Thanks to my new obsession with sneak attacks, I’ve met some really fabulous people who run great shops on Etsy. We’ve started a new game called “The $20 thingy” where we pass $20 around buying from each other’s shops until Friday’s sneak attack at which point whoever has the $20 gets to spend it on the attack. It helps someone participate who might otherwise not be able to, and it lets us boost our sales and feedback.
My first purchase through the game was from iwundervintage.etsy.com. This is one of two shops run by Jennifer Wunderlich–she also sells yarn and handmade scarves at iwunder.etsy.com. Jennifer’s vintage shop is a treasure trove of vintage scarves, glass wear, and more. I bought two lovely neckercheifs from her with the intention of turning them into hats.
I admit I’m fascinated by vintage stores on etsy. I’ve never had much patience for thrift store and estate sale shoppping–I know you can get great things shopping like that, but I don’t have the patience to find them amongst all the old junk. People like Jennifer do all the hard work for your–finding and offering only the best vintage treasures. Jennifer was nice enough to take time out of her day to answer a few questions about both of her shops for me.
Do the scarves I bought from you have any particular story behind them?
Unfortunately, no there is no real story behind these scarves. I just loved the orange one though because it reminded me of coral or sea anemones, and I’m a marine biologist so those shapes speak to me in ways that only someone who studies coelenterates could understand. Actually someone who studies coelenterates would tell me that I really should say cnidarians. But back to the scarves…
In general, where do you find such awesome stuff for your vintage store? How do you weed out “old treasures” from “old junk” or is there no such thing as junk in your mind?
I have a series of thrift stores in town that I haunt on a regular basis. Over the years of hunting and pecking, I know which stores usually have the good treasures vs. the old junk. I visit the good treasures stores once a week, usually on Fridays, and the old junk stores once a month if I have a free moment.
What does the handmade movement mean to you?
I guess the handmade movement is kind of like a little revolution, even within etsy. Encouraging etsy sellers to buy from other new etsy sellers, keeping the momentum going and reminding all of us what is really important–buying handmade from other crafty artsy people too.
What do you think is the importance of art and creativity in society?
Oh man, art and creativity is so important. I am a scientist by day and that is very rote and organized, so having the release of art and creativity at night makes my brain feel alive and well. I can almost feel my brain pulsating to my circadian rhythm when I am in my creating mode. I recently learned that Vincent Van Gogh painted an entire painting a day, and he did that very frequently. If he can do it, I can create something every day too.
You also do knitting and yarn dying. Do you spin your yarn as well?
I do not spin yarn. I refuse to learn how to do that. I would need a whole new room, new set of tools and toys, new job to pay for the tools and toys, etc etc. I’ll just stick to dying already spun yarn with kool aid and call it a day.
Where do you look for inspiration in your yarn creations?
Well, since I use kool aid for dying, I am really limited to their color/flavor palette. I have a grocery store nearby that stocks an insane variety of kool aid flavors, and I have bought them all at one time or another and tried them out. I have a master list I keep that has the flavor name from the kool aid packet and the actual color that the yarn ended up being when I used that flavor. I play around with them and rearrange the color combinations from time to time, but I’ve also had several custom requests turn out to be best sellers that I keep in stock. Mardi Gras was that way, someone from New Orleans wanted yarn dyed gold, green, and purple and voila, now it’s a mainstay in my etsy shop.
If I ever start knitting again (which I do sporadically) I’m definitely getting some of Jennifer’s yarns. And I’ve got my eye on several of her scarves too, because they are just so much fun to make into hats! Here is the hat I made from the black floral scarf: