Handmade Conversations: Maggie Kmiecik, Vintage Shopping Expert

Posted by on Mar 06, 2012

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A leopard skirt available in Maggie's Etsy shop.
CF: What was the first vintage item you purchased? 
MK: Oh my, this one is sort of embarrassing to answer. I started thrifting in high school, when I thought I was tough and punk rock, so the very first thing I went hunting for was a fuzzy leopard print skirt from the 80s, very much like the one listed in my shop

When I first started thrifting and shopping vintage stores, I was on the hunt for old jean jackets and pleather mini skirts. I guess not much has changed.

CF: When vintage shopping, what section do you always gravitate to first. Why? 
MK: I always go to the dresses first because I think they're the easiest to shop for. However, I'm also biased because I hate pants, and wear dresses and skirts most of the time. You can definitely tell if you look in my Etsy shop. Dresses just make it so easy to throw together an outfit. All you really need are some accessories, after you've found one that fits!

CF: Who or what inspires your creativity? 
MK: Everything. Is that an appropriate answer? I am inspired by a lot of things that I find on the internet, most often interior design and fashion since that's what I enjoy writing about the most. Pinterest has really been an amazing tool for gathering new ideas and images, but I also follow a lot of really talented bloggers. One of my favorite design blogs, desire to inspire, is written by a Canadian, interior-loving duo. Their blog is always my first stop in my Google reader.

A view of Maggie's vintage Etsy store items.
CF: Tell us about your shopping experience. 
MK: I'd have to say I'm an all-the-time shopper, especially when it comes to shopping vintage. I have this unnecessary paranoia that if I don't look in my local thrift store often enough I'm going to miss something good (yes, I'm that crazy). It's like a compulsion. For this reason, I don't normally shop with friends. Since I pop into a store whenever the mood strikes me, it's hard to plan a meet-up. 

Even though I prefer shopping alone, I still love second opinions. That's why I always need my phone with me. I send out a lot of pictures when I'm shopping.

It's probably best that I shop alone because I can spend hours in one store. I am very finicky and will walk around debating buying an item for quite some time. I don't want to put anyone else through that torture.
Maggie's vintage SINGER sewing machine.
CF: What is your dream vintage item that you would love to find? 
MK: Well, I recently found a vintage Singer sewing machine from 1917, which was definitely on my list. Other than that, I've always wanted to find a vintage Chanel little black dress.

CF: Describe your personal style in 3 words.
MK: Oh, this is always the hardest question to answer. I'd have to say vintage, colorful, and adventurous.

CF: In addition to crafting and vintage shopping, what other talents do you have? 
MK: Considering I write about myself every week, you would think it'd be easy for me to brag, but that is never the case. If I have to choose, I'd have to say I am extremely talented at putting more on my plate than I can handle. I guess you would call that multi-tasking, right?

CF: What advice would you give to aspiring vintage sellers and bloggers? 
MK: Don't get discouraged. Looking for awesome vintage items is like a treasure hunt; it doesn't pay off every time but when it does it's very worth it!

CF: If you were only allowed to send out one tweet for the rest of this year, what would you say?
MK: @RiotofWords: If you're looking for me, I'll be sewing, knitting, thrifting, and taking over the world
with #coffeeinhand.

Learn more about Maggie and her vintage shopping adventures on her blog, Stranger Than Vintage.

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