Tell us your name, location and something interesting about you.
My name is Emily Orth. I've lived in Portland, Oregon for seven years now with my husband, eight year old son, and dog, but I grew up on the east coast and have moved back and forth between the coasts several times. Wherever I've lived I've always been drawn to the local flea markets and antique shops.
How long have you been collecting vintage?
I've been interested in collecting vintage things since I was very young. I've always had an eye for the odd and unusual. I majored in graphic design in college which helped me develop my design sense as well.
What got you into collecting and selling vintage?
My parents were the practical sort who didn't share my vintage aesthetic, but I had a wonderful aunt who travelled a lot and loved antiques, jewelry, and decorative arts. She had a pair of pink silk couches in her living room that absolutely knocked me out. I thought they were quite daring. I adored looking through her collections when she allowed and she inspired me to see beyond the ordinary. A few years ago my sister introduced me to Etsy, and at the time I was looking for a home-based business idea. Things just clicked when I realized that I had amassed "inventory" over the years. I opened my first shop, Garden Home Vintage (vintage jewelry and accessories) in 2008. I opened Kitchen Table Vintage for housewares and home decor in 2010.
What are your favorite eras for vintage?
I really love the period between the '50s and the early '70s, when high-quality things were still made in the USA and available to everyone. Plus, the style and colors just can't be beat.
What would be your ultimate vintage find?
It's hard to say what my ultimate vintage find would be. I'm endlessly falling in love with the new things that I discover, but I suppose it would be something kitchen-related. I love the marriage of beauty and utility.
Where kinds of venues supply the majority of your vintage goods?
I have a series of local thrift shops and flea markets that I prowl regularly. I also find wonderful things at yard sales and estate sales, and whenever I travel I keep an eye peeled for new vintage sources; a happy coincidence that this is one of my favorite ways to spend time.
Is vintage popular in the city/town where you live?
Portland is vintage-obsessed, which makes finding the great stuff a bit of a competitive sport.
What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about your vintage business?
I think one of the most challenging things about my vintage business is the up and down nature of it. It's definitely cyclic and it's taken some work to successfully deal with the slow times. Many useful life lessons learned with this business.
One of the most rewarding things is the flexibility and independence of having my own business so I can be available to my son on his schedule. This is very important to me. I also love sharing the wonderful things I find with my customers. It's warms my heart to find beautiful items and to see that other people appreciate them as well.
What kind of things are in your personal vintage collections?
I love to collect vintage kitchen items that I can use every day. They make me smile on a regular basis. i have a colorful collection of Pyrex pieces that I really enjoy. One of my favorite finds is an elaborate set of 1950s wine glasses that I found at a yard sale for a dollar. They really enhance the wine-drinking experience for me and they remind me of when I was a kid and drank my milk out of an old cut glass goblet, one of the only antique items in my house growing up.
Where can we find your goods and connect with you online?
You can find me on Etsy! Garden Home Vintage is my vintage jewelry and accessories shop. Kitchen Table Vintage is for housewares and home decor. Follow me on Twitter, too!