In our Creative Spotlight series, we feature the people behind the brand. We sit down with Zoe Katz, one of the founders of new brand Good Eye Vintage that caught our eye, to learn about her working relationship with her mother (who she runs her business with), her sourcing tips, and how this brand evolved from a place of love.
Marguerite St: What do you love most about vintage objects?
Good Eye Vintage: I love that vintage objects feel so one of a kind. One of the things that makes my heart sing is when someone comes to my home and says "I love that piece—where did you get that?" There is nothing wrong with walking into a mainstream retailer and buying a piece you love, but finding a piece that no one else will have feels so special.
MSt: How did Good Eye Vintage start?
GEV: Good Eye was born out of a love of beautiful objects and my Mom (cheesy, but true!)
My mom and I have always talked of opening a little store together, with vintage objects we sourced from around the world, but it felt like something we would do some time in the future. Between the pandemic and a close family member becoming terminally ill, it was a big reminder that life is short. I absolutely love my full time job, but I still felt this pull to make our dream a reality. I started talking with my close friends about the idea, and their enthusiasm blew me away. So I asked my mom if she would help me try this out as a side hustle on Instagram, and Good Eye Vintage was born! I source, photograph, and run the account, and my mom helps with logistics.
MSt: That's amazing you were able to start this business with your mom. What is your working relationship like?
GEV: We have the best working relationship because we each know our strengths. My mom is amazing at logistics, and that is a critical behind the scenes operation of running the business, which allows me to focus most of my energy on running the day to day account, photography, and sourcing.
MSt: What does a Good Eye Vintage object represent to you?
GEV: For me, the Good Eye aesthetic represents pieces that strike that 'je ne sais quoi' balance between universal and unusual. I look for objects that can work with any type of taste, but are also small pieces of art that feel organic to your home. I want each Good Eye purchase to become a piece that you have for years no matter how much moving, redecorating, or feng shui-ing you do.
MSt: Tell us about sourcing and what you look for in an object.
GEV: I source everywhere: flea markets, thrift stores, estate sales, antique centers, Etsy, Ebay, you name it! I absolutely live for the hunt. I could spend hours sourcing and it would feel like 5 minutes. I'm also lucky enough to work at an Auction House, so I live and breathe beautiful objects all day long, which leaves me feeling constantly inspired and gives me a feel for what people are looking for.
I tend to be attracted to neutral colors, sculptural forms and organic elements. I look for objects that are polished and elevate a regular item, but can still be used in an every day, functional manner.
MSt: What are your secrets to sourcing online? What are some of the keywords/search functions you use to help find these objects?
GEV: I tend to be a very material and color based buyer, so I will often start a search with a specific material or color in mind (i.e. "onyx" or "black"). I will go through a round of "favoriting" items, and then come back to my favorites later on to narrow it down. I think a lot of sourcing online has to do with being hyper selective, since you can't see the object in person. I spend a lot of time looking through photos, measuring, contacting the seller, and asking questions. While some of my favorite pieces have been online purchases, I will say that nothing beats sourcing in person!
MSt: I'm obsessed with your abstract MCM vessel. Can you share the story
behind this object?
GEV: I'm obsessed with this one too! I saw it on Etsy and had never seen another one even remotely like it, so I immediately reached out to the owner to find out her story. She was made in the 1960s - 1970s in San Francisco, and you can see influences of both the Mid Century Modern and the San Francisco Hippie movement in her amorphous shape and both nude and nature patterns. This piece was passed to the owner from his mother-in-law more than 20 years ago, and he was finally selling it now. I definitely miss this one on my shelf!
MSt: If you looked into a crystal ball, where do you see Good Eye Vintage in the future?
GEV: I would love to do a pop up in NYC some time in the future. One of my favorite parts of the process is staging items and seeing the aesthetic truly come to life, and I think it would be awesome to see a space filled with Good Eye treasures (other than my apartment of course!)