Vintage with Personality

Missouri, United States · 1735 Sales


Vintage with Personality

Missouri, United States 1735 Sales On Etsy since 2010

5 out of 5 stars

Announcement   Conversation pieces! Quirky or beautiful, vintage adds character and personality to a home. Unique gifts! Give someone a very special gift that they'll treasure. If you enjoy things which are just a little bit different, please keep WhatsOnTheShelf in mind.

Last updated on May 10, 2016

Conversation pieces! Quirky or beautiful, vintage adds character and personality to a home. Unique gifts! Give someone a very special gift that they'll treasure. If you enjoy things which are just a little bit different, please keep WhatsOnTheShelf in mind.


Contact shop owner


Whimsical Kangaroo - Blown Glass Figurine
Exotic Caravan Metal Silhouette Wall Art
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When Beverly Comes to Grandpa's House

It's amazing how much influence one person can have on a child's life. Looking back, I'm fairly certain that without my grandfather, I probably would not have an Etsy shop or even be the same person that I am today. So my "story" is also my personal thank you to someone very special.

During my childhood, I spent a lot of time in my grandparents' home. My grandfather was born in the late 1800s and was actually old enough to be my great-grandfather. He was an Alabama teacher who later moved to Kansas City and opened an office supply company. He ended up falling in love with and marrying his young secretary.

Since I was a child of the 50s and 60s, my own home was mid-century modern with lots of plastic and chrome! My grandparents' home fascinated me. There were heavy velvet draperies, oriental carpets and pocket doors that could be pulled out of and hidden in the walls.

My grandfather loved to read and kept all of his books in barrister bookcases. I enjoyed lifting up the door and choosing a book to read. I especially loved the slim volumes with gilded edges, embossed covers and illustrations protected by thin pages of tissue. My favorites were Hiawatha, Evangeline and Poe's poetry.

I also explored all the nooks and crannies of his huge oak roll-top desk as well as the tall stationery cabinets. They had lots of narrow drawers, filled with pencil leads, fountain pen nibs, colored carbon paper, onionskin and ink.

The deep drawers of a giant buffet held his collection of scrapbooks: whenever he ran into something in the paper or magazine that he found interesting he'd paste it (water & flour). Those books ranged from major world events to ones with old Ripley's Believe or Not columns.

There was an antique Victrola with doors that opened. Inside were stacks of thick old 78 rpm records, with artists like Al Jolson and Caruso as well as strange songs like "Mairsy Doats" and "Grandma's Lye Soap". Best of all was the storage locker down in the basement. It was jammed with trunks, boxes and all sorts of treasures. Since they lived through the depression years, that locker probably held more history than I was aware of at the time.

What amazes me is that he allowed me to play and explore and never once (that I can remember) told me not to touch something because it was breakable, valuable or belonged to him. He especially loved teaching me things. My mother vetoed our shorthand and algebra lessons. But he did teach me to work crosswords in ink. He also taught me how to type and let me use his old Underwood typewriter to write my little stories and poems.

I can't help but believe that my grandfather's books and the trips we made to the public library turned me into a major reader (and book hoarder)! That Victrola and those old records began my love affair with music. I have bookshelves filled with my 45 rpm record collection (over 10,000 at last count).

The scrapbooks, the freedom to explore all fed into a child's normal curiosity and I'm sure eventually led me on the path to hunting for treasures in antique and thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales. And as much as I enjoy the find itself, my favorite part is the chance to research something that I know nothing about. I KNOW that came from him! Every day is an adventure and every day I learn something new.

Since I can't keep all of my finds, this shop was born. Without my grandfather's influence, though, I probably wouldn't even have an Etsy shop which is why this shop is dedicated to him. He wrote a little book of essays and poetry that included a special poem for me titled "When Beverly Comes to Grandpa's House". As I re-read that poem today, I realize that I've never really changed. I hope that--just like him--no matter how old I get, there will still be a curious little kid inside. And if anyone knows where my little stuffed lamb is (see photo), please contact me!

