We’ve all experienced the warm fuzzies that come from seeing a time-worn saying on a hand-stitched pillow. Mother and daughter-in-law combo Lori and Dayana Stephanoff have brought it to a new level with their clever, cute, and chic shop, Vintage Affair Studio. Where vintage meets modern, the store has everything from adorable table runners to gorgeously designed pillows.
What got you started? Where did you begin?
Vintage Affair Studio was birthed out of a very real need to help my new daughter-in-law use her creative talent while waiting for employment. My son, Josh, married Dayana (a native Brazilian) in November 2012 and we opened our Etsy shop in December. Dayana loves vintage, I love modern. So we blended the two styles for a fresh approach: where vintage meets modern. We started with elements borrowed from their special wedding day (pillows, banners, and silk bouquets). Our top selling pillow “IN HIGH TIDE or IN LOW TIDE I’ll be by YOUR SIDE” is one of Dayana’s first designs.
What do you hope people will receive from your products?
I want people to say, “Wow, I love that! How cool is that! That is well made!” And I want them to get that warm, fuzzy, feel good feeling.
What inspires you?
Fun and happy things inspire me. Kind words and kind people inspire me. A customer recently said, “I love all of your pillows, they are like reading Hallmark cards.” I created “Pillow Talk” so that life giving words would linger in the room, bridge distances, touch hearts, and bring smiles. And, of course, Pinterest also inspires me!
What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?
I keep in mind two things:
1) Will other people love this design as much as I do, and
2) Will I enjoy making this specific item over and over again. If I don’t enjoy what I am doing, then it’s not worth doing.
Where do you hope your business will go?
I am just amazed at the growth of Vintage Affair Studio in one year. I really don’t know what to expect in 2014 but I do hope for continued favor.
What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?
Etsy allows you to set a weekly budget for search ads. There are thousands of shops out there, so I recommend starting with the minimum budget and investing in search ads so people can find you.
Do you sell offline too? Where else can we find your stuff?
Yes, three local retail shops in Charleston, SC carry my merchandise. I also participate in 2-3 local festivals throughout the year.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?
I have fun for sure, but I also have a clear purpose with the income generated. Being able to contribute to our “pay off the mortgage” fund gives me great satisfaction.
What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?
I love CraftLaunch’s automatic integration with Etsy. I can’t imagine trying to keep up with two sites, and I do feel it is important to have a website in addition to the Etsy shop.
What’s something we should have asked you but didn’t?
What is your drug of choice?
Vintage Affair Studio: www.vintageaffairstudio.com