Jul 13, 2011

The Karma of Vintage

I'm a busy woman. Like you, I juggle many different roles in my life: Wife, Mommy, Appraiser, Etsy Seller, Small Business Owner, etc. etc. Despite having all these roles, I realized a while ago that I wanted to give more. While I don't have time to stand and help at a Soup Kitchen, I do have the ability to give in the arena I know best: Vintage.

Antique Yellow Ware Mixing Bowls offered by EmeliasCupboard

To begin I approached my local Hospice Organization and volunteered my services. (Hospice provides end of life care for the terminally ill) They had been looking for someone like me for over 2 years! Now when speciality items are donated to them they give them to me to sell. They run 2 local thrift stores and the items I handle are ones that won't do well in the shops. A couple of weeks ago I was able to sell two English cash boxes for $110. Hospice was thrilled-the boxes wouldn't have brought $5 in the stores. I give all the money to them, minus the Etsy & Paypal fees.

Vintage Gentleman Brooch offered bynosnowsupplies

This relationship was so successful that I've approached other charity organizations. I help with appraisals, pricing for special sales events, and sell items once in a while for them. It's such a great way to help raise money and I love helping them out.

Bird Message Holder offered by ArtfulVintage

Soon after I got that volunteering effort off the ground I joined the Etsy Vintage Team. I realized that I could offer some helpful selling tips and thought it would be useful to others. I volunteered to write this Wednesday column. While it's not a cancer charity, it's still a great way to give back. Volunteering your time doesn't have to be a major commitment. A once a week Facebook posting can go a long way to helping others.

1921 Orphan Annie Book offered by wonderdiva

Another way I've tried to give is through the convos on Etsy. Rather than look at questioning emails as annoying, I've switched my view. I'm helping & that's good for me and them. So now when my almost daily emails come in asking for help in item identification, history, appropriate pricing or what I sold mine for, I answer happily. Turns out it's been more than me giving-it's also led to 2 friendships and several sales!

Two Vintage Swimming Trophies offered by 12karri

I feel that the most important way I reach out and give is to the elderly in my community. So many older people get taken advantage of by antique dealers. I hear horror stories from elders who have been lied to, stolen from and misinformed-all for a few dollars, which really makes my blood boil. To combat this, I give my time freely for appraisals and estate evaluations. People seem so surprised that I'm honest and down to earth. To me this giving does the most to help better the world.

Hand Embroidered Vintage Runner offered by HouseOfLinens

No matter how small it is, helping others and giving freely of our time is so rewarding. My generosity has blessed me in many unexpected ways in the form of word of mouth recommendations, friendships, a strong reputation in my community and more. While I'm still very busy, I find giving to be very peaceful and very centering. I'd love to hear how you give of yourself and your time!


11karri said...

What a Lovely Blog.Thank you for sharing all of that with us ! In difficult times and the way the economy is,it is important to remember what is important in your own life. One of the very best ways to stay centered is to give..again bravo !

wonderdiva said...

I love it how you've combined your passion for vintage with ways to help others -- it's so inspiring!

One small way I've combined vintage with giving is to dedicate up to 50% of the sale proceeds of selected items to charities. I'm usually very clear about it, because even if someone doesn't buy the item, the mention of it might get someone looking at the item to think about giving all on their own.

When someone does buy a item dedicated for a charity, I always send them a special thank-you convo and include a special note with the item. It's a nice feeling for me and the buyer!

Jenny said...

This is so lovely Heidi! I, too, have a soft spot for the elderly and I love that you give in that way. I frequent our local Hospice Thrift shop and admire the work they do. I "donate" much of my time and resources simply being a public school elementary teacher, but your post has started me thinking about other possibilities. How refreshing to hear someone say, "I'm a mom, and I work AND I make time for other things."

Nora-transient*treasures said...

Thanks for another GREAT post, Heidi. I also do appraisals and listings for a local thrift store....it's a win/win situation.

ArtfulVintage said...

Very impressive, ladies! And so kind of you to use your talents and expertise for the benefit of others. Way to go!

Bevy said...

So nice that you are able to help Hospice. I do that for the local theater group. People donate vintage clothing that isn't really machine washable or too valuable for stage use. I have been able to sell a few items for them and the buyers are thrilled to find these goodies at a fair price.

cindy-the vintage hat shop said...

Thank you for this touching post. Certainly food for thought.
Quietly doing good deeds, a goal for all.