Vintage Feature – Nutmeg Click {And this is my 100th Post!!!}

July 21, 2009

Update: I have received an e-mail and a comment on this post regarding the poor business practices of Nutmeg Click. Although I have not personally had a negative experience with the shop, the shop has recently received several negative feedbacks and subsequently been shut down. I will keep this post up for your reference but would like everyone to be aware of the situation that has developed around this shop.

This week’s vintage feature is the ultra-fabulous Nutmeg Click, whose life I envy more than words can describe! The shop’s lovely proprietress, her hubby, and their little ‘Ms. Lady’ are on an epic journey through the breathtaking country of India. Their voyage is chronicled here by the Nutmeg Mrs., who has a way with words like few people I’ve ever had the pleasure to correspond with. The tagline for the shop {Sacred Kitsch and Curios} really says it all, so read on for a peek into the life and times {and shop, of course!} of an adorable, fun, quirky family of vagabonds whose travels far rival my own and have led me to plan endless new trips.

Q. What’s the story behind ‘Nutmegclick?’
A. My wee daughter, a snippet of a mere 13 months, namely escaped having this moniker foisted upon her when she was born. ‘Nutmeg Click’ was to be her name…or, if she were a boy, ‘Lentil Plash’. Fortunately for her, our family intervened and coaxed us to give her a more sensible title – we ended up with Lark Simone after our favourite bird and Christian mystic philosopher. I still loved the name, though, and decided to put it to use again when choosing the name for my Etsy shop!

Q. When and where did your vintage adventure begin?
A. I’ve loved vintage ever since I was a wee lass pawing through the many trunks of dusty whatnots in my grandmum’s attic. I grew up in a small town, and it was hard for me to find clothing that expressed my style – so I started dressing in lovelies that I found at estate sales. You can imagine I made quite a splash in a minuscule town nestled at the bottom of Wisconsin! 🙂 My first flat was decorated entirely with thrift-store finds, since I loved to make up stories about the other people who had owned them (and it was kind to my starving-artist pocketbook!) Later I became keen on the ‘freegan’ revolution, which is basically using old things instead of buying them new whenever you can.

Q. Describe yourself in exactly ten words.
A. Intense, whimsical, curious, scholarly, contrary, wry, spontaneous, eccentric, radical, introspective.

Q. You’re coming up on your first anniversary for your shop, so do you have any advice for new Etsy sellers?
A. Have a product which stands out from the rest. Take a look at the current trends, and offer something that melds with the present zeitgiest but is extraordinary in some way. Too, I spend a great deal of time on the forums (with my ridiculously long-winded posts!) getting to know my fellow Etsian and establishing friendships. I think it helps a lot when people know there’s a person behind the items – I have a blog for this, too, …lastly, make your item descriptions shine. When I can, I like to make up a little story about where I found the item, its previous lives and uses, etc to make it come alive with character.

Q. What’s your favorite vintage piece that you own?
A. I have a prodigious collections (which I haul about the world with me in WAY too many trunks!), but I’d have to choose my turn-of-the-century player piano. It was made here in India during the British occupation, and I saved it from becoming scrap! I like to experiment with making new rolls of music for it, which often turn out as weird experimental compositions :).

Q. Who’s your style icon?
A. Yoko Ono is my greatest role model, and sometimes I get into minimalistic phases where I wear a lot of plain black and decorate sparsely. Usually, though, I’m inspired by the ladies of eras gone by; sixties models and Victorian damsels – I like to try to reproduce the styles I see in old photographs, as well as make up elaborate tales about the lives of people in them.

