I'm asking the questions you didn't even know you wanted the answers to! Running a successful shop doesn't just depend on having good business sense. You have to have the personality and the perseverance to pull it off. Let's get inside the hearts and minds of up-and-coming artists, as well as those who are long in the tooth. Between all of us, maybe we can figure this thing out!
They say don't go up on Wolverton Mountain.... Argh, those commercials! Everytime I hear the word "mountain" that silly song comes to my mind. But maybe now that I've had the chance to get to know the shop Tole Mountain, she'll come to mind instead. With over 300 vintage items to browse through, you should spend a little time getting to know her yourself!
How many finds have you had that you just couldn’t bear to part with?
None. Even though I find wonderful & unique items every single week at estate sales & flea markets, everything has it's price. When I find a fabulous item I only see one thing... GREEN! As in money - ca-ching! ha!
Why do you only ship to the US?
I hate turning down buyers who are out of the U.S. because all Etsy buyers are always so friendly and courteous. But shipping costs seem to fluctuate so much depending upon where you're shipping an item and sometimes the shipping can end up actually costing more than the item! And until you actually box it up and take it to the post office you never know for sure what the exact cost will be. If it's an outrageous amount then you've wasted time boxing it up and taking it to the post office and then the customer doesn't want it. So unfortunately I have found it easier to just not ship out of the U.S.
Do you have a specific place that you store your 300+ vintage items or are they just placed throughout the home as decoration until they sell?
One Most Awesome Honey Dipper
I have a lot of my items on shelves in my attic. Actually it's a good thing I started on Etsy because it made me clean my attic! Now I don't have junk in my attic, I have rows of wonderful items that will make me money! But of course there are always those items that I really think are special and I keep them for decoration until they sell. And then I have an excuse to go shopping again!!
Why the name "Tole Mountain"?
Years ago I used to tole paint. I sold to a variety of places such as Union Terminal in Cincinnati, Cincinnati Nature Center, Bob Evans General Stores and a variety of local shops. I was also featured in some country magazines like The Country Almanac. Now besides rescuing vintage items the only painting I do is on bird houses which I LOVE doing. I try to incorporate unique vintage items found at sales into them.
What was the coolest thing you ever found at an estate-sale?
I would say the coolest and most unusual find was a giant authentic steer's skull. And it sold to a lady in Texas! She was thrilled with it.
(I just happen to have a couple of photos of a cow skull in my digital download section. Go figure....)
What are the things you enjoy outside of estate-sale shopping?
Besides going to sales I love reading Christian romance novels, gardening and making my fabulous bird houses.
Any thing else that you would like to add?
I have a very special little dog that came from a rescue shelter. She means the world to me and makes every day so much fun. Shelter and Rescue dogs bring so much joy into people's lives. They give back so much more than they take. I wish everyone would go out and adopt one!
Well, these aren't dogs, but it is a collection of some very vintage kitchenwares: lemon press, tea spoon that holds your tea bag, a corn cutter, a cookbook from the '30s, and one of her salt and pepper shaker sets. All of these wonderful items and more can be found in her shop.
The only place I can be found on the internet is www.tolemountain.etsy.com. I'm probably the only person left on the planet that doesn't facebook, tweet or blog!!