Shop of the Month- Selective Salvage 10

This month’s Shop of the Month is Selective Salvage, owned by Linda. 


What is the meaning behind your shop name?

My husband, Tom, and I are partners in this venture. We wanted to come up with a name that described what we sell when we embarked on our online adventure.

To our way of thinking, “salvaging” is a good analogy for the fine art of collecting and we happen to be pretty specialized in what we collect – hence the “selective” adjective. Plus the URL was available, so “Selective Salvage” it is.


How did you get your start selling vintage?

Tom and I met in college and have been collecting ever since. He was an American History teacher so our love of early American antiques came out of that career. Our first major foray into selling began in 2001 when we were approached by Bill Kurtis, a newscaster out of Chicago, who was investing in Sedan Kansas, a small town that was established in 1871. Amazingly enough, the original storefronts on Main Street were all still standing but the town had fallen on tough times from a retail perspective. Bill’s vision was to turn it into a tourist destination with art galleries, restaurants, B & B’s and antique shops. My sister & brother-in-law ranched in the area and she contacted us to see if we might be interested in opening a shop in Sedan. We flew out, took a look at the town and said yes on the spot.

That was the beginning of seven years of a great retail experience. We opened two shops that my sister ran for us so that we just had the fun of buying for them. We both had full-time jobs so buying for “Cousins” and “Gracie B’s” was our form of vacation.  We stayed with my grandma in South Dakota, bought all over the upper Midwest, dropped the stuff off in Kansas and returned home to Arizona. That went on until 2008 when the bottom fell out of the economy and the tourist traffic in Sedan sadly dried up for good.

Since then, we continue to sell our larger pieces out of a plant nursery in Phoenix where they are used as display fixtures for their gift shops. I have been buying on Etsy for years so decided to give it a try as a platform for selling smaller items in 2013 when we both retired and realized “downsizing” was in our future.


What is your favorite item in your shop right now, and what makes it special to you?


This 1920’s era tramp art match holder is one of my favorite things in our shop. To my eye, it has everything going for it. It’s a one of a kind piece of folk art, handmade by an itinerant artist plus it has a practical purpose these days. What’s not to love?

Tramp Art Match Holder


What is the most unusual or amazing item you have sold from your shop?

I sold these tramp art boxes to another Etsy dealer three weeks after I opened shop. He kept one for his own collection and resold the other.

It’s silly but I still suffer from a bit of seller’s remorse when I think about that transaction.  


Do you sell your items at other venues outside of Etsy? If so, where can we find you?

We sell our larger pieces in Phoenix at Berridge Nurseries. I also have my own website  and have a few items listed on Houzz.

What social media platforms do you use? Share your links with us, so we can follow you!

I am active on Facebook,   Pinterest and Instagram (which is less about what we sell, more about. who we are).

I’m also involved in a fun new blog adventure “Vintage Unscripted”, with few of my vintage loving online friends.




About Mary - PassedBy

I have always enjoyed finding and using vintage items in my home, and am especially fond of vintage linens with embroidery or handwork details. I collect a wide variety of vintage goods including classroom memorabilia and toys. As a seller, I try to follow the advice - buy what you love. This makes it so much easier to create an online shop with vintage items I would gladly use in my own home.

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10 thoughts on “Shop of the Month- Selective Salvage

    • Linda

      Thank you for the kind words, JD. The shops in Sedan were a “picker’s dream”. Sedan was just off a major cross-country highway. Those were the days when people drove on their vacations so we ended up with customers from all over the US, many of who are still friends. Plus the connection with Bill opened a lot of doors for us. Thanks to him we shipped inventory to the Marshall Fields store in downtown Chicago for use in their Christmas season window displays one year. He also knew the owner of “Heart of The Country” so we were invited to do their Gaylord, TX show which, from a collector’s perspective, was mind-boggling. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    • Linda - SelectiveSalvage

      Thank you, Janie. I hold out hope that the revitalization of small town America could be making a comeback. I read a story about a town outside North Platte, NE where a couple has moved 15 grain bins onto their property that they are renting out to antique dealers. Maybe we can both add “Grain Bin Antique Town” to our list of places to visit so we can compare notes. 🙂

  • Betty Powell

    Linda ~ I am so happy to read your story. I had no idea about the stores in Sedan. I definitely remember Bill Kurtis. 🙂 What a great experience for you and Tom and a fine foundation for your business. Love your shop and you!