Sunday, May 25, 2014

Still Hanging Around......

I have opened my shops roughly one and a half years ago. And in that time I feel that I have been somewhat successful, and I am satisfied with the sales I have had and the continued growth that I see. I have set goals that I feel are attainable. This year my goals were to double my sales from last year, so far so good. I believed I even tripled a few months sales from last year. My other goals were to start a business Facebook page (I plan to do that this summer, and my son will also be starting a Facebook business page for his booming art career, at the age of 10, I will announce both when that time comes), my other goal was to start an Instagram account. Done. Although I am not that great at using it to its full potential. Still working on it. Follow me @randomgoodsvintage. Another goal is ......I plan on changing both my shop names to be more cohesive with this blog and with each other. At that time, one and a half years ago, I just wanted to get opened on Etsy and started, so I haphazardly chose names, I didn't particularly love, but I just wanted to get things rolling knowing that down the line, I would change them as things fell into place. That time is now, so look for name changes in the very near future. And know that I am still the mastermind behind them.

That all being said, I also want to mention that every thing has been a learning process. I cannot say that enough. It easily took a year to find out what works, what doesn't, what sells well, what doesn't...etc. Yes, so mistakes were made. Many, many times. I have cleaned up both my shops and I feel great about what is currently listed. However, there are just a few items that I have had almost from the beginning, or at least a year. And I don't want to take them out of my shops. I personally love them and I don't understand why everyone else doesn't love them. They have been with me so long, that I am to the point that maybe I don't even want them to sell, I like having them around.

Here are some of my old friends, why they haven't found a forever home is a mystery to me.

These super retro fun mugs from Safari Mann have been with me from day one. I truly wanted to keep them, I love them so. They are just so artsy retro fantastic. I purchased one from this funky junky thrift store that I visit weekly, and I brought it home and studied it, and thought how really fabulous it was. I saw them selling on Ebay for big bucks. The following week, I went back to that thrift store, and the other 3 were waiting for me, so I snatched those up too! And then the week after that, I went back and there was three of the plates, they all had tiny chips on them, but still cool as shit, so I grabbed those. Funny thing was, I didn't even have an Etsy shop at that time! But I knew it was in the works.....
And these mugs have been with me since day one. I secretly don't care if they sell, otherwise I would maybe take better pics.

If you truly love them and you promise to provide them the best home possible, I am willing to part with them.
------------------------->Safari Mann Mug Set

I can't believe this has stuck around as long as it has, I reckon it's because it is one of a pair, I only have Comedy, there is a Tragedy somewhere to be found. But I figured that someone would only have a Tragedy and would be looking for it's mate. Well, that love connection hasn't happened yet. And my son has been wanting this forever. I told him that if it doesn't sell this next go around, its all his. Which I am totally cool with, because I always want my items to go into homes where they will be loved and cherished.

So will it be you or my son who gets it first?

------------------>Mid Century Gravel Art

These next two items were purchased at a garage sale. I don't frequent garage sales as often as I should, and if they were all as good as this one, maybe I would actually get my lazy ass out of bed early more often on a Saturday. This guy had craploads of mid century cool shit! And a bunch of kick ass furniture that I would have loved to have purchased. I just knew I didn't have the means or ambition to deal with storing and shipping furniture. Everything I purchased at this sale, ( a lot, mind you) sold. Except for these two items:
These super fantastic mid century pewter salad servers from Norway. Still have them...why?

And this heavy as shit solid wood (walnut perhaps?) mid century candle holder. Yes, its a candle holder, but I think it looks quite fabulous as a vase for my fake flowers. Still have it....why?

Both of these beauties would like a forever home.

------------------------------->Mastad Salad Servers

------------------------------->Mid Century Candle Holder/Vase

These bookends are also looking for a forever home. Although mid century is a very popular market, its also a very fickle market.

Heavy, sturdy, well made, purposeful.....still have them.

------------------------>Mid Century Bookends

The next group are my books that are looking for a forever family.

