November 18, 2013Elizabeth’s Crazy-Awesome Collection of Vintage Ephemera, Toys and Holiday Items PLUS Her Etsy Shop Grandmother’s Attic
RetroRuth here! It is always so much fun to bring you our new sponsors and give you new places to shop, new products to discover AND new collections to “ohh” and “ahh” over! But I have to admit, Elizabeth from Grandmother’s Attic might have the most completely awesome collection we have featured so far. I have been a customer of Elizabeth’s for a long time and have scored some excellent items from her. She is also incredibly sweet and nice, just a dream to work with. So, it is my pleasure to introduce you guys to this fantastic shop and great shop owner!
1. What is the focus of Grandmother’s Attic?
Grandmother’s Attic offers a wide variety of paper ephemera, vintage books, game pieces and kitschy décor items for the collector, artist, teacher/homeschooler or the person who is seeking that special item from their own childhood.
2. How did you get started selling vintage? What was your inspiration?
In 1998, I opened a brick and mortar store with a friend in a small Southern Indiana town. At that time, I sold a mix of folk art, antiques and vintage. Being a collector myself, it was a natural road to take as I loved to treasure hunt and find unique items not only for my home but for others to enjoy as well. After I met my husband and moved, I rented space in two different antique malls for several years. As time went by, I eventually closed the booths and pursued other ventures. In 2008, I was on a design team for an online scrapbooking kit club and was introduced to the wonderful world of Etsy! One night, I decided to open my own Etsy shop and sell some of the vintage items I used for scrapbooking. Grandmother’s Attic was born early that year and has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.
3. Do you have any vintage or retro collections? We would love to hear about them, in detail!
Boy do I ever! I have been a collector since childhood but in the early 1990s, I discovered the wonder of antiques and vintage. I adore old graphics and packaging and collect so many different things. First and foremost, I love holiday items! Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Valentine’s Day are at the top of my list. I also collect old general store items and love finding new old stock that is still in its original box or packaging. Growing up with a mom who was a teacher, I naturally played school at home so it is no wonder that I also collect vintage school supplies. I absolutely adore boxes of crayons and chalk. Together, my husband and I collect Baby Boomer era toys, especially Marx playsets. In fact, we met over a Yogi Bear Jellystone Park playset and now have one in our own collection! On the list of my more unusual collections would definitely be boxes of straws, popcorn boxes, travel brochures and baby items.
4. What was your best vintage score ever? How did it happen?
I’d have to say that my best vintage score ever would be a huge metal mailbox from Santa Claus, IN where children mailed their letters to Santa. My husband and I visited The National Christmas Center in Pennsylvania on our honeymoon and I saw one on display there. I fell in love with it and said if I ever found one, it was going home with me. A few years later, I did find one at an antique advertising show and now it sits at the top of my staircase.
5. I have personally bought a LOT of things from you, including some custom-clipped recipes from vintage magazines. Tell us about your custom ephemera packs, and how the readers can get in touch with you to request a collection!
I am always happy to fill custom orders and work with customers who are looking for something specific. I have quite a bit of paper ephemera in back stock and would be more than willing to put together a themed pack. Please contact me through my Etsy shop.
6. What does your house look like right now? Be honest!
Eek! Right now, believe it or not, I have already started decorating for Christmas. We put up approximately 30 different themed trees as well as lots of vintage decorations so I have to start early.
7. What is your favorite vintage possession? What is the story behind how you came to own it?
Hands down, it would be my vintage Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Light Up Camera Display mint on the original counter card. Every time there is a severe storm threat, this item goes to the basement with me, the cats and my scrapbooks. I stumbled upon it at a local flea market years ago and it is truly my favorite collectible.
8. What would you rather have: An Eames lounger or an enormous pink vintage sectional?
I have to confess that I’d rather have an antique Santa Claus, a retro toy or a vintage box of crayons than a piece of furniture. While we do have many antique cabinets, bookcases and old store display cases that we use for our collections, I still have the sofa I bought new in 1990.
9. If you could have anything to eat right now, what would it be?
Brach’s Chocolate Covered Raisins. I keep them next to me when I work at the computer and grab a handful when I need some extra energy.
Wow! Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth! Your collections really are totally awesome. Please head over to Elizabeth’s shop, Grandmother’s Attic, to check out all the great ephemera, toys and kitschy finds that she has for sale!