Friday Feature: Reader of the Month – Letty

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Last month when I kicked off a new regular feature here on the blog called Reader of the Month, I had no idea it would be so well-received!

It wasn’t a DIY project.

It wasn’t something that was necessarily “pin-worthy,” either.

Rather, it was a big “THANK YOU!” for all you readers that really make this blog a community.

You see…..

Every project I have made is a portion of me that I let you guys see. I love to experiment, I don’t give up easily, I always see beyond what others can see, I see the potential in every piece.  You only get to see snippets of the process in transforming old furnitures into a unique master piece here in the blog. Honestly, its not as easy! LOL (But hey I’m not complaining because I know it is worth it!)

Having people around me who appreciate what I do is soooo rewarding. Interacting with you guys is like catching up with an old friend. I love how we share different ideas and how much enthusiasm you show on every post that I publish. 

So each month, I’m taking a mom
ent to thank you guys for all the support I received from you. My utmost gratitude goes to you all!

 

Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world

Meet Letty

Today, I would like all of you to meet one of those awesome readers, Letty!

I don’t remember when Letty started reading my blog, but she’s been involved in nearly every one of my 30-Day Room Makeover Challenges!

And trust me–those challenges aren’t easy, but each one of them, she has risen to the challenge.

I asked Letty to tell us about her love of thrift, some of her great finds, and her tips for selling vintage things on Etsy.  Here’s what she had to share.

Be sure to leave a comment for Letty and let her know how awesome she is!

 

 

Reader of the Month Letty

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. In my case, necessity was the mother of thrifting. – Letty Hixon

Where do you live?

“My name is Letty Hixon and I hail from Stormville, NY.”

How long have you been thrift diving and loving junk?

“As a young child, I lived with my parents and grandmother. Tati, as we affectionately called my grandmother, was a seamstress. She would scour the thrift shops (with me in tow) for good used wool winter coats. Once home she would create a new lining for the coat using the old one as a pattern. She dug into her button box and changed out the buttons. Next the coat would go to the dry cleaners and finally, I would have a “new “coat. That was the start of my thrifting adventures.

During my teenage years, there were flea markets, hand me downs, outlets, and closeouts. To this day, I still own a cedar lined wooden trunk I purchased back then. I remember a fur jacket I picked up at a vintage clothing store that I had to sew back together before I could wear it!

My first apartment in Colorado was entirely furnished in garage sale finds – a table and chairs, artwork, sewing machine, you name it.

Later, when I was raising my three children as a single parent, hand-me-downs and outlets were my best friends. Kids grow so fast – without the kindness of friends and neighbors, I don’t know how I would have managed.

Fast forward to the present and I am still thrifting. My hubby picks up vintage mid-century furniture on Craig’s List and refinishes them. Most we keep, some we sell. You could say my home is decorated in early Craig’s List.”


What’s the project you’re most proud of?

“Hubby picked up my craft cabinet [from Craigslist], which I refinished, and I love how it came out. It has become my essential piece. It holds most of my crafting supplies in its 24 drawers.”

BEFORE

 

Craft room cabinet makeover from Craigstlist

 

AFTER!

 

Letty Hixon's Project AFTER

 

(Note: Click here to read all about Letty’s cabinet and cozy multi-purpose room makeover!)

What’s your most prized possession you’ve ever bought from the thrift store?

“Thrifting can have one big drawback – when to stop! So what happens when you thrift too much? You start selling your overflow. I picked up a lovely pink vase for $3.00. Turns out it was an elegant glass of the depression era which I was able to turn around and sell for $75.00!”

 

 

Lettys thrifted vase

 

“In our family the thrifting “gene” has been passed down. My son thrifts full time and now my granddaughter is helping him. We have even had multigenerational thrifting vacations!”

 

Why do you like reading Thrift Diving, and how long have you been a reader?

“I read many blogs about DIY, thrifting and upcyling. But the homes and people in those blogs seemed so different from my own experiences. Then I found Thrifting Diving and Serena. She had just completed her first challenge and was looking for folks to sign up for the next challenge. I signed up and just loved the support, ideas, incentive, and drive. We shared mishaps, losses, accomplishments and triumphs. It was such a wonderful experience I couldn’t wait for the next one. In the meantime, bonds and friendships were formed.”

