Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Awesome Etsy Finds: Kitsch Cafe!

I found this awesome & hip retro shop in my 'hearts me' list on Etsy called Kitsch Cafe, which features a rad selection of vintage & retro items handpicked by Drew! Drew's an all around thrifty/crafty guy and professional designer that lives & etsys from Cincinnati, Ohio. His great eye for style, design, color, and cute vintage things made me wanna 'heart' his store back! His photos and site displays are amazing, I can't wait to see more from Kitsch Cafe! I didn't know I was 'convo-ing' a famous person when I asked Drew for an interview for the blog - one of his knitting patterns was recently published in one of Debbie Stroller's (of BUST Magazine Fame) Stitch N Bitch books - Son of Stitch N Bitch - Knitting & Crochet for Men! Drew was kind enough to find time to answer a few questions for me...

Here's the Interview:

Since I've visited your shop and blogs, I can tell you have a great sense of style, color, and an eye for design...Can you tell me more about what got you interested in art and design?

DREW: I was a crafter at an early age. I was always making something, usually with paper. Whether it was making small books and cards or spending hours with origami paper, I always had the urge to be creative.

It was always very easy for me to use my hands to draw, cut, glue, etc. It's very natural to me. It comes from my father who used his hands for his career and who loves woodworking as a hobby. My eye comes from my mother, who was always wearing the latest Escada suit and carrying Louis Vuitton bags before anyone else.

I knew I wanted to have a career that was creative, so I studied graphic design in college. I credit my professors for exposing me to the best design, past and present, and for fine tuning my eye. I am currently a graphic designer at Xavier University in Cincinnati. I design a lot of the printed material that the university sends out to prospective students and alumni. I get to be creative everyday!

When you hunt for vintage treasures, where do you go?

DREW: I have always loved thrifting. I used to wear almost only thrifted clothing. As I got older and started living on my own, I needed inexpensive furniture, artwork, etc. So, I started buying furniture and knick knacks at thrift stores.

While I was thrifting I'd see so much that I'd want to buy, but I wouldn't because I had limited space. I opened Kitsch Café so that I'd have an excuse to buy all that stuff!

Are there any vintage finds you haven't found but want to?

DREW: I always dream of walking in to a thrift store and finding a wooden Eames chair, Nelson desk, or some other mid-century jewel. Other than that, there is nothing specific that I am looking for. There have been some really great finds that I wasn't expecting. For example, I happened to find a mod pair of Beriozka Russian dolls that I absolutely adore for their style, color and uniqueness.

My family is originally from the outskirts of Cleveland... They've wanted to return ever since they moved to the District! Do you love Ohio?

DREW: I have lived in Ohio most of my life. I grew up in a small town near the Indian border and came to Cincinnati to attend design school.

To be honest, I'm sort of indifferent about living in Ohio. However, I do love living in Cincinnati. The arts community here is amazing as well as the blog community. There are also more branding firms in Cincinnati than any other US city, so it seems as though everyone here is a designer or creative director. The music scene is great, too. I really do believe that Cincinnati will be the next Portland or Austin in 5-6 years. There are so many new people moving here, there's a buzz that everyone is feeling, it's hard not be excited.

Two years ago I started another blog, called designcincinnati, to highlight all the great design related events, people, shops, etc. in the area. It was a blog niche nobody was filling. Since starting designcincinnati I've had a lot of great exposure in the press, including winning an iPhone as a prize for being one of the top local blogs sponsored by the chamber of commerce.

You're new to Etsy! What are your first impressions?

DREW: I was a bit scared opening my shop. I didn't know what to expect. However, I love it so far. Everyone I have met through Etsy has been very kind and generous. I am still learning the ropes and figuring out what sells, how to present it, how to market my shop, how I can make it better... I'm definitely setting major goals for myself and doing my best to reach them.

What do you craft? Any current projects or new exciting ones in the works?

DREW: I started my blog,, originally as a knitting blog. I started knitting 5 years ago to control anxiety. I dove head first into it and never looked back. Debbie Stoller found me through my blog and asked me to design a pattern for her book, Son of Stitch n Bitch. The "Ernie Sweater" was my first published pattern. I am also currently working on another pattern for another author.

I'd also love to open another Etsy shop selling items that I sew using thrifted/upcycled fabrics. I've been experimenting with scarves, pillows, totes and small bags. Hopefully, by Christmas, this new shop will be up and running!

Visit the Kitsch Cafe! Storefront @ Etsy :

& Drew's Fantastic Blogs @ &

Here's a few of my favorites from Kitsch Cafe:

Thanks again to Drew & Kitsch Cafe! Welcome to Etsy!


Paper Dolls for Boys said...

Great interview and Yeah for vintage etsy!!!

Reneighborhood said...

You take awesome photos of your shop items Drew! You also have super thrifting skills, great items!