Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Money.
Crystal, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in Rome, Georgia, living with my grandparents most of my childhood, and this is where I credit the start of my love for the old and the odd. That isn’t to say that my grandparents were old or odd, but they instilled in me a sense of pride in antique objects decorating their home. My family has many heirlooms that have been passed down from generation to generation, these heirlooms are not valuable in the traditional sense, but they are rich in memories that have been passed down with them. I am fortunate to know so much about my extended family and ancestors through stories and objects they once possessed. While we only have a finite time in life, our possessions and memories live on through our loved ones.
As a first-generation college student, I was overwhelmed with the possibilities of my future career. I have always loved learning and school, so academia seemed like a natural fit. After finishing my master’s degree, I transitioned into working full-time at the Siegel Institute for Leadership, Ethics, and Character, and teaching undergraduate ethics and leadership courses. It was no surprise that I adored teaching at the undergraduate level, but the politics of academia wore at my soul.
After a long and thorough conversation with my husband, I marked the date to make the leap into self-employment. While this is not the first time I have toyed with the idea of starting a business centered around vintage and antiques, I was finally at a point in my life to truly dedicate the time and effort required of working for yourself. My biggest concern at the time was maintaining our comfortable lifestyle and not putting a strain on the budget. Now, a little over a year into the business, I am happy to say that Oddly Endearing Artifacts is profitable and growing.
Has it been a smooth road?
Making the choice to step away from academia after two Bachelor degrees and a Master’s degree under my belt was by far the biggest struggle in starting Oddly Endearing. Although some may see all of that education as wasted, I truly believe the experience of thorough academic research has made me all the better at seeking out the most unique finds. My favorite part of the research has always been the learning process, and I am still doing that on a daily basis with Oddly Endearing.
While antiquing and collecting have always been a passion of mine, changing my mindset to that of a collection curator and seller was another big shift for me in starting the business. At one time, it would have been difficult for me to let go of the many treasures that travel through my office, but my love for the business has enabled me to take pride in finding homes for the very items I would keep for myself in a world with unlimited space and money.
Aside from adjusting my professional lifestyle and mindset, the first year for Oddly Endearing has been fairly smooth. I am beyond fortunate to have a support system that enables me to create my dream career.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Oddly Endearing Artifacts – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Oddly Endearing Artifacts is, in short, vintage and antiques online retail business, but I like to refer to myself as a Collection Curator. While you can access the full inventory of oddities and collectibles in the online shop, I also take requests from collectors to seek out those hard-to-find items. After all, I am in it for the thrill of the hunt.
What I am most proud of when it comes to running Oddly Endearing is the ability to reunite people all over the world with long-lost memories of their childhood. While I don’t always know why people purchase different items from me, I do love getting to know my customers and hearing about those trips down memory lane. We all have those random items from our childhood that trigger warm carefree feelings. Even something as simple as a bowl that you ate cereal out of every Saturday morning while watching your favorite cartoons can bring you so much joy as an adult.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
While I do most of my business online, I have received a wealth of support from the metro-Atlanta community. One of the best qualities of Atlanta is its shared value of supporting one another. It feels like Atlanta is less concerned with competing with one another, and instead wants to see everyone succeed as a community. There really is a pride in being a part of the Atlanta community. This is most obvious in the Atlanta art scene, but it really impacts all small businesses in the Metro-Atlanta area.
I really couldn’t imagine living anywhere else at this point in my life, but I do have the one complaint that most anyone living in and around Atlanta has: I wish there was a better transportation system. Easier accessibility in and out of the perimeter would help to generate more business and make the commute for many people less painful.
- Website: www.oddlyendearing.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oddlyendearing/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oddlyendearing/