Featured Collectible – Howard Pierce Ceramics

howard pierce ceramics header 2Girl With Flowers Figurine – Photo by Lem’s Lark Basement

A couple of weeks ago I picked up this lovely 6″ Mary & Baby Jesus figurine at a church sale – it was stamped on the bottom with just a name: Howard Pierce.

Howard Pierce Ceramic Mary & Jesus Green FigurineWhen I started researching it, I immediately fell in love – there are SO many amazing Howard Pierce pieces out there! I swear, no matter how long you buy and sell vintage items, there is always something that you have never seen before… That’s part of the fun, right? :)

A Bit Of History

Howard Pierce Ceramics or Howard Pierce Porcelain operated out of California from the 1940’s until the early 1990’s. According to a brochure he used to give to visitors at his studio:

“Howard personally handles all aspects of the ceramics — from original sculpture modeling, making of the molds, formulating the clay body and glazes, to the production and firing of the pieces. Each piece an original, hand-crafted American product. Howard continues to focus on porcelain, a high quality ceramic process which includes a single firing at 2150°F.”

He seems to have specialized in animal and people figurines, but there are some really cool vases floating around out there as well. Howard Pierce pieces are popular with collectors – and rightly so! Luckily, while some pieces are rather expensive (as in several hundred dollars expensive!), there are also pieces that go for very reasonable prices, many in the $12 to $15 range. My Mary and Jesus sold for $31 at auction on eBay.

Howard Pierce Goodness

howard pierce owl vaseCalifornia Pottery Artist Howard Pierce Vase w/ Modernist Owls

howard pierce cat figurinesPair Of Howard Pierce Art Pottery Siamese Cat Figurines

howard pierce st. francis figurineVintage Howard Pierce St. Francis Of Assisi Figurine

howard pierce bud vasesVintage Howard Pierce California Pottery Bud Vases Set

howard pierce bunny rabbit figurineVintage Howard Pierce Medium Bunny Rabbit Figurine

howard pierce angel with harp figurineVintage Howard Pierce Angel With Harp Figurine

howard pierce goose geese figurinesVintage Howard Pierce Ceramic Geese Figurines

howard pierce girl with basket figurineVintage Howard Pierce Girl With Basket Figurine

These are just some of my favorites that I wanted to share – there is LOTS more where this came from – just head on over to Etsy or eBay to see everything that is currently available for sale!

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Blogging Hiatus Is OVER! Kinda, Sorta… I Have A Plan!

missingyoupuppykittenI’m back! I missed you! I never really knew how much of the “fun” in my business was actually tied to blogging until I didn’t let myself do it anymore… Seriously, all work and no play makes for an unhappy vintage geek!

Back in May, I wrote a post – Keepin It Real, The State Of Vintage Goodness 2016 Edition – updating you all on the changes that had been happening in my life since the beginning of the year, and the decision I had made on how to handle my business going forward… Basically, if it wasn’t buying inventory, listing inventory, or shipping inventory, I decided I couldn’t do it. I think the image I chose to wish Vintage Goodness a Happy Birthday kind of sums up how I was feeling at the time I wrote it:

birthdaycakegirl2Does that seem like an actual Happy Birthday? Nope, not really. Deciding that my only option was to focus just on the tedious WORK side of my business made me feel like I was being a grown up – “look at me, ADULTING like a pro!” – but guess what?

As it turns out, not letting myself spend some time on the fun parts makes me NOT want to do the tedious parts. It’s been kind of counter productive, as far as actually getting shit done goes. Who would have thought? Not me, I thought I was being RESPONSIBLE and stuff…

Of course, my situation is still the same – I’m still working on Vintage Goodness one woman show style, I’m still working my part time job, and I’m still trying to stay on top of what I lovingly refer to as my “housewife shit” (cooking, cleaning, running endless errands, etc). But, I’ve been thinking about things, and I’ve come up with a plan…

makeaplanGoal:
Less Time, Same Money, More Fun!

