Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What's an Etsy and Is It Contagious?

The more excited I get about my little Etsy business, the more I run into people who wonder what language I'm speaking.  Mention Etsy and you will either get a smile and a comment about how addicting it is to shop there or a blank look and a question about what an Etsy is.  Here is the official description of Etsy:
  • Etsy is the world's most vibrant handmade marketplace. We connect consumers with independent creators and designers to find the very best in handmade goods, while providing these artists with the technology and information they need to start and grow their own businesses.
  • Etsy is a community that actively supports one another in the shared goal of offering alternatives to mass-produced objects. We work to highlight the true value of handmade goods and their creators and encourage awareness of the social and environmental implications of production and consumption.
  • We created Etsy to reconnect producer and consumer, and swing the pendulum back to a time when we bought our bread from the baker, food from the farmer, and shoes from the cobbler.
Etsy is basically like an online version of an arts and crafts fair/boutique/bazaar with a vintage shop and places to buy supplies added in. A look at today's front page on Etsy will give you an idea of the amazing/weird diversity there.  An ornate paper crown, paper sculptures, placecards, and more, all with a paper theme.  By the time you see this post, the front page will have changed, but there is always an interesting assortment there.

There are one of a kind (OOAK) items, things that follow the latest fads and trends, old fashioned/traditional items, and things that you can't believe someone would buy or sell. There are prices for every budget as well.  I've seen some huge prices and some tiny ones.  National magazines have begun featuring things they find from Etsy.  Some are purchased for use in photos, while others are shown as ideas for gift giving or decorating.  Celebrities have also purchased items on Etsy.  The most common celebrity purchases I have heard of were baby items.

I started my big adventure as a seller on Etsy back in June.  You can take a peek at how I started here.  As far as I'm concerned, Etsy is contagious.  You never get tired of looking at cool things.  Whether it's something you want to buy or inspiration for something you want to do yourself, there is so much to look at.  Don't take that last sentence wrong, I'm not telling you to copy the work of others.  Inspiration means that looking at something gives you an idea or direction.  When I look at the snowflake place card in the picture, I might think about making some tatted or crocheted snowflakes.

One of the things I love about Etsy is that it is helping people to remember the value of handmade items.  We have gotten used to mass produced items and the prices that go with making things in large quantities.  Handmade items take more care to make.  It's the shirt made especially for you and with buttons securely sewn on so they don't fall off in the first wash.  It's the necklace with beads strung by hand and maybe even beads made by hand instead of a machine making it and stringing it together.  You can buy art and get to know the artist as well.  This dreamcatcher is a perfect example.  Sure, you could go to certain stores and buy a dreamcatcher made of a metal hoop and strung with brightly colored thread and fluffy, colorful feathers.  Who made it?  Where did it come from?  You don't know.  The dreamcatcher in my shop was made from a dried grapevine that my husband and I picked.  My husband then formed it into a circle and used artificial sinew to fasten it and then to form the web design.  He fashioned a feather out of soft leather and attached it to the middle of the web.  You would be able to buy this dreamcatcher knowing that it was made by Navajo hands and also be able to ask any questions you had.  That is the value of the handmade item!

3 mad comments:

Liz Mays said...

I love etsy because it's not the cookie cutter products you find everywhere. There are some very unique finds!

Karen T said...

I agree - The variety there is absolutely inspiring. I often wonder how they managed to come up with this stuff.

ChocolateDogStudio said...

Thanks for featuring the treasury that I made! :0) It was surprising to see it here. Thanks so much...

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