Games you can Play with Your Pussy Cat. This book is absolutely brilliant. It is a very very adult themed book, and it is written is a way that a child could read it and it would also be appropriate. Chapters on grooming and pleasing your pussy cat, spoiling your pussy cat, Toys your pussy cat may like....okay you get the point. This book has received a ton of interest, but I still have it....
Intrigued?-------------->Games you can play with your Pussy Cat
You may think this next book is also adult themed, but it isn't. No nasty-nasty going on. No key parties. But a really fun retro spin on party games. Plus a cool cover!

This next group of books....again, why haven't they flown out the door?


I can tell you that each and everyone of these three books were a childhood favorite of mine! OMG, The Hat! Such a fabulous book, my children want me to keep it. Well, that may end up being the case. Mop Top? Every redhead should want this in their possession. And Be Nice to Spiders? I hate spiders....and I recommend other spider haters should read this book. It may soften your spider hating heart just a bit, as it did mine.

All three of these books, plus a gazillion more, are available here:
------------------------>Vintage Book Market

So, what are you hanging on to?


Sunday, May 18, 2014

So wrong. Why am I laughing?

I am completely obsessed with vintage ads. Either I am in shock, or I am laughing. Usually both. They are so wrong. So very, very wrong.

Do what baby says and no one gets hurt.

I look ugly when I cough? You should see how awesome I look when I barf.

Oh, look, they even get to pick out their favorite brands. Ain't that the cutest thing ever!?

For some reason, I find this ad misleading.....

I can't believe this mom is letting her child have a glass bottle! You are supposed to pour your baby's soda in a plastic bottle with a nipple, so it doesn't spill all over their crib when you give them their night time soda serving.

Injun Orange was also delicious. Racially delicious. Wonder why they stopped making them? Too much sugar, I suppose.

Boy, I'll bet these "scientists" feel silly now!

I know I am just being picky, but I think they could have done a better job on her eyes. They don't look very natural.

Hmmph! I never get invited to all the good parties!

Don't you ever forget my fucking Corn Flakes again. Next time you die.

Oh please, you know no woman can open it!

How soon is too soon? I'd say somewhere between Cigarettes and Seagrams 7. But I am one of those conservative moms.


Geez, next thing you know, he'll be in a PSA as a crying Indian because of pollution. You just mark my words!

Malt liquor is practically a dairy product, right?

Other cultures and religions can enjoy this bread!
What kind of monster lets their baby suck on a metal spoon, without having consideration for the other 2 babies who want to also have a nice shiny spoon to suck on while they are wrapped in cellophane. Always bring enough for everyone!
And all this time, I have been leaving a pack of Marlboros out next to his cookies. Sorry, Santa, I didn't know you were a Lucky Strike kinda guy.

I so do love vintage ads! I can only imagine what our current ads will look like 50 years from now!

I hope these ads get you through your Monday!   

Sunday, May 11, 2014

What Childhood is Complete Without Some Richard Scarry?

Fun shopping last week. I hit the Mother Load of Richard Scarry books!
Richard Scarry was one of my favorites when I was a wee one. At that time, there was no Amazon...No Barnes and Noble...I think that the best option at the time was inside of department stores, or expensive gift shops. Dalton and Walden book stores soon popped up, but not in Detroit where I grew up. Thankfully, every year, my dad would take the train to Chicago to visit family, and Chicago always had fancy gift and specialty shops. He would return with all these wonderful artsy fartsy kids books. He also came home with this new up and coming children's book author/illustrator. His name was Richard Scarry! Oh, I was so hooked!
So needless to say, I was thrilled with this fantastic find of Richard Scarry books.

