I am smiling at some of my friends in the world of e-Commerce and the Twitterverse. For some time now folks have been calling me Katy. But I’m not, my name is Laura. It’s an understandable mistake, and I should clear up the confusion for everyone.
KatyDids Cards (the name of my second eBay shop, domain, and Twitter name) is based on a project I started a year ago. I am working to help my father disburse the estate of my mother, who over the course of almost fifty years of marriage had accumulated a collection of approximately 10,000 pieces of ephemera. The bulk of it is vintage postcards, but there are also Victorian trade cards and greeting cards, tobacciana, menus, scraps (also known as oblaten), the works. If it’s paper, she collected it.
My mother died suddenly two years ago. A few years prior to her death, she and I had talked at length about creating a line of contemporary greeting cards based on the images she owned in her collection, ala the wonderful Green Tiger Press, who are now owned by Laughing Elephant. The vast majority of her images were old enough to be copyright free, and it was something we were definitely going to do “when we got around to it.” But at the time I had small children, and she had many other projects she was working on, so we put it off, too long as it turned out.
When my father began to consider what he would do with mom’s collection of paper, I told him he had several options. He could sell it in bulk at auction, and get pennies on the dollar. Or, I could open a second eBay store, manage it for him, and sell the items individually. He decided on the second course, and KatyDids Cards was born!
Picking a name for the store/business was easy. My mom and I had talked about it previously, and she had chosen the name based on a book she loved as a child.
What I initially thought might just be a part-time gig for me has really taken off. I reached PowerSeller status on eBay a year after opening the store, which was a big mental boost for me. I work my tuchis off on this project, and really want it to work. My father is happy, as he is getting some monthly income from the store, and I am happy, as it’s allowing me to generate some part-time income for me too (although it’s really a full time job!) Mind you, neither of us is getting rich doing this, but I am doing my bit to help him, as he is elderly and handicapped, and would not be able to do the eBay thing on his own (no interest in the Internet at all, more’s the pity.) So it works out well all around.
In some ways though, it’s rather like being a kid working in a candy shop. I adore all the wonderful images in the items, some are just amazing. I do generally purchase some of the things from the estate every month for my own collection, and have to be careful not to buy too many! <grin>
All in all though, it’s a bittersweet affair. I miss my mom, she was a wonderful, highly educated woman who had impeccable taste and an eye for beauty. Many a time we went collecting together, and she could pick the one good piece out of a box of junk with ease. She had an encyclopedic mind for facts and history, and the world is a poorer place since her passing. But I am saving all the scans of the things I list in the store, and someday will put together some sort of compilation CD or perhaps even a book. But for now, I just keep plugging away, and know she is looking down at me with love…