 

What other DIY, thrifting, or crafting blogs do you love to read?

“Besides Serena and Thrift Diving my other favorite blogs are Gail at My Repurposed Life and Leilani at Keeping up with Mrs. Smith. My Repurposed life is very different experience from Thrift Diving but one I also enjoy. I admire Gail’s vision – she sees a project where many see trash. Leilani has such a frankness about her. Her experiences strike a chord with me.”

 

What DIY or crafting tips do you have for others?

“So what tips to do I have to offer – organize, organize, organize! If all of your crafting or DIY supplies are organized, you will be ready to go when the urge to create strikes. You will save money by not buying duplicate supplies and all those organized supplies will inspire to go ahead and make something beautiful.”

Letty's Sewing Cabinet Unfolded

 

Letty’s Esty Shop (And Tips for Selling on Etsy)

I’ve always struggled with finding the commitment (and platform!) for selling the vintage things I find at the thrift store. But Letty just hit a huge milestone with her 300th listing in her Etsy shop back in April!

That’s a huge accomplishment because I know how much time it takes to find the perfect items to sell, take pictures, and list them!

300 items is a lot, so I couldn’t help but ask….

How do you store all your items before selling them?

“I have several file cabinets (that we picked up for free on craigslist) that are kept in the garage where I store many of my items. These will be moving soon to a ground level unheated storage room in my house. I sort similar items together – all Farberware, all metal, clear glass, etc. The only thing I don’t store outside are fabric items (those I keep in a tote inside). Right now I can usually remember where things are but I think I am going to start some kind of numbering system.”

Letty's Etsy Shop

How did you get started selling on Esty?

“My son (who sells full time on both Ebay and Etsy) helped me get started. Like you, he lost his job and turned his part time passion into a full time job. Pictures are key and I finally invested in a lighting set. I did things slowly. Since I just started my second year, I am a bit more comfortable with purchasing supplies for my business. I did it all legit with a tax ID and all the tax stuff. I am lucky that my hubby LOVES thrifting and is constantly on Craigslist (great to be retired). He has a good eye for things.”

(Serena: I was so inspired by Letty’s Etsy shop that I asked her to come back later to do a guest post on how to get started selling on Etsy. I mean, we find such great stuff at the thrift store and at yard sales. Why not try to start a legit business selling, right?? You can check out that post here: How to Get Started Selling on Etsy).

Thrift Diving Tote Bags!

I tried offering Letty one of my Thrift Diving tees for being featured this month, but she already ordered one last year! (YAY, thanks, Letty!) So instead, I’m sending her this cute little Thrift Diving tote bag! Hmmm….pink maybe?

 

Thrift Diving Tote Bags

 

I keep meaning to order mine, and I have never sold them on the blog, so she will be the first to own a Thrift Diving tote (you can order one here for $15). Lucky girl! (I hope she likes it!).

Thanks, Letty!

Catch Up on Past Readers of the Month

Thanks for joining me for this month’s Reader of the Month here at Thrift Diving!

 

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29 Comments

  1. Haven’t visited this page for a while, but I did see the post about Letty’s Etsy shop. I know I commented on that about the storage cabinet–that was the most awesome find! The finished project looks wonderful in her room. Yes, organization is so important to the success of our DIY projects. I’m still working on my down sizing since I moved last September so I can focus on the types of projects that I enjoy the most. My challenge now is organizing what’s left. I love these posts and all the comments on TD because I learn so much and discover so many new ways to do things! I’m glad to meet you, Letty, and share this wonderful “community” with you and all the rest of the fab folks who congregate around Thrift Diving. Now, if I could just find an awesome cabinet like you did to store things in!

  2. Love this series! So nice to meet you Letty and I can’t wait to hear more about the Etsy business. I’m constantly trying to convince my dad to use his thrifting/antiquing for good and start an Etsy shop.

  3. Michelle Waltz says:

    Serena, so you really think that a 24 drawer cabinet would be big enough for you?
    Thanks for sharing Letty had some good ideas.