If you've gotten this far without being bored to tears, then you'll love this last part. It's a true story that still gives me chills. Several years ago, I gave the last copy I owned of my grandfather's book to my son. I knew the library had a copy. Since I was sure that only a family member would be interested in it, I planned on "losing" it and paying for it. Too late, I discovered that it was in a special genealogy section and couldn't be checked out.

I searched online for a copy, begged the library to sell me their copy and finally had to give up. The very next day (true story), I walked into our local Goodwill store. Almost always, I will go through the entire store. But for some strange reason on that day, I walked in and went straight to the books, scanned them quickly and left the store. Totally unlike me! I was about halfway out their front door when it hit me that I had just seen my grandfather's book on one of the shelves. I walked back and there it was! In the entire 40+ years that I've been doing this, I've never run into another one. The first thing I did when I returned home was email the librarian to tell her about this very strange coincidence. She responded with one word, "Synchronicity". Sure makes you wonder, doesn't it? Thank you, Grandpa!

Shop members
  • Bev

    Owner, Photographer, Curator

    Welcome! This is the best job of my life. I love searching for and rescuing treasures. My very favorite part, though, is finding them new homes. If you are looking for something in particular, just ask!

  • Mel

    AKA Sir Senor Sweetie, The Shipper Extraordinaire

Shop policies

Last updated on August 8, 2015
The shop's name, "What’s on the Shelf?" came from my love of shopping. I can literally spend hours checking out stuff on shelves!! When a special or unique item is spotted, I simply have to "rescue" it and bring it home. Since keeping everything isn't an option, my Etsy shop allows me a chance to temporarily enjoy each “treasure” until it finds a new home.

Accepted payment methods

  • Pay with Visa
  • Pay with Master Card
  • Pay with American Express
  • Pay with Discover
  • Pay with PayPal
  • Buy with Apple Pay
  • Pay with Sofort
  • Pay with iDeal
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards
We accept Direct Payment via Etsy--just sign up and use your credit card during check out.

We also accept PayPal. If you want to use PayPal but don't have an account, you can either open one during checkout OR you can use your credit or debit card through PayPal. Either way, select PayPal as your method of payment. You will then be instructed to log on to your account.

Money Order Policy--The only type of money order that we accept is a Post Office money order. Contact me and I will determine the exact amount of the item plus shipping. You will need to pick up a money order at the Post Office in that amount and mail it to me. I'll hold the item for you and will ask the Post Office to cash the money order at the same time as I mail the package to you.

If you don‘t have an account, you can sign up by clicking on the words “Don’t Have a PayPal Account?” or you can scroll down to select the credit/debit card (Visa, AmEx, MC) via PayPal option. If you choose this method, PayPal will send a payment (referred to as an e-check) from your bank/card directly to our account. We will not see any of your personal information.

When you pay via e-check, your item will be mailed once the payment has been posted in the shop’s bank account, which is usually 3-5 days from the date of your purchase. If payment has not been received within 5 days, however, it will be assumed that you have changed your mind and the item will be re-listed.

NOTE: MISSOURI RESIDENTS ONLY--Our state laws require that we charge a 7.975% sales tax on purchases shipped to other Missouri addresses. The tax will automatically be calculated and added to the total during checkout. The sales tax only applies to the purchase price--there is no tax on shipping.
INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS: We LOVE to ship internationally. If you are not in the US and are seriously interested in one of our items, please contact us.

INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING METHOD: Unless an item is very large or weighs more than 4 pounds, we will ship via USPS First Class International. Large or heavy items will be sent via USPS Priority International which can be very expensive. IF you live in one of the few countries not covered by U-Pic Insurance, such as Russia, Paraguay, etc., (see U-Pic website for full list), we will contact you. Shipments to those countries can only be sent via USPS Priority International so that they can be insured. You will be given the option of paying additional for Priority or canceling your purchase.

