A passion for buying art nouveau on eBay made Beth Van Doren realize she could sell, too. Now a well-respected purveyor of vintage tablecloths, the nouveauqueen encourages others to focus their energy on what interests them most.
"I've always been entrepreneurial," says Beth Van Doren, who began selling her own line of jewelry soon after graduating from University of California, Berkeley. Since, she's owned and sold two businesses and been a professional buyer in the retail world.
|It was a renewed desire to be her own boss that sent Van Doren back to jewelry, this time at art shows across the country.
"eBay is a great way to start a business without a huge investment. It's an entrepreneur's dream."
- Beth Van Doren
|At these far-flung locales she would make time to antique shop for art nouveau, growing a collection that included vintage printed tablecloths. Wanting to build her collection, but weary of the road, Van Doren decided to try eBay. She was impressed with what she found.|
"I collect art nouveau (which is why my member ID is nouveauqueen), but it's hard to find. It's all in private collections," explains Van Doren. "The first time I got on a computer, I went to eBay and found pages and pages of it. I was in heaven."
Eventually, Van Doren realized eBay could give her the freedom to do what she wanted while allowing her to explore her love of vintage linens—tablecloths, towels, and other articles from days gone by. "I figured I could sell on eBay. I could travel or I could stay home. I started slowly, listing a few things a month," she remembers. "It's a great way to start a business without a huge monetary investment and without giving up your life. It's an entrepreneur's dream."
Van Doren credits eBay with giving her a strong knowledge base to build her business. "Everything I learned at the beginning, I learned on eBay. I would spend two to three hours a day scrolling through the Collectibles category, clicking on anything that looked interesting. I learned so much about my product just being on the site." She recommends that anyone interested in selling collectibles do the same.
"Find something you're really interested in because you need to be tireless about searching for and learning about your product. Start doing some research on eBay. Learn what's selling, what it sells for, and for how much you can buy it."
What Van Doren appreciates most is that she's personally invested in her business. "I love eBay. It really has changed my life. The customers I deal with are intelligent, wonderful people. I can be at home and make money while selling something I really enjoy. And it allows me to keep upgrading my own personal collection."