This Friday, we have with us Meredith, from VintagePatternPlace! If you love vintage clothes, knitting, or crocheting (or all of the above, in Mama’s case), Meredith is the lady to talk to. Here we go!
My name is Meredith Pierce, and I’m 24 years old. I work full time as an engineer, and I’m also working on my Master’s degree in the evenings. I manage day-to-day filling orders and responding to emails as they happen. When I am between classes I tend to do most of my new listings. School takes up most of my time in the evenings and weekends. I have to be really organized to keep everything running smoothly in my life, and even then it gets pretty hectic sometimes!
I learned how to knit and crochet when I was in junior high- one of my great aunts taught me how one Saturday afternoon. I didn’t actually enjoy it… so I didn’t even try again until I was in college my freshman year. I don’t remember what made 18-year-old me want to give it another try, but I did and I haven’t stopped since.
I decided to start collecting vintage pattern books, because I had a few old books from my great-aunt’s stash that had some really fantastic patterns. I found more that looked cool on Ebay, inherited a few here and there from various relatives and neighbors- purchased a TON of them at a thrift shop and here I am… surrounded in awesome old pattern books. After getting married to an Air Force officer last August, it started to make more sense to have digital copies, rather than trying to lug around this ridiculous collection back and forth across the country.
Since a lot of old pattern books in my collection are in the public domain, I’m able to make copies without violating copyright law. My digitized copies are much nicer than some available online–there are a lot of people online that just sell scans of the books, but I go to the trouble of retyping all the instructions. Most of the old pattern books were printed in tiny fonts with very few paragraph breaks (in order to conserve paper). I retype them in a large, easy-to-read font and add a scanned photo to the cover page, so that you can see what the finished piece looks like without having to use a ton of ink to print it off. The font and paragraph spaces make it easy to keep your place, and are much nicer to work from than even the originals. The copies are delivered to my customer’s inboxes as pdf files within 24 hours of their order, and I guarantee satisfaction. I also offer free pattern alterations, something you won’t find any other places.
To stock my shop, I started making digital copies of the patterns that were my favorites first, then I tried to fill in other shop sections. I try to build a large selection for my customers to choose from—browsing is part of the fun! Once I had the basic sections of my shop more or less stocked, I started taking special requests from my Facebook Fans and Twitter followers. So, if you are looking for a special pattern let me know–I probably have it in my stash somewhere!
One of my biggest struggles in running my shop (and the rest of my life), in general, has been stress management. I’ve had a lot of major life changes in the past year or two- graduating from college, starting and finishing my first job, moving across the country to be with my fiancé (now husband), starting and working at my new job, trying to continue work on my Master’s degree while planning a wedding, adjusting to life as a military spouse and being away (far away) from home and family for the first time ever.
My secret? A husband that is remarkably supportive of me and my crazy lifestyle who feeds me healthy foods, reminds me to go for a run when I get too frustrated, and is ready with a bubble bath and bottle of wine when even running isn’t enough. I think I picked a winner.
Besides Etsy and school, I love hanging out with my husband and three dogs. We have a sweet little dachshund, a terrier mutt (my favorite), and a basset hound. They’re my “fur babies”. The hubby and I both garden, and we have a great time getting together with the other couples living on the Air Force base at the dog park, or over at each other’s houses for dinner and movies. We’re at a pretty remote base, so we don’t go into town much, but when we do, Indian food is almost always on the menu. My favorite movies are classics- think “My Fair Lady”, “The Sound of Music”, “Twelve O’Clock High” and “ “National Velvet”. All the modern special-effects don’t hold a candle to the wonderful plots in these old films. They have a real substance to them that you don’t find in modern films.
Thank you so much, Meredith! Readers, be sure to look into VintagePatternPlace on Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up for her monthly newletter here. Check in next Friday for a coupon good for a free pattern from Meredith!