Q. What’s your favorite thing about selling vintage on Etsy?
A. I can drag Mr.Nutmeg around to countless markets and bazaars, and he never has cause to complain! Seriously, though, it would have to be the feeling of sharing my neat finds with the rest of the world. I love to search for vintage in unconventional places, like scrapyards, defunct publisher’s warehouses, and the like, so I can bring things to the world at large that it didn’t even know it wanted! it’s sort of like establishing a new aesthetic, and it’s very rewarding to me. I also like being part of the Etsy community – I get a lot of my social contact through the forums, since it’s pretty hard to find someone here in Hyderabad who speaks enough English (my Telegu is terrible!) to have a thoughtful conversation.

Q. What does your typical day look like?
A. I’m fairly nocturnal, which is a good thing since no-one in India wants to be up and about in the intense heat of mid-afternoon. Even most of the stores close their doors for a few hours, and everyone lolls about under their fan! I wake up around 3pm and have a stroll around the neighborhood. There’s an art-form here called ‘rangoli’ where intricate patterns are made on the street in front of one’s house with coloured powders, so I decide upon the pattern for the day and lay it all out.
Mr.Nutmeg and I are ‘Serious Artists’ (whatever than may be!) when not acting as crafters and purveyors of vintage kitsch -I in the visual realm, and Mr.Nutmeg in the textual, so we let Lark play with her wonderful nanny for a few hours and get to work on whatever projects we’re working on. I usually have several going at once, and many of them end up drawing inspiration from each other as they take form. Often I collaborate with my talented husband, and we have two books due out in mid-October, one about handpainted Indian advertising signs, the other about the sociopolitical implications of China’s noise-music scene.
Evening time is time to play with our daughter, jaunt around the city and take pictures, or poke through the countless bazaars. When she’s snug in bed after a long day, I start doing my Etsy whatnots – it’s morning in the States when it’s late evening here, so I stay up very very late listing new items and chatting on the forums. When the little chitterjees begin to chirp and the sun shows his face, it’s time for another stroll and then to bed.

Q. How did you end up in India?
A. India’s a place which I have always longed to visit, enamoured as I am with its bright aesthetic and mystical philosophy. I’m also a student of Hinduism and practice yoga with an excellent master. Too, it’s quite near China which is a place we visit often to visit our dear friends there and collect information for our book (which basically consists of going to fantastic noise-music concerts!) We’ve been abroad for more than 5 years now, and will probably be lifelong expats – there are so many places we’d love to see! Our daughter might hold the title of ‘best-travelled baby’ – she visited five countries before she was six months old! A lot of people think we have a charmed life, and it is in many ways – but there are also some difficult points about travelling, especially with a wee one. Learning new languages, adapting to different customs, finding our way around new cities since we move pretty frequently…all of this can be challenging, but is ultimately very rewarding.

Q. You have a free ten-day trip anywhere in the world. Where are you going?
A. Oh my – so many places to choose from! Lately we’ve been very interested in Romania, and plan to go there once we’ve seen every spot on the Asian subcontinent.

Q. What’s your favorite: Etsy shop, blog, tv show, movie, and band?
A. On Etsy I LOVE SurrenderDorothy – she has the greatest collection of Western ephemera, which I often am nostalgic for! Check out Kikasfancy, too, for some stellar handmade jewelry.
We don’t have a teevee over here (though I LOVE to watch the surreal Indian programmes that we get a chance to see from time to time), so I’ll tell you my favourite book: Anabasis by St. John Perse.
My favourite film is Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘The Steamroller and the Violin’, which i heartily recommend to all.
My record player is usually playing something by Bach or the organist Dietrich Buxtehude (we’re very keen on 17th century organ music, since Mr.Nutmeg is also a classical organist). I also love Yoko Ono and all sorts of experimental music, and since my papa was a punk rocker (he still tours all over Europe even now – I guess travel was in my genes! ) I have a soft spot for bands like The Stooges and Crass.

– Lindsay

1 comment

  1. too bad she’s a scam artist hippie slut. :

    also she loves culturing this child but what about the other ones she left in America and never asks about or visits?

    illusions are shattered. people aren’t as great as they make themselves out to be… too bad you got duped by the ”i travel and do interesting things” story

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