The clock reads 1 a.m. The scenery outside the window is dark as an untouched attic with high-beamed streetlights. In a newsroom, there is one girl sitting at her desk sketching newspaper page designs. This nightly routine was on repeat until Emily Zych decided it was time to make a change.
“It was a cool job, but the hours were really killing my social life and craft-making time,” Zych said.
She decided it was time to leave her night job behind to focus on her Whichgoose line. After making her first crown for her line, the crafter wasn’t sure if anyone would like her designs.
“The first crown I made wasn’t the first one I sold probably because the photo sucked,” Zych said. “I remember thinking that no one would want to buy it and was shocked when someone did.”
Now, Whichgoose has sold over 3,000 items on Etsy. In September 2009, she became an Etsy superstar when she was featured in Handmade Weddings for her Whichgoose bridal crowns. Zych could not believe that she was picked to be a part of the Etsy Spotlight series.
Video from Etsy.com
“It was amazing,” Zych said. “I thought someone was pulling a prank on me at first when they asked. The actual day of filming was such hard work. We kept re-doing shots because I would bust out giggling every five seconds. It was so surreal though. I felt like such a movie star.”
When the bridal accessories designer is not creating masterpieces for her line, she looks to nature and vintage millinery fashions as inspirations. Her love for all things timeless doesn’t fall too far from her family tree.
“My mom is an antique-dealer so I spent most of my childhood going to auctions and estate sales with her,” Zych said. “I used to hate ‘old stuff’, but really grew to appreciate it as I grew up.”
“I think of hats and shoes go together for vintage ladies. You have to have a whimsical crown to match your whimsical shoes and vice versa.”
Zych spends a lot of her time hunting in thrift and antique shops for new treasures. The Whichgoose designer sees vintage as more than something old.
“I think the main charm comes from the originality of a vintage piece,” Zych said. “You can be sure no one else will buy the same thing at the mall. I also love the romantic idea that someone else loved and wore an item of clothing. I think that pieces can retain some of that life and good vibes.”
Zych is a lover of vintage and nature, an Etsy best seller, and a designer of bridal garnishes. There is no way this business owner would go back to her night job.
“I like everything about owning my own business,” Zych said. “There really isn’t anything I don’t like about it. I love being my own boss. I love being able to meet a friend for a late lunch on a Tuesday. I love the satisfaction that comes with each dollar I make.”