Chigal


April Galt of Chigal operates a charming little vintage boutique on Etsy specializing in vintage eyewear and other little bits.

Tell me about how you originally got interested in vintage goods, April.
When my husband and I first met in the late 1970s, I only wanted new things--new houses, new cars, new furniture. But being young and broke, all we could afford was vintage. We got a lot of hand-me-downs from our families, went to a lot of local auctions, all of which was fine with him. He loved antiques and big, old houses and I eventually began to appreciate them as well. I now look for things that I remember from my childhood. For example, in the 1960s, my parents had a matching pair of Siamese cat prints hanging in our livingroom. I don't know what ever happened to them, but I recently saw a pair just like them on eBay and now they hang in my studio.

As far as opening the shop is concerned, my daughter and I originally planned to open a "destash" shop, but once she became so busy with her own shop, chicallure.etsy.com, and I became so disenchanted with eBay, Chigal eventually became more of a place to sell the many vintage items I pick up at estate sales and less of a place to sell supplies.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Shopping at estate sales and auctions. My husband and I can justify all of the money we spend on vintage items when the plan is to sell most of them.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your shop?
Finding the time to list all of the items I have to sell. We have a warehouse full of vintage items, but by the time I take the photos and then edit them, pack and ship sold items, and answer emails, there's not much time to get new items in the shop.

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
Vintage buttons. Not only do I collect them, but I love to use them in different projects.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
The only thing I ever wanted to be was a mother. I don't remember my parents ever encouraging me to be anything, but since they divorced when I was eight, I guess they had other concerns. And the kids I ran around with as a teenager had no ambition. I was the only one to graduate high school. Now that my daughter is grown and we have such a great relationship, I can take comfort in knowing that I've achieved my goal.

What other shops or artists out there do you love?
I do most of my shopping on Etsy these days. Some of my favorite shops are Historically Destash for vintage supplies, Ben Michel Vintage for beautiful clothing, accessories and supplies, Olde Tyme Notions for more vintage supplies, and Yarntopia Treasures for the most beautiful hand-painted yarn.

What does your future hold?
I'd like to say retirement, but as long as I can successfully work from home and still enjoy doing it, I see more estate sales and auctions in my future. And maybe some grandchildren to take the pictures and pack the sold items for me.


Visit Chigal on Etsy where April runs an ongoing shipping special on eyewear -- after the first pair, all multiples ship for free. She also offers the same shipping discount on patterns at Chigalspatterns.etsy.com.