The last few days I’ve been doing a “news detox” and it’s been wonderful. I’ve become a news junkie over the last 14 months and honestly it’s been detrimental to my health! So I’m scaling back for a while. Been hoping to replace that “news time” with more time reading out on our stoop and puttering in my garden (both good de-stressors), but our neighbor’s ongoing construction project gets a bit noisy at times. But one of my “go to” happy spots is still my neighborhood thrift store. Some days (many days!) I leave empty handed, but yesterday was not that day! I zeroed in on the new merch carts and had a little luck.
I usually don’t gravitate to the merely pretty, but this ceramic cache pot by Natasha Farina, Paris caught my eye with its hand-painted birds and flowers. This is just the right size to tuck a basil or parsley plant or fill with wood spoons in a kitchen. In the bathroom it could be used to house rolled-up white washcloths or soaps.
Now I really shouldn’t bother with stuff like this. I know that. It’s just a ’70s amateur ceramic ashtray. But I’m a sucker for hobby pieces like this because my mother, aunt and grandmother were keen on making them back in the day. I even have a few of the gifts they made me. (My favorite being the ceramic Christmas tree.) Still I thought this was stylish and fun and a perfect bit of retro.
This one was proudly made by Dixie who is either downsizing or possibly deceased as a number of her pieces were in the thrift store that morning. In fact I almost bought another of her ashtrays. That’s always a bit sad when you see someone’s collection on the shelves. I’m reminded how transitory we, and our possessions, are.
But this. This little glass head on a marble stand was wonderfully weird. At the store I couldn’t find any markings on it…but my gut keep saying this could be good. This could be something really good. So I bought it.
Back at home I started researching it and within 10 minutes discovered it was a Kosta Boda Swedish glass piece by famed glassmaker Bertil Vallien. This WAS really good! (Happy dance ensues.)
Bertil Vallien is by far the most internationally celebrated glass artist and designer in Sweden. He has received numerous awards and his work is well represented in leading museums around the world. He works in a mythical, dream-like world of symbolic imagery.Kosta Boda website
Mine is a limited edition piece in Vallien’s “Brain” series. New pieces sell for $475, but there are several pre-owned pieces on Etsy like this one.
So just three things, but I’m happy with all of them.
It’s always great when things sell quickly, but for many of us in the vintage reselling biz things don’t sell within the first few months. In fact some items may linger for years! Of course there can be many reasons why items don’t sell. But if as a seller you’ve done everything right and you know it’s a good item at a fair price sometimes it just takes a while for the right person to come along and find it!
This Neiman designer ’50s-era faux curly lamb jacket was in beautiful condition. It was in my Etsy store for over three+ years. It just sold and the new owner left a wonderful review. Worth the wait!
I bought this quirky wood folk art smoking set at a down-at-the heels thrift store. I thought they were wonderful. Absolutely fabulous. But I knew they would require a unique buyer. And gosh it took four years for that buyer to come along. (I had them listed on both Etsy and Chairish.) And I will admit I lowered the price over the years. I was hoping to sell them closer to $200, but sold them for $75. When all is said and done I will make $50 profit. Not what I hoped, but not terrible either.
Some years ago I bought a bag of four stone grape clusters for $5+. I put the three smaller ones in a lot for $35 and they sold. But this bigger one with more varied stones lingered…and lingered. I priced it modestly at $20, my bottom price, and let it be. Now over a year later it finally sold.
Now, I know some sellers would never hold onto items for years and some of you reading this may be shaking your head. But I make no apology…obviously I love a quick turnaround on items, but I’m okay hanging onto things that I think are good. And yes I may adjust prices or put things on sale, but I will never sell it well below what I think is a fair-market value.
But that’s me. Would love to hear what you’re finding these days and what long-tail sales you’ve made.
Love the bird pot and your stories, always look forward to your blog
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Thanks Ann! I have a lot of fun writing it. Have you had any fun finds lately??