This book was my first taste of Richard Scarry's World! I would just point to the pictures and say the words....over and over again. You just couldn't take this book away from me. Now, as I glance through the pages...I definitely feel nostalgic, but also it is a reminder how much we have progressed. There is a record player, a rotary phone, a hassock, a mortar and pestle, a free standing TV with an antennae.....I don't know if these are words todays kids know, or even need to know....Then in the Toys section, there are jacks, hoops, dolls, paints, marbles...These are things today's kids probably need to learn about. But back in the 60's and 70s, those were everyday toys. Such a lovely book back then and still as magical today!
Check it out here------------------->Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever
So, I really didn't have all of Richard Scarry's books. I just had a few. I guess that's because we could only get them in Chicago at that time, so I guess Beggars can't be choosers and I just had to wait a year. And realistically, if I had to wait a year to get one book...well clearly I would have outgrown them by the time my collection would have been complete. I had moved on to Judy Blume by then.
Busy, Busy World. Yep, it is a busy word indeed. This book is one of the more desirable books of Richard Scarry. I never had this in my possession as a child. One of the things I loved to do when I looked through these books, was find Lowly worm. He seemed to be somewhere on every page.
Not too busy to check out this book?
Available here--------------------->Busy, Busy World

Hop Aboard! Here We Go! Another book just full of frantic busy-ness. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Scarry is so popular with kids. So much to see, so much action, so much energy!

Interested? Available here-------->Hop Aboard! Here We Go!

Best of all the nursery tale books, in my opinion:

Animal Nursery Tales, all the classics.... just done in Scarry style, which totally makes them better!

Check it out here----------->Richard Scarry's Animal Nursery Tales

These next books will be listed this week. But I just have to give you a sneak peak of what to expect:

Great Big Air Book
Storybook Dictionary
Great Big Mystery Book
Check out my shop in the upcoming week for these and more listings. Also check out the huge lot of hardcover Serendipity books being listed!
Update: Last week I pictured an album that I had listed. I had never listed/sold old records and I was just giving it a try for shits and giggles, figuring that it wasn't going to sell. Well, I'll be a monkeys uncle. That thing sold just a day or two after listing it! Who woulda thunk it? So I guess I will have to get on the ball and list the others I purchased. All vintage Sesame street and Disney.
Now on to the Independent Local Business of the week....but first, I must tell you exactly how I discovered this gem. My son and I have been doing quite a bit of bike riding, often going 10 miles at night just around our neighborhood. We have also hit Upper Tampa Bay Trail  a few times recently, however, time restraints meant that we were never able to go as far as we wanted to. Until yesterday. We had all the time we wanted along as we abided the hours of the trail. So we just kept going and going and going.....We went on a bridge over Gunn Hwy. Oh Lawdy, it was a killer hill....getting up there was like riding in thick mud...felt like my thighs were on FIRE! We made it somehow. But Holy Hell, it wasn't easy. Then my son wanted to do it again! WTF! He agreed about how strenuous it was, but he also said how accomplished he felt and how strong he felt. He said he felt like a professional biker. He also encouraged me to push myself. AND he threatened to call me "Chicken" for the rest of my life! Okay, so apparently my ten year old son has become my personal trainer. Anyhow we carried on.

Selfie on the bridge. I'm smiling, but I am ready to black out!
At the bottom of the bridge was this little kick ass bike shop. Genius location! Of course we had to pop in. Partially because we were curious, but mostly because I really needed a break.
Fabulous old house converted into a bicycle haven! Check them out here------>Citrus Park Bikes
Knowledgeable, friendly staff. Great selection of bikes and equipment! The only thing they were missing was a slushy machine. Because, I really, really, super bad wanted a slushy!
Look how cute this place is. A diamond in the rough in the best location to lasso in all those bicyclists.

Bikes! You would never think this little place would fit so many bikes...but this place is jam packed full of awesome bikes!

So check them out! Small businesses will give you the customer service, knowledge and variety that you won't find at Walmart or any of those other big box stores!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day! I spent the day being worshipped by my family. Our cat did a lot of barfing today...and I didn't have to clean it up! Good timing, barfing on Mothers day, Joby!

I would love to hear what you think about Richard Scarry, and if you have a childhood favorite book(s). Since I am homebound while my daughter heals from her Tonsillectomy, I may have time to post a mid week silly blog. Be on the look out, my friends!



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fun Finds...What Was I Thinking?

