Friday, October 21, 2011

Thrift Jobs: Drew of Kitsch Café Fits Reselling into a Busy Schedule

Drew is a busy guy. He works multiple jobs that take up many of his weekends while still managing to thrift up a storm, maintain an awesome blog, and run a successful and beautifully designed Etsy Shop, Kitsch CaféLuckily for the rest of us mere mortals, he's sharing the secrets of his success today!

1.Hi Drew! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I'm Drew! I'm the owner of Kitsch Café Vintage. I currently operate two Etsy shops where I sell vintage housewares, art, clothing and accessories.

2. When and why did you start your Etsy shop, Kitsch Café?

I opened Kitsch Café in the summer of 2008. I have always loved to thrift and would always see lots of great vintage items that I didn't want for myself, but I knew other people would love... so I opened the shop as a side business, just to see what would happen.

3. When did you know it was time to focus on your Etsy shop and switch away from your full-time work?

It became more of an source of income when I left my full-time graphic design job in the spring of 2009. It's still not my main source of income but it does provide about a third to a half of my yearly total.

4. What is the top thing you feel helped you make sales and stand out on Etsy?

At first, I took a different approach with styling my photos. As everyone knows, Etsy has a certain style and look. I took the opposite approach and made my photos wild and colorful. It help me to stand out the first few years. I've since changed my photo styling, but I think those first few years helped put me on the map. Also, the fact that I am a guy in the mostly female dominated online vintage category helps set me apart.

5. What is the top tip you would recommend for a novice Etsy reseller?

Work your butt off. Put hard work in to every aspect of your shop... photo styling, editing your merchandise to only the best, listing and renewing items daily, taking advantage of social media and creating an online personality, creating a blog and updating it weekly... It's a lot of hard work, but customers will see that you love what you do and will respond by purchasing your items.

 Drew and Flamingos!

6. What do you like best and least about reselling on Etsy?

I love that it has a built-in audience and customers. I've recently done some research and found that 90% of my customers find my shop through Etsy, as opposed to coming to my shop from an outside link. This was news to me and has changed my approach to marketing. The thing I like the least can be seen as both good and bad... the coolness/hipness factor of Etsy. It sometimes makes it difficult to stand out if your shop and products are considered uncool by the online style elite. However, I also like the fact that the site has a ton more style that a place like Ebay.

7. What role does webmarketing play for your reselling business?

I try to be as active as I can with social media... Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Etsy forums. You never know who is out there listening/watching and who might feature you on their website or blog. Being genuine and friendly online has led to many blog features such as this one, features on the Etsy blog and recently a house tour on Apartment Therapy. (Van's Note: See it here. Dear god, I want to clean my apartment now...)

8. How often do you thrift for merchandise?

This depends on how busy I am with other areas of my life. But, generally, I go once a week. It's the part of the process that I love the most, so I see it as a treat and will make time for it even if I am very busy. When I travel regionally (like to Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis) I will make a point to thrift in those cities as well.

9. What's your most successful method for obtaining merchandise?

I mostly go thrifting for merchandise. I only buy items that really speak to me and try not to buy items to "pad" my shop which means I often leave thrift stores empty handed. I have gone to some estate sales and found some good items. Although, it has been difficult to go to estate sales because of the schedule with the high school group that I teach since most of my weekends are busy teaching.

10. What's your personal favorite thrift find?

Thank you for sharing all of these amazing tips with us, Drew! He's achieved so much and in his own words he's: "working part-time doing graphic design and started taking web design classes at a local community college. As well as running my business and teaching my high school group." Dayum, guy! Is anyone else feeling re-energized and ready to thrift and resell up a storm?

How are your reselling and thrifting efforts going? Any tips to share?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Love Drew's shops and the light in his apt is my envy :)

  2. Drew: You're welcome, thanks for the tips. I'm going to use them for branding my Etsy shop.

    Megan: Glad you like it.

    Victoria: Me too!

  3. They look so great! Thanks for nice share!


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