Being a vintage seller involves quite a bit of time and effort, because you are mostly selling “one offs”. You are very much limited by the amount of time you have to source individual items for your inventory, and then to sell those items, one by one.

Since time is my biggest concern right now, I’ve had to take a look at HOW I make my money. I need a certain amount coming in to keep my life going, but I need to make that certain amount in less time than before. Tricky, tricky business… After much staring into space and contemplating, I’ve come up with a couple of strategies:

Quality Over Quantity.

I’ve actually been working on this since the beginning of this year’s sale season – and it’s NOT been easy. (When you’ve been buying and selling a certain way for almost a decade, you kind of get stuck in your ways…) I’ve been forcing myself to walk away from what I call “the piddly” – items that sell for less than, say, $15 or $20. I’ve not been totally successful, I mean some stuff just HAS to come home with me when I find it – but, overall I’ve been buying a LOT less this season than I have in previous years. That’s part of the reason why I haven’t done any haul posts – I’ve just not really had that many big hauls to share!

Bottom line on this strategy – list stuff that is worth more, and you need to list less. I need more of that in my life. ;)

Do The Work Once, Get Paid Over and Over.

This is tough to do in the vintage world – I’ve got a couple things I’m working on in this arena (stay tuned!), but the one I want to focus on in this post is making money from the blog. If I want to keep the fun of blogging in my life, I have to be able to justify spending the time on it. It’s that simple – but, of course, easier said than done…

I’ve always made a bit of money from blogging, mostly by being a member of eBay’s affiliate program. I make all eBay links in my posts affiliate links, and eBay gives me a small commission for sending traffic to their site.

If I want to spend time blogging now, with my time being as limited as it is, I’ve got to be more aggressive about monetizing it than I have in the past. It may not work – making money from a blog is notoriously difficult – but at least if I am trying, I can feel justified in spending the time on it. In other words, I get to have fun without feeling super guilty about it. ;)

The big thing that I discovered that is going to allow me to give this a go is Etsy’s new affiliate program – it didn’t used to be open to sellers, but now they are letting us join. THIS. IS. HUGE. I have a giant list of stuff I want to write about, but didn’t feel like I could take the time, because the money I would make off of a post using just eBay’s affiliate program was probably not enough to justify it. But now, I can use eBay AND Etsy links – and you all know how much amazing stuff is on Etsy!

The key here is that I can do the work ONCE (write the post) and have the chance to earn commissions from it for as long as the blog post is live on my site. I make money from posts I wrote YEARS ago on Vintage Goodness Version 1.0. That’s what’ I’m talking about!

I also joined an ad network and have added a few banner ads to the sidebar of the blog. I’m not expecting too much from this (previous experience has shown that my readers aren’t super into clicking on banner ads), but I was able to sign up with some good companies so I figure it couldn’t hurt. I may do some sponsored style posts for them in the future too, if they are having special promotions or deals going on that I think my readers might be interested in… Nothing too crazy though, don’t worry that the blog will turn into one big advertisement – that wouldn’t be cool for anyone…

Bottom line of this strategy – I’m going to be spending more time blogging. Yay! Probably not a TON of time (that’s where the “kinda, sorta” bit comes in) – but more time than I have been spending for sure. I still don’t feel comfortable committing to any kind of posting schedule, but just giving myself permission to blog should result in more of it. No more telling myself NO! ;)

OK, I think that’s all for now… Sorry if this was way too long and complicated, but I really needed to get all this stuff out of my brain! Hopefully this is the last post like this for a while – I’ll be focusing on to the fun stuff from here on out!

thankyou2A huge THANK YOU too, by the way – if you’ve read all the way to the end of this post, YOU are the reader I write for. You care, you really care! We are kindred spirits, you and I.  :)

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Keepin’ It Real – The State Of Vintage Goodness – 2016 Edition

vintage see no evil hear no evil speak no evilFirst up – the obligatory apology for not posting much lately. “Not posting much” might be a bit of an understatement, actually. I just did a quick count, and I’ve posted a grand total of THREE times this year. That’s some serious underachieving, right there…

Originally I had typed up a long, drawn out post for this update, explaining everything that is going on with my business, and a lot that is going on in the rest of my life. I read it over, and then deleted it –  because I realized that no one really cares. Who has time to read a bunch of boring details that don’t really have any bearing on their life? No one, that’s who.

