Monday, February 14, 2011

Full Length Mirror Search Ends at Etsy

When buying an item, I always like it to be the greenest it can be, but I couldn't figure out how to apply that to mirrors.  Really, all we wanted was a plain old vanilla full-length mirror, slightly nicer than the inexpensive ones at Home Depot.  Searching online, it became clear this was no simple quest. It turned into visiting dozens of mirror vendors, gaudy and gaudier, as well as pricey and pricier.
Eventually I found a site that would fabricate a mirror to our specs.  Not cheap, but at least we'd get the damn mirror up on the wall, after a year in our new house.  Then the light bulb went off - it we were doing a mirror from scratch, why not check Etsy and see if we could hire a craftsperson rather than a factory to create the piece?
Score!!
A quick Etsy search turned up Inspired by Nature, a couple in Tennessee who works with reclaimed wood, designing and creating all kinds of cool things.  It was great fun to design the mirror with them, emailing back and forth, until the order was placed.  About two weeks later, just as promised, a monster sized box arrived with our beautiful new full-length mirror made of reclaimed barn wood painted white.  For the same price as buying from a factory!  No kidding.  Kent was a delight to work with, and how great is it to help people support themselves by doing beautiful work reclaiming old wood, and getting a piece yourself?
Moral of the story.  Check out Etsy when you need something made to order.  It may be cheaper, since you're paying the craftspeople directly, than going through a store or site.  Such are the wonders of the internet - from a wood-shop in Tennessee to my bedroom in Philly.
(Tree not included.)

4 comments:

SPF said...

Whoa, that is one pricey mirror! If you needed something just plain vanilla, why not IKEA or any number of home decor stores? I don't begrudge the artist the cost (although even for handmade, $390 seems like a lot), I'm just curious why this seemed like the best alternative. I feel like we're missing some of the story...

bpt said...

Wanted to go higher quality than big box - IKEA didn't show up in any of the searches and I live far from their stores, in any event. My point was once I was going for a custom-sized mirror, it occurred to me to go to Etsy and for the same price, got a hand-made mirror of salvaged materials rather than something more conventional.

bpt said...

PS To me the quality, craftsmanship, and intentionality of an item is worth a lot. This obviously wasn't the cheapest way to get a mirror.

SPF said...

Actually, I think you live very close to an IKEA! But in any case, I think I understand now. By plain vanilla but a step up from Home Depot, you didn't just mean a basic mirror with a frame--you had something specific in mind, couldn't find it, found a factory that would make it, were willing to pay for it, but then realized that you could get the same thing from a craftsperson, and liked that approach for many reasons.

Moral of our story: if you're going custom, consider small seller/producer rather than big!