Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Twenty Questions with Betty Ninja Finds!

Today I'm chatting with the charming Janie of Betty Ninja Finds. She told me a little about why she loves vintage, her best thrift store score ever and how blogging revived her love of photography. I know you'll enjoy our little visit. Click on any of the images to go right to the Etsy listing!

Miss B:First off, tell us a little about you. Where do you live? What is the best thing about life in your city?

Betty: I left my full time job in marketing this past year to work on my Masters degree. I am studying to be a Speech Language Pathologist. I moved to Rochester, NH this past year. The best thing about it is being close to the train to Boston- which helps me with my commute. Also, the library is fantastic

Miss B:What inspired you to start Betty Ninja Finds? And how did you come up with that name? It really does make me smile!

Betty:I actually started Betty Ninja Finds out of necessity. I have a penchant for vintage goodies and have been frequenting yard sales and church rummages my entire life. Last year I decided I needed to cut down and back since we live in a two bedroom apartment.

My store name actually is a mix of nicknames and family traits. I am probably one of the most nicknamed people ever. My real name is Janine and I’ve been called everything from Betty (boyfriend started this one), Neen, Nini, Bean, J-Nine, Niner, Jah, J, and Neener. So I pulled my most frequently used nickname for the store name. The ninja part is because everyone in my family has been involved in martial arts for years- aikido, judo, grappling, MMA.

Miss B:Is your Etsy shop a hobby, a profession or a happy marriage of both?

Betty:My etsy shop is more like a hobby now. It has been a great way to just cut down on all my things so that I can make room for new vintage goodies. I recently decided to put many vintage quilts from my collection in the shop.

Miss B:How/Why/When did you begin collecting vintage house wares?

Betty:Going to church rummages was always a part of my family life. Believe it or not, we got 25 cents a week for allowance. We would save it for the weekends when my mom would stop at yard sales and rummages. You can pick up a lot of toys for 50 cents and as a child you feel filthy rich with your 10 cent loot.

The house wares just spiraled from that. I moved out of my folks home and needed furniture, dishes, etc. and I found it all thrifted.

Miss B:What appeals to you about vintage items?

Betty:I try to pick up items that are highly useful and well made. It’s pretty easy to do since most vintage things are well made compared to our more modern items.

I love that vintage is unique and I love that these items lived for a while somewhere else. And darn it- I love that I only had to spend a $1 on those Pyrex dishes or that hand painted watercolor.

Miss B:What was your best find ever?

Betty:I found a letterpress at a yard sale. It had all the goodies. I sold it on eBay- which I don’t regret, but now that I’ve seen the amazing work people create on them- I’m keeping the next one!

Miss B:I love your photographs. It's so easy to imagine all of these treasures in my own home because they are all presented in the context of other household objects. How long does it usually take you to style a photograph to your satisfaction?

Betty:Thank you! I usually spend about 5-10 minutes styling an item. Sometimes when I go to put it up in the shop I realize that I should restyle it and make it more attractive. It helps that I love taking photographs and that I love the light that comes into my apartment at around 2 p.m. on a sunny day.

Miss B:I feel like ninety percent of a successful vintage shop is good curating. How do you choose items for your shop?

Betty:Mainly things in my shop are things that I have used and had in my apartment. My style certainly has changed since I first started collecting. I originally was very fond of 40’s and 50’s furniture and dishware. Now, while I still love 50’s dishware, I am much more into 60’s and 70’s furniture and other house wares (especially fabrics!).

Miss B:It is so wonderful to see the different facets of a person revealed through their blog. What are your favorite things to blog about on Betty Ninja?

Betty:Thanks a bunch! My favorite things to blog about are photos. I love when things literally just click in a photo- that certain slant of light, the colors, and the lines. I also love when my animals sneak into photos.

Miss B:Care to share top three things you've learned about blogging?

Betty:Top three things- good question. One would be- get a flickr account. Seriously I should work for flickr. I’ve told people that I have known for 5 minutes how much flickr rocks. Great way to organize and you can do some simple editing on picknik.

I would also say that it is a great way to stay creative and keep those juices flowing. My readers are great and really encourage me with their positive comments. I also loooove looking at other people’s blogs. I get so much inspiration, not to mention plain ol’ ideas and tutorials from so many blogs.

Lastly I’ve learned that photographs might be the most important part about blogging. I had been pretty serious about photography in high school and college and then sort of wandered off for many years. Blogging has helped revive that interest for me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me! I've so enjoyed learning more about you and the creative process behind your lovely shop!

1 comment:

bettyninja said...

Thank you!! Looks great :)

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