athena were all grown up into a real web site, she would want to be just like WickedlyChic.com. Updated daily with chief editor Liz Nonnemacher of Chicago at the helm, the site tagline is “Independent Shopping for the Wickedly Fashionable.” Liz is an indie fashion expert, and her mission in life is to get women out of the mall and into the wildly fashionable world of independent designers. As Liz says: “I knew that there had to be others out there like myself who were tired of seeing the same big-box stores in every town in the U.S. We help women whiz through a world of fashion that they never knew existed.” Now that’s wicked.
Disco Diva: My newest vintage purchase! September 30, 2008
I sell vintage clothing and part of my work is to research and see what’s available on the world-wide web. It’s a way of keeping abreast of my competitors and gives me the opportunity to get first pickings if I stumble upon a little vintage gem. I really did gasp with delight when I clapped eyes on my latest find! Here’s a photograph of the gorgeous blouse which I’ll be wearing with a pair of black, cropped trousers and black patent boots. I’m a disco diva!
Through networking and meeting other sellers of vintage, I’ve met some fabulous people; one of those being the lovely Tara of The Dusty Dog Vintage Clothing Boutique. She really is fantastic! I was so delighted to find this fabulous butterfly disco blouse which was being sold by Tara—I’d been looking for one just like it for ages!
What I love about Tara is her attention to detail. Not only are her descriptions and photographs lovely but my blouse arrived beautifully tissue wrapped and tied in a pink organza ribbon with card attached. My whole shopping experience was so delightful. I’ve purchased hundreds of things over the internet and, trust me, not everyone takes such care in posting items.
You can click on the link above which will take you to Tara’s Etsy store, or you can take a look at her blog right here. There’s some brilliant video clips of the divine Bette Davis along with a clip of some rather outrageous dancing girls from the 1920s. It’s well worth a look, and if you purchase something from the lovely Tara, do tell her I sent you!
Suzie Kondi: Designer Vintage + Sample Sale = Bliss September 25, 2008
Girl Alert! Super-talented Aussie designer Suzie Kondi is cleaning house and having one amazing sample sale. Her entire collection, including bags, belts and ready-to-wear will be available, plus her complete vintage collection, a masterpiece wardrobe accrued over 20 years and global travels. As Suzie says, “There is soooooooo much and loads of designer vintage. Really beautiful stuff.” The sale will be held in Brooklyn’s hip DUMBO area at 66 Water Street, Loft 2D on Saturday, September 27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, call 917-415-6613. To see Suzie’s gorgeous ’60s- and ’70s-inspired designs, click here.
A Shout-Out to Lone Star Vintage Clothing September 17, 2008
Here’s a shout-out to Heather Lewis and her Lone Star Vintage Clothing site and blog. Heather is the mastermind behind the cool weekly projects here on Athena and the Mattie Reid site, but she hasn’t been able to post lately because she evacuated out of Houston last week and hasn’t been able to get back home yet. Since we can’t have her project this week, I’m offering up a little budget style on her site. Then you can read about her Hurricane Ike adventures. Happy Trails to you, Heather, and get home safely!