IMPORT CUSTOMS FEES, DUTIES, TAXES, TARIFFS: Please be aware that some countries may have restrictions on what items can be imported. Also note that your home country may charge additional customs fees/taxes/or other amounts. All of those fees are the buyer's responsibility. If you are concerned about possible fees, taxes, tariffs, please check with your Customs office and/or Postal Service before purchasing. If you need help calculating the possible import duties and taxes, here is a link that may help: www.dutycalculator.com/new-import-duty-and-tax-calculation/

Since all of my items are vintage, I will always mark the contents as "used" on the customs slip which should help a little with fees. What I cannot do is undervalue an item on the customs form or mark it as a gift because this is against US and international laws.

UK CUSTOMERS: Since the Royal Mail is becoming much more vigilant in collecting VAT on purchases made through the mail, please be prepared for the possibility of paying VAT plus a Royal Mail fee upon receipt.

We try to use the cheapest method. The following is our current criteria for choosing the shipment method :

♦ Up to 13 oz.--USPS First Class

♦13 oz. to 5 lbs., package less than 1 cubic foot -- USPS Priority Mail (for heavier items, we use flat rate boxes IF the purchase and packing material will fit in one of the USPS's flat rate boxes)

♦More than 5 lbs. or over 1 cu. ft. or if a certain delivery date required -- We will compare rates at USPS, FedEx and UPS. Usually the item will be sent via USPS Parcel Post. Books are sent via Media Mail.

Note: If you have a shipping preference, please contact us.

If you order more than one item, we will always attempt to send in one package. Often, when more than one item is ordered, the amount you will be charged for shipping will be too high. I will refund any excess shipping amount over $1.

We will ship your order within 1 day after receipt of payment. If you need it expedited, please contact us! If an item you ordered has not been received, contact us!

We will send to the address that you used in PayPal unless you request that it be shipped to a different address. Maybe this is a gift that you would like us to ship directly to someone for you. We would be very happy to save you a step by gift wrapping it and including a little gift card from you. On our shop’s home page, select “Contact” to send us a message. In your request, tell us the shipping address, the wording, signature, etc. that you want on the gift card.

We automatically insure all items $50 and over. The insurance amount is included in the posted shipping charges. Insurance is at the buyer's discretion for all other purchases. We do recommend insurance for breakable items but don't insist on it. However, without insurance, you have no protection if an item is damaged during shipping. If you do decide to have an item under $50 insured, please contact us and we will correct your invoice.

We automatically ask for signature confirmation on all items $100 and over. This is to protect both the buyer and seller.

If you need an order expedited, please let us know!
Refunds and Exchanges
Our pieces are vintage and sold "as is". Naturally they may show some wear. We always try our best to describe the items accurately. If you have any questions about the item, please contact us prior to purchase.

Our goal is for you to be completely happy with your purchase. If the item has been damaged or there is any other problem or you are just not happy with what you bought, you can return it to us without any problem.

If you have questions about returning or exchanging an item, please contact us within 48 hours after you receive an item. If it is damaged or there is a problem, we will pay for the return shipping.

If you just don’t like the item you ordered, we don’t want you to be stuck with it! You will be given a full refund less shipping charges once we receive the returned item.

Special note for EU buyers: Based on EU laws, full refund plus shipping will be made if items are returned within 14 days of receipt.
Additional policies and FAQs
On our shop’s home page, select “Contact” to send us a message (known as a “convo” or conversation) in the following situations:

♥ Questions/clarifications about an item

♥ Any problems with the item or the shipping

♥ To request shipping to an address other than the one you used in PayPal

♥ To request that we gift wrap and include gift card from you (include wording in your message to us)

♥ To ask for special expediting or for insurance for item under $50

♥ To have us watch for certain collectibles or makers for you when we are out shopping