Today's Found in the Forums was a no-brainer for me. I don't spend a ton of time in the Etsy forums, but when I do, I almost always see a post or a comment from Liz of Octavia and Brown. Since January 2010, she's been offering shop critiques once a week. She's critiqued over 300 shops already and wants to continue this as a way to check out new shops and help where she can.
"I have always had a fascination with vintage stuff." Liz says. "I used to go to estate sales and markets with my mother when I was in high school. My first vintage purchase was a huge black steamer trunk with brass nail heads. I used it as a coffee table and night stand after college. I think it's still in my mom's house in PA. My desk in college was a thrift store find that I painted bright blue. Flash forward, I lived in San Francisco for six years following college and when to thrift stores around the city and Alameda Antiques by the Bay on a regular basis. From there it was a natural transition to start my own business. "
Liz currently sells these vintage finds as her full-time job.
"I used to work in marketing and advertising and I definitely liked it, however finding vintage items didn't feel like work and it was something I really enjoyed doing. I decided to make a big life change to move back to the East Coast after 6 years in SF and when I moved, I decided that it was also a good time to take a leap and start my shop. I figured I was young and now was the time to try something I'd always had a passion for. If it worked, fantastic and if not, I could go back to marketing/ advertising."
Liz advises that moving across the country (especially to a new city) and starting a business at the same time is quite the handful.
It's common in the forums to call each other by shop names- and Liz often gets asked whether Octavia is her actual name. "Octavia is a street in San Francisco where my last apartment was and where I thought of taking the leap and actually doing this shop. Brown is where I went to school and I liked how they sounded together." Her shop name is kind of a collection of times past- just like the items she stocks it with.
As you can see, Liz has a real knack for collecting excellent vintage finds for the home. You can visit Octavia and Brown on Etsy, Liz' blog, Twitter and finally, on Facebook. Thanks for being a part of Found in the Forums, Liz!