So here’s the condensed version, for those of you who might be mildly interested:

  • My boyfriend got a full time job last December, which means I lost my helper. (Doing my own packaging SUCKS.) I work my part time job in the mornings, he works 2nd shift. In other words, our schedule is super wonky, but we are doing our best to make it work.
  • My time is now so crunched that just getting the basic tasks done is an achievement. Basic tasks include – taking photos, listing, shipping… You know, all that tedious WORK stuff that has to happen if you want to sell shit online.
  • Anything that isn’t on that list of basic tasks has been pushed into a hole at the bottom of my to-do list. This includes blogging, my email newsletter, social media, etc.
  • I probably won’t be doing any Thrift Haul posts anytime soon. Or my usual weekly New Goodness posts. They just take too much time. :(

There’s a bunch of other stuff I could talk about, but those are the main points. I will hopefully still be able to put up an occasional post here an there, I just can’t promise any kind of schedule…. It’s not because I don’t love you all – I do, I really do! I just have to focus on getting the work done right now…

If you don’t follow me on Facebook yet, head on over and give my page a like – I am going to try to post some stuff over there from time to time. New listings, fun scores, etc. It’s definitely MUCH faster than blogging, if I can remember to do it! ;)

Oh, one more thing before I go:

Happy Birthday Vintage Goodness! My business turned 9 last month. Unbelievable.

birthdaycakegirl2

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Let’s Start A Trend! Vintage Decoupaged Wood Wall Art

Vintage Wooden Decoupaged Wall ArtIn one week I picked up both of these (they are listed in my eBay store now!) – and visions of a gallery wall full of decoupaged wooden wall plaques floated in front of my eyes… It would be amazing! Kitschtastic! Someone needs to DO it – and send me photos! ;)

In the meantime, let’s create a virtual gallery wall right here – who knows, maybe it will catch on? I have all my fingers and toes crossed…

decoupage wood wall art covered bridgeVintage Covered Bridge Decoupage Wooden Wall Plaque

doctor decoupage wood wall artVintage Doctor Decoupaged Wood Wall Art

decoupage wood wall art set flowers mushroomsVintage Mushrooms & Flowers Decoupage Wood Wall Art Set

art nouveau decoupage wood wall plaqueVintage Art Nouveau Woman Decoupaged Wooden Wall Plaque

bee decoupaged wood wall artVintage Busy Bee Decoupage Wood Wall Plaque
(this made me laugh way too much…)

deer wood decoupaged wall plaqueVintage Deer Decoupaged Wooden Wall Art

john wayne wood slice decoupaged wall plaqueVintage John Wayne Decoupaged Wooden Wall Art

butterfly flowers wood decoupage wall artVintage Butterfly & Flowers Decoupage Wood Wall Plaque Set

fawn deer wood decoupage artVintage Fawn Deer Decoupage Wood Wall Plaque

marilyn monroe decoupaged wooden wall artVintage Marilyn Monroe Photo Decoupage Wooden Wall Art

owl family wood decoupaged wall plaqueVintage Owl Family Decoupaged Wooden Wall Art

farm scene decoupaged wood slab wall artVintage Farm Scene Wood Slab Decoupaged Wall Plaque

horse decoupaged wood wall artVintage Black Horse Wooden Decoupaged Wall Art Plaque

bunny chipmunk decoupage wood wall artVintage Rabbit & Chipmunk Decoupage Wood Wall Plaque Set

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