Should I Take It to the “Next Level”?

I stayed home all last weekend (by choice), but thanks to a little burst of Etsy orders on Saturday and Sunday the post office beckoned on Monday morning. So of course since I was already out and about I popped into my neighborhood thrift store. I hadn’t been there for some days so I was hoping to see some “new” stuff. And I did. Even bought a few things!

But it got me thinking, do I always want to be on the bottom rung of the vintage business–eking out a livelihood from thrift stores, flea markets and such? Or do I want to take it to the “next level”–spending more at auctions and estate sales for higher-value items?

The luxe Mayfair Gallery, London.
Can’t even imagine selling posh items like this!

As I pondered this I realized I’m happy on the bottom rung! My small vintage biz is meant to be fun, energizing and bring in a little $$. And most of the time it fulfills all of these. I don’t need to build it into something else. Something posh. And because of my time of life, I don’t want to invest a lot of money in higher-value items that I may or may not have time to sell before…well…before they fit me for my pine box if you get my drift.

Still I have upped my game a little in recent years by choosing items that have more “meat on the bone.” I’m done buying antique porcelain creamers, kitschy ceramic planters and such for $4 and selling them for $20. Done with that! Too much work for too little profit. (Though really cool vintage ashtrays may be exempt!)

So all this said, yes, I am still sourcing for items at thrift stores and happy to be doing so even though it’s a miss as often as a hit. But the other day I did find a few goodies.

Perhaps most surprising was finding a piece of vintage jewelry. I always look in the jewelry cases and rarely find anything worth buying. But this pink crystal aurora borealis choker jumped out amidst the dross and BINGO it was vintage, marked “Laguna” and in beautiful condition.

Laguna was not a familiar brand so I had to do a little research…

New York City based company Royal Craftsmen Inc. founded [the] Laguna jewelry brand in 1944. The highlight of Laguna, which distinguishes it from any other brand, is jewelry made of high quality artificial pearls…In addition to artificial pearls, Laguna traditionally used Austrian crystals and faceted beads…since February 1944 the company marked its decorations “Laguna”. However, a little later, they replaced the stamp with metal or plastic crowned labels on multi-colored satin ribbons…Laguna ceased to exist in 1980, so any product labeled Laguna is definitely vintage and often a rarity.

I also couldn’t resist this little handmade wood chest with ceramic drawers. This fairly common item was produced for Anthropologie at one time and I believe marketed as an apothecary chest. So not rare, but gosh it has such a sweet boho vibe. Personally I would use it for jewelry. (These resell in the $60 range.)

And this orthoceras fossil clock is fabulous except that the clock doesn’t stay in place and is busted. I actually had passed it up at one point, but came back to it and decided it might be worth replacing the clock. (Turns out this type of clock insert can be purchased for $10 or less.) In the long run I’ll be investing more into this piece than I wanted to but I thought it was worth saving.

But what I’m most excited about is this month’s local flea market on Saturday. It’s going to be sunny and warm which means all the vendor spots should be full! (Forty+.) There are a few vendors that have become gold mines for me and others I’ve learned to avoid…usually because their prices are too high for me as a reseller or they just don’t have items I’m interested in. My strategy is to get there early and make a bee line to my fav sellers.

Wishing you happy hunting,



  1. Yay! To…” I’m done buying antique porcelain creamers, kitschy ceramic planters and such for $4 and selling them for $20.”…Choose how much you want your bottom line selling price to be ie $35, and refrain from buying items that won’t sell for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice finds Karen!
    My favourite has to be the chocker – it is really exquisite.
    I sold two of those wood chests myself while aback (one larger and one like yours) – I didn’t do Anthropologie made them.

    Liked by 1 person

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