Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An Interview with JessJamesJake!

I recently asked my favorite vintage seller on Etsy, JessJamesJake, to do and interview! She finds the best stuff... including a giant pink sampsonite suitcase that I lusted over for days once before it sold :) Here is the interview.. have fun reading!

1960's Cobalt Blue Dancing Dress

Lover of my violin & my vintage collection! I live with my fabulous husband, James, and my adorable dachshund, Jake. I have my Master's degree in violin performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. I can currently be seen nationally on PBS, performing live with John Tesh. I've toured in Colorado and California with Andrea Bocelli and played in orchestras and ensembles all over the country including, The Bolshoi Ballet Company, Arizona Opera Company, The Albany Symphony, and The Boulder Philharmonic, among others. My online vintage shop, http://www.jessjamesjake.etsy.com has been up an running for over a year! I love Etsy, the community of fabulous sellers, and my wonderful customers.

50's Throwback Dress in Teal

1.) I love your photos, and your styling! Do you model the clothing yourself?

Thanks so much! About my model: Nope, not me! As much as I wish my legs were that long, she's almost 6 feet tall! My model's name is Nicole, and she's a girl that lives down the block, who also loves vintage. Sometimes I pay her in cash, sometimes in vintage, depending on what she wants. She comes over about once a week, and we have lots of fun together, usually averaging a 2 hour photo shoot. Our conversations are much better than I used to have with my dress form : ) She's a doll! I do all the photography, so it'd be hard for me to model, even if my legs were that long!!

The Hot Pink Bubble Swimsuit

2.) Tell us a little bit about your shopping habits.. you must be a very good thrifter! What do you look for?

Shopping is my favorite part of running jessjamesjake! I definitely love to find a good thrift store, but I've actually been having more luck at estate sales and "road-trip treasurehunts." James and I hop in our little car and drive to a small town, storm the local thrift stores and estate sales, and return to Albany with our finds. It's a fun day trip, we get to explore our surrounding areas, support the local economy, and the findings in small towns can't be beat! When we walk into a store, we break up: James immediately goes to housewares, and I dart off to dresses. He doesn't wear anything first-run, so he always go through the men's section, as well. I'm always on the lookout for anything with birds and deer, plus size vintage clothing, and I have an obsession with vintage luggage. I have so many pieces of amazing luggage, because each time I find one, I must adopt it! Regardless of if my
shop needs it, or not.

The Steampunk Wedding Dress

3.) What do you like the most about owning an etsy business and being able to work for yourself?

I love being able to balance two of my biggest passions: Violin & Vintage! They work seamlessly together. I'm at home in the days, practicing, teaching a few private lessons, listing on Etsy, and have the freedom to run off to a thrift store, walk up to the post office, and twitter with all you lovely tweets! I can wake up, have some coffee, catch up on convos, practice for concerts or auditions, snag a treasury, list a cute dress, make lunch, and repeat! It's the best. Concerts tend to be on weekends, so my shop doesn't usually get much attention from Friday-Sunday! My husband is a full time PhD student, so he's home a lot too, writing papers, reading and preparing lectures. This summer, we're roadtrip thrifting a lot! His first book is coming out in a few months, so we're doing a book-tour/travel-thrifting spree. It's going to be amazing.

Apricot Deer Statue

4) What is it that you love about vintage?

I love vintage for so many reasons. I love buying items with a past, that have style and tell a story. We don't just sell vintage online, we own it! Our kitchen table is grey formica with chrome legs, we have 2 olive green mid century modern chairs, and a teak Eames Era couch (one of our best finds to date). Our living room wall has a huge starburst clock, a bookcase full of LPs, and I even own a vintage Schwinn cruiser. We both wear vintage, and you should see my personal dress collection! It's pretty great . . . if I do say so myself. We love buying from thrift stores where the money raised goes to a specific cause. One of my local favorites is The Treasure Chest in Albany, where all of the proceeds go to help people living with HIV/AIDS. I love saving items from landfills and wearing clothing that have unsurpassed style and quality.

Mid Century Tassel Umbrella

5) I read that you are very green and make your own recycled packaging. Tell us a bit more about this, do you have any tips to share?

Yes! It's ridiculous, the amount of junk mail we receive. We purchased a shredder, and shred all of our excess paper for my shop's packing material. I often receive practice parts from symphonies, that are just photocopies of music, and after the concert is complete, I shred them! It is very fun to send out a mug, safely cushioned in violin music! I've had lots of compliments on it. I never buy boxes. We find them everywhere, about to be thrown out. Check your grocery store and local craigslist (often times when people are moving, they will give away their moving boxes). I buy vintage ribbon at thrift stores, to wrap my clothing in, and print my shipping labels on recycled paper. We walk our packages up to the post office almost everyday, and that is Jake's favorite part!

Minty Mojito Pumps, Size 8

Be sure to check out her shop HERE!


Sara Hopp Harper said...

I'm new to your blog, but I'll definitely be coming back.

Great interview! Thanks :)

teddystartedit said...

What a lovely feature. It's nice to get to know an Etsy favorite a little better. Thanks for all your efforts:)

chloejessica said...

Loved the interview! I love her vintage shop as well, and LOVE that she has a dachshund! :)

Rebecca said...

Awesome interview! She's a sweetie and I love her shop! I didn't know she was a violinist as well! Neat stuff. :)

Amy said...

Great interview - I was wondering if that was her in the pictures in her shop - thanks for asking her that questions!

jessjamesjake said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity to do this interview! I love your blog and your shop. xoxo, jess

sheila at shecological said...

I love her shop and it is great to know more about her. so cool that she plays violin!

Keepsake Cakes said...

I so want her life! Greta interview! What a great model too!

Shrimp Salad Circus said...

Love love this shop! Thanks for featuring it!

Pulse Vintage said...

What a great interview of such wonderful vintage store.