  4. Hi Sirena,

    Thanks for sharing Letty’s post with us. That’s some real organization in that cabinet. My only problem with the items that I have accumulated, I keep trying to convince myself that I’m gonna switch some furniture to change my decor but it hasn’t happened yet. Meanwhile, my storage room overflowedth.

    I have a sister in Columbia, SC. What city will you be in?

  5. JaneEllen says:

    Hi Serena. one of many things I have found is so heart warming about blog land is how all the people wrote in to you for this post and how warm and inviting they are. It’s like a world friendship circle. And talk about all the talent out there, just amazes me, it’s truly so incredible to me.
    I found blogs about 4 yrs. ago, maybe more, it’s inspired me so much I can’t seem to get projects made quick enuf, so much to do for an active senior who has lots of time to make things, re-hab older pieces.
    We recently redid a sturdy 6 drawer dresser into tv stand, not original certainly but wanted to attempt it ourselves.
    When I told hubs about doing dresser or buffet for tv stand he was very skeptical. We found dresser at our local thrift store for $20 and off we went. Still want to spiff it up little more but we’ve been using it for couple months now and hubs loves it. Our son-in-law was surprised when he saw it, thought it was pretty spiffy. He’s been kinda skeptical also when he’d see what we’re doing.
    I love to make things for house to give it some spark and express my self. Now I make pretty much all art for house, redo old frames, etc.
    I would love to make some extra cash with what we make but have been hesitant. The market here, Grand Junction, CO (we live few miles west of GJ), has not been so good when we’ve been in a craft show. People don’t like distressed finish or this or that. I got so distressed/discouraged we stopped trying and have several pieces out in our shed. Hubs won’t make any more til things sell, vicious circle.
    We don’t have money for fancy camera to take photos of our pieces. What’s a person to do?
    Love your blog and hearing/seeing what other bloggers/crafters do, being part of a congenial community.
    Have fun wonderful weekend Serena.

    1. Hi, JaneEllen! Well, the first thing is that you are blessed to have a hubby who’s on board with your refinishing furniture and stuff! Most men that I hear of don’t like it or can never understand why women paint furniture. LOL. So the fact that he helps out and likes it, that’s great! As for selling, if people don’t like the distressed look, why not see if you can give them the stuff they like? Do they like natural wood? Why not try tung oil or just sprucing up the natural stuff and see if you can sell some pieces that way. Or if people like modern furniture, try to get more of that, and maybe do some other colors, like bright shiny pieces. See if some other stuff might work! šŸ™‚

      As for fancy cameras, what kind of cell phone do you have? Usually, cell phones will work well! Just take pics of stuff in the outdoors because the natural light makes any picture look better! šŸ™‚

      Thanks for commenting! I agree with you. This community here feels awesome, doesn’t it? šŸ™‚

  6. Gracie Redfield says:

    I always enjoy reading about creative people! Letty’s advice on organization was a kick in the pants for me. I live in a very tiny home, and because storage is so limited, my “stuff” is in so many places. I don’t have a craft room, so the next option for me would be to have a storage cabinet to centralize my small projects and supplies. I’m on the hunt for just the right one.

    P.S.: Serena—I apologize for not contributing to the conversations as often as I used to; I am taking care of my mom, who has Vascular Dementia, four days per week, and on the fifth day I take care of my almost-four year old granddaughter. I always read your blog and enjoy it thoroughly–I just read it when my mom and granddaughter are napping. šŸ™‚

    1. Hey, Gracie! Yes, you’ve got the get the materials all in one place! Spread out, it’s too much of a chore to search and gather. I hope you can find something suitable! And no worries on not being able to comment like before! I am equally busy, too! Stop through whenever you can! šŸ™‚

  7. Hey Serena, The craft cabinet that”Letty” refinished is beautiful. I wish her well with all her sales. She is in a great area for the Stormville flea market. Which is not to far from where I am. I miss going to the flea markets since I have a problem with walking these days. Good Luck Letty. see you soon right here on Thrift Diving.

    1. Hi, Betty! šŸ™‚ I love that cabinet, too. I’ve had some luck in finding great deals, but never anything as awesome as THAT! šŸ™‚

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