In collaboration with her two favorite vintage typewriters, a 1972 Super 12 (affectionately called the O.G.) and a 1965 Olivetti Lettera 32 (also known as Oliver the cursive typewriter), Catherine of Vintagetypegirl creates a plethora of amusing and charming items for her Etsy shop. From magnets and framed quotes to necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry items, each piece harbors the essence of vintage charm, and many of them throw in a dash of contemporary wit as well. Vintagetypegirl hails from Chesapeake, Virginia but brings its clever inspiration to the rest of the world via Etsy. We spoke with Catherine, the creative fingers of the operation, and this is what she had to say about her shop—
Vintagetypegirl specializes in repurposing vintage ephemera into one-of-a-kind gifts. Every creation features vintage materials—wallpaper, sheet music, comic books, stationery, etc.—from my vast collection. Using my love of words and history, I create typed framed quotes in the form of magnets, picture frames, wine stoppers, and more.
My shop started in August 2013 when I decided to put my love of vintage, sarcasm, and typewriters together. At first, I only created typed magnets and frames on vintage stationery. Soon after though, I expanded Vintagetypegirl to include jewelry featuring other vintage materials as well.
I use vintage wallpaper because it’s unexpected. I love the look on people’s faces when I tell them that all my jewelry is made from vintage wallpaper. Besides, it’s beautiful and the designs are endless.
My favorite items to create are custom orders that are gifts for someone special. I have typed love notes that led to marriage proposals, created bridesmaid jewelry with vintage wallpaper, typed quotes for new moms and best friends, made cufflinks for best men and grooms, and given graduates magnets for their dorm fridges.
I love when I am able to directly interact with my customers, many of whom also become friends. I enjoy listening to their laughter when they read my framed typed quotes. It usually means we are kindred spirits as I cannot type what I don’t believe.
I have a soft spot for my 80 year old Grandma (my namesake), education, travel adventures with my husband, and everyday moments with my daughter—all of which help to influence every aspect of my shop.
Vintagetypegirl is what I do for myself. By day, I am a former high school history teacher of 8 years and the current E-learning Coordinator for a large public school division in Virginia. I am wife to Ben, my husband of five years, and mother to my daughter Norah who is 2 years old and our 13-year-old black lab, Maddy Maxine. At night, I get lost in creating; it helps me unwind after swimming in educational technology all day. Yes, I share my creations with my family, friends, and loyal customers, but Vintagetypegirl is something special that belongs just to me.
Since opening Vintagetypegirl, my work has found its way into seven artisan shops in Virginia and North Carolina in addition to selling on Etsy.