We are delighted to introduce one of our new Vintage Jewelry Team Members, 24 Wishes Vintage, a vintage jewelry shop. This online business is a team effort made up of family members Jennifer, Mary, and Peggy. Jennifer has agreed to be the spokesperson for their group.
Margie: Welcome 24 Wishes Vintage. Jennifer, what got you into collecting vintage jewelry?
Jennifer: Like a lot of vintage jewelry sellers, I’ve enjoyed collecting from a young age. My parents were lifelong collectors, so I grew up going on treasure hunting excursions. I would carry my treasures around in a brown paper lunch bag. As my collecting evolved, I started to gravitate towards jewelry. Growing up during the ’80s, it was a fun time to experiment with jewelry. Vintage jewelry was readily available at local thrift stores.
After a successful career in IT, I decided it was time to start an online vintage jewelry boutique. Coming along for the experience is Mary, my mother, and Peggy, my sister too.
Margie: 24 Wishes Vintage is the first shop we interviewed that is owned and operated by a team. Can you tell me how that works for you? How do you share responsibilities?
Jennifer: We focus on what we do best. Each of us has different talents and we live in three different locations. Mary does most of the shopping because she is so excellent at hunting and buying. Peggy is creative. She focuses on upcycling and styling. I focus on the business side including sales, marketing, planning, listing, and shipping. The recycled products that are sold in our other shop are manufactured by Mary and Peggy.
Margie: So, what other online sites do you have and what do you sell in each?
Jennifer: We currently only sell on Etsy and eBay along with in-person events. On eBay, we sell contemporary jewelry, jewelry lots, craft lots and other vintage items. On Etsy, we have two shops: 24 Wishes Vintage and Remixed Charms. Remixed Charms is dedicated to creating upcycled products. We have a lot of vintage and contemporary jewelry that is not sellable for one reason or another. Right now, the focus is on bag charms, which are a creative collection of charms that can hang on purses or handbags. So, you can change the look of your handbag without changing the bag. Soon we will feature vintage craft supplies & jewelry lots for crafting on Remixed Charms.
Margie: The name 24 Wishes Vintage is unique. How did you decide on the name and what does the name mean to you?
Jennifer: Our shop, 24 Wishes Vintage, was born through a combination of two words that are meaningful to me. Not only is 24 the number of hours in a day, but it has also always been a lucky number for me. “Wishes” relates to our long-time desire and hope to open an online vintage store. Thus, 24 Wishes Vintage was born!
We opened 24 Wishes Vintage to complement the other platforms we currently sell on. Because Etsy has a loyal customer base, it gives us an opportunity to reach more customers and build our brand.
Margie: Jennifer, you’ve got your name and your team. What is your strategy for building your brand?
Jennifer: Our focus in 2019 will be on social media. For example, we plan to be more consistent in the use of Instagram and Pinterest. Since our target customers (women ages 25 – 55) are most likely to engage on those platforms. Based on my research that is the sweet spot for Etsy buyers.
Margie: What social media do you use?
Jennifer: We just started using Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I love all the social platforms. The only drawback is keeping focused and not getting lost for hours looking around! If you take some time to plan out the months, it really doesn’t take a lot of time for your social posts. I do re-use content/pictures between the platforms. Also, I have started to always include a “call to action” to get people to our shop!
Margie: So, let’s talk about vintage jewelry. What is your favorite type of jewelry, period of jewelry and/or designer?
Jennifer: There is something interesting and special about jewelry design in all decades. I like to focus on wearable vintage jewelry, so I tend to focus on mid-century to the ’90s.
My personal favorite is Regency. Since there here isn’t a lot known about the company, it makes it all the more intriguing! What I know is they use wonderful materials in interesting ways. Their butterfly brooches are collectible, yet I prefer the unique designs of their pendants. I’m not sure if you’ll ever find any Regency for sale at our store… I’m having an issue letting go of the few pieces we have by Regency!
Margie:. Is there a type of jewelry you specialize in for 24 Wishes Vintage?
Jennifer: We want our vintage jewelry to be worn and blend into contemporary life. Based on our experience, we have developed the concept of signature style. A person’s signature style is simply the style of jewelry that they gravitate towards. So, it is what makes a person feel happy or beautiful. These include romantic heirloom, bohemian artisan, chic glamour, and classic simplicity. We created this to help women easily find their own style. In addition, this helps them curate their own vintage jewelry collection.
Margie: I noticed your shop’s banner is divided into style sections. So, what things do you do to help customers find their signature style?
Jennifer: We have a long-term vision of creating additional tools for our clients to use to help them curate their own wearable vintage jewelry collections. Our focus tends not to be on the “collectible” or fine vintage jewelry. We put emphases on vintage jewelry that can be incorporated into the modern wardrobe and worn everyday or for special occasions. It’s amazing to see that what was on trend in the past is becoming current again.
Margie: Are you happy with the look of 24 Wishes Vintage? If so why? If not, what would you like to change?
Jennifer: All in all, we are happy with the look of our Etsy shops. Though, we have some tweaking to do as we learn more about the Etsy platform. Photography is always an area that we try new things to make sure we are best representing the items we sell. We are always looking for ways to improve!
Margie: What items do the team buy that you have to keep for yourselves?
Jennifer: Me personally, I love crowns and Maltese crosses. These are the most difficult to part with! Mary is the bohemian who loves natural stones, pearls and statement jewelry and Peggy likes bling… sparkle jewelry is what she collects.
Margie: What have you found is your best source for information when you are researching an item?
Jennifer: We are lucky we have the internet! As I have several go-to online resources such as Illusion Jewels Researching Costume Jewelry and AJ Vintage Jewelry Reference. While I also use Google and have probably over 50 books on vintage jewelry. My favorite reference books are Costume Jewelry 101, 102, and 103 by Julia Carroll.
Margie: Do you have a hint that you are willing to share with the team about buying for or selling on Etsy? If so, what is it?
Jennifer: I have been doing Shop Updates because I believe they help send the traffic to our store. Although you can only do Shop Updates from the mobile application, they are so easy. You really just need to recycle a picture from your social media or even a listing and say a bit about it. I created a Shop Update when I had my first sale. Since then, I try to do one once a week.
Margie: What other things would you like us to know about you, your team and/or 24 Wishes Vintage?
Jennifer: As I mentioned before, our shop is a family operation. We take pride in the items that we offer for sale and have high standards that we hope our customers will appreciate. Our hope is that our customers will see the value in vintage jewelry and that we will continue to find ways to connect with potential customers. Let’s face it, there are lots of choices out there when it comes to jewelry. Our goal is to get people interested and wearing our vintage jewelry.
I really like the idea of 24 Wishes being a family team effort between Jennifer, her sister, and their mother. To own a small business, you have to do it all and have many different skill sets. Jennifer and family seemed to figure out how to use everyone’s skills and talents. While they live apart but join together for the good of the business and the family.