Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An interesting Etsy sale, the Examiner, & Life in General

Starting out with "life in general," I haven't written a post for a month--hard to believe that so much time has gone by--but I must admit it's a challenge just keeping up with the stuff I'm doing on a daily basis: writing two articles a week for Examiner.com, putting items up on my Etsy shop, writing press releases for the Sharon Arts Center, babysitting my two youngest grandchildren every afternoon, and doing all the other things that have to be done to maintain a household. Not to mention spending time with my husband and friends and family members....

But everybody is busy these days--it doesn't matter who you are or what you do, we're all busy!

In addition to writing local antiquing articles for the NH Examiner, I've done some fun pieces as Vintage Home Decor writer for the national Examiner, such as:

"Spruce up your garden with something vintage"

Rachel Ashwell: Founder & Queen of Shabby Chic

"Exploring vintage e-stores: eBay struggles to remain No. 1"

"Exploring vintage e-stores: the rise of Etsy"

and "Exploring vintage e-stores: Walking down Ruby Lane."

Meanwhile, I made my biggest sale on Etsy just the other day, which turned out to be an interesting story in itself:

You can find the listing here among my sold items. This piece finally went for $85; originally I had listed it for $125, but after no interest for quite a while, I lowered the price in a shop-wide Summer Sale (still currently going on) and one day checked on sales to find--wahoo!--that it had been purchased. Such a great feeling, replaced almost instantly by worrying how to ship it....but my husband jumped into the act and kindly cut cardboard pieces to fit, wrapped it carefully in bubble wrap (I've just had two recent shipping disasters, but that's a story for another time), and even took it to the P.O. for me. No wonder I've stayed married to him for so long.

Anyway, here's a little bit about the piece from my write-up:

"Truly one of my Special Finds, this warm and brightly colored piece is one of the early works of artist Rhoda Fritsch, a Vesterheim Gold Medalist in Norwegian rosemaling...Of Scandinavian descent, Fritsch was born in Minnesota and began taking decorative painting lessons as a stay-at home Mom, an activity that, over 35 years ago, led her into a passionate interest in Norwegian rosemaling. She studied with a variety of master Rosemalers, including some of the best in Norway. In 2004 an ornament she painted was chosen to decorate the Christmas tree in the Blue Room of the White House. Fritsch has taught all over the world and has been published in magazines worldwide."

Okay, this is just a little bit about the history of the piece. What happened next is the interesting part: as I always do, I immediately wrote to the buyer and told her that I'd be shipping out her purchase the next day. I added that she must know something about rosemaling to have purchased this. (I originally had found it in a consignment shop in Keene, NH, and since my father had been a rosemaler, and I'm Norwegian, I knew exactly what it was and I knew that the consignment shop didn't--or didn't think there was a market here for such an item.)

She wrote back to me that her mother was a rosemaler and that she was friends with the artist, Rhoda Fritsch, on Facebook. So I wrote back that my father had been a rosemaler, etc., and she wrote how cool that was and asked if I'd been to the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa, where there's the largest display of Norwegian rosemaling outside of Norway. And I wrote no, but of course my parents had, and she wrote that we should become friends on Facebook and then I could see her collection of rosemaling pieces. Which we did. And then I also befriended Rhoda Fritsch, who wrote a really nice note to me saying how interesting that I found her vintage piece in Keene, NH, as she had visited friends there years ago and also taught a class there. So now we're supposing that someone who took a class from her also bought a piece of her rosemaling, and that maybe that person died or moved to a retirement home and had to downsize and the family took Rhoda's piece to the consignment shop, where I found it.

I also told the buyer that originally I had listed the piece for $125 and had reduced it by quite a bit when it didn't sell after quite a while. And she said that she knew that--she had seen it at $125 and didn't think she could pay that much, but when I reduced the price the temptation to hit the "buy" button was just too great.

A further thing just happened because of that sale. On Facebook a woman who had seen some of my posts to Rhoda and the buyer about how my father had been a rosemaler posted that she was the editor of the Vesterheim newsletter and was interested in learning more about my father's work as a rosemaler.

That just happened. And we're now friends. And who knows what will happen next....


  1. Wow, what a great story on selling your piece, which is quite beautiful and a wonderful addition and collector item for the woman who bought it! Thanks for sharing.

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