I kinda went a little haywire. My daughter is going in for a tonsillectomy in a few days, so she will be home from school for two weeks. I am certainly not going to drag her to thrift stores with me, which means my shopping will come to a halt for 2 whole weeks. 2 WHOLE WEEKS! I know that I will have plenty of time, while homebound, to get cracking with my listings. I have definitely shopped pretty hard to be prepared.
I am a complete worried mess over my daughter having this surgery, so I welcome the distractions.

I shopped like a fiend the past couple of weeks. I don't even know why I bought some of the stuff I did. I was in doomsday mode...just grabbing stuff left and right. I figured I would take everything home and than think about it. Realistically, that mind frame makes no sense....its not like I can return things at a thrift store if I have a change of heart. They don't run things like Target.

Thankfully, I am okay with my purchasing decisions. Some of them are kinda odd, but I am good with odd....

Look for these listings to pop up over the next few weeks here: Vintage Book Market . You get a preview of what's to come.

First strange purchases:


Yes, I bought a bunch of vintage Sesame Street and Disney albums. I know zero about albums. Zero. I am not a collector by any means. But I do know that vintage Sesame Street and Disney are very collectible and people search them quite a bit in my shops. So I figured, what the hell, I'll give it a shot! Besides, its not like the thrift stores charges very much for albums. They are practically giving them away. No, literally. They are giving them away. Since I was buying 5, she told me that I can have one for free. So I went back to the album section, which was gianormous, and since I was in a hurry, I didn't feel like digging around in that stack anymore. I just grabbed this one because it made me laugh.

Look at those faces. Look at dad...and look at Santa playing a violin with a dirty yellow beard hanging around his neck. He looks angry, perhaps drunk, maybe both. The girl on dads lap is too scared to look and she is staring at the ceiling, just counting the minutes for creepy dirty Santa to go away. Mom looks a little creeped out, but she sure looks lovely for so early in the morning. Red lipstick, earrings, hair did...with 7 kids how does she find the time? And dad, wtf dad! He looks a little too enthusiastic in my opinion. This santa reminds me of Dan Ackroyd in Trading Places. I think there may be a giant smoked fish in that beard. So now you know why I just couldn't resist this one. I think I will save this one until fall before I list it. Holiday fun time! In fact, I have enjoyed this album cover so much, I think that I may just have to be on the look out for more of albums like these. Like pulp fiction in a larger format.

I did find many other fun things these past 2 weeks.

I also don't know much about vintage comic books, but I couldn't resist these 1970s Star Trek comics. I love all the ads inside. Sell Grit, X-ray glasses....and of course the infamous Sea Monkeys! Like every other gullible idiot in the world, I also purchased the sea monkeys. When they arrived in the mail. I carefully got everything ready, I put the lukewarm water in their habitat (cheap plastic container, not the palace pictured) I sprinkled the magic sea monkey pouch in the water...watched them come to life. Then I carried the container up to my room so I could place them on my nightstand where I cleared off a special place for them. As I walked to my room, I tripped. The whole container spilled on our green shag carpeting. And that was that. They never got to live to their full royal potential.... The glamorous mom, the handsome, manly dad, the beautiful smiling children. All in a mass homicide on the green shag carpet. At least it was quick, no suffering.

So getting back on topic, I know absolutely nothing about comic books, but I just couldn't pass these by. These will also be listed in the upcoming weeks.

These following items will be available at Circa Company over the next couple of weeks.

What was I thinking? Cheese servers just aren't big sellers for me. Once again, I just couldn't resist this one. I just fell in love with the Mid century design on the tile. If it doesn't sell, I won't feel bad about keeping it.

Coffeemaker travel kit. Pretty darn cool and functional. Comes in a nice carrying case. You can even plug this into to your car lighter. This is kind of tempting to keep, since we have a road trip coming up in June. Oh, wait....I can always get coffee at any drive thru. Nevermind me keeping it. Look for it listed in the next few weeks.

Have you also made some weird purchasing decisions? Any advice about pricing/listing my albums and comic books? Any info greatly appreciated!