I’ve got one more lovely interview this week, friends. I had the chance to talk with Michelle of Viva Revival, an awesome Etsy shop full of vintage-inspired pieces. She gave me the scoop on her shopping secrets and the special meaning behind her shop’s name. I hope you enjoy it! xoxo
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So tell me a bit about Viva Revival.
Viva Revival is a constantly evolving jewelry line that mixes a bit of vintage with new. Each vintage piece of jewelry has a story behind it, and I love being able to mix it with new pieces to create a whole new story. The name pairs a Spanish exclamation with the word revival, which describes using a vintage piece in my jewelry and essentially giving it a new life. I create and design the entire line myself. I’m constantly learning new techniques so I can always add unique pieces. Right now, I’m making a lot of items using precious metal clay. This special clay fires in a kiln to make fine silver. I love this medium because there’s really no end to what I can do with it. I have also been doing a lot of sawing of sheet metal and personalized hand-stamping. I enjoy being able to make a truly personal and special item for someone.
What inspired you to start the shop?
Years ago, my mom had all this great vintage jewelry around her house, just sitting there. Some pieces were broken or missing stones. I made these pieces into jewelry for myself. I had so much fun doing it; I’d discovered a whole new hobby. I spent a lot of time learning new ways to make and repair jewelry. After I perfected my techniques, I decided to venture out and try to sell it. I made too much to keep it all! My friend had told me about this site called Etsy, and as soon as I saw it I knew it was the right place for me. I had no idea there was such a huge community out there of handmade sellers.
What’s your best piece of advice for people looking for great online shopping deals, especially during the holiday season?
I’m all for handmade holidays! Many Etsy sellers offer discounts during the holidays or free shipping. If there’s a shop you love, join their Twitter, like their Facebook page or follow their blog. I offer discounts to my customers through these sites rather than announcing it on my Etsy page. It’s always a great idea to subscribe to e-mail lists as well. I get e-mails from companies like One King’s Lane, Ideeli and MyHabit daily. It just takes a few seconds to see if they have anything you want and you don’t miss out on unexpected sales. But, I always say if it’s the perfect gift, it’s worth full price!
In this recession economy, what are some ways people can still look chic for less?
I’m not much into brands, and I hate to wear something everyone else is wearing. I find a lot of great things at thrift stores and on Etsy. I used to have an aversion to thrift stores until I found the right ones to go to! I’ll usually find a really cool piece and mix it in with some newer items that are already in my closet. I really think accessorizing is the key! If you accessorize the right way, you’ll just look expensive.
What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
Anything I make with a bird on it is my favorite! And I love lockets, so my Five Tiny Birds Locket is probably my favorite right now. But, I also love my precious metal clay Love Bird Necklace so much I had to make one for myself! I can’t stop wearing it. Birds are so elegant and the perfect shape for jewelry. I always find myself sketching them for new pieces.