Photo by BearCreekDesign
Can you feel the holiday spirit in the air? It’s a season that reminds us to gather with loved ones, feed them well, and show them how much they mean to us with personal tokens of affection. The best holiday gifts are truly unique, and deepen connections between the giver and the recipient, providing meaning and cherished memories that extend far beyond the rush of the holidays.
This past weekend, millions of shoppers came to Etsy looking for alternatives to the same old chain stores and online behemoths. When you buy on Etsy, you’re supporting over one million independent, creative businesses in communities around the world and buying one-of-a-kind gifts with stories behind them for the people you care about most. Sales from Thursday to Cyber Monday increased 60% year-over-year from the last Thanksgiving weekend, supporting makers and curators around the world. Together, we’re bringing heart back to the holidays!
Here are a few more tidbits from the weekend:
- Between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, more than 36 million visits to Etsy generated more than 388 million page views.
- This was the year of mobile for the holidays — more than 50% of visits were from shoppers on mobile devices.
- Over the long weekend, nearly a third of buyers made their first purchases on Etsy.
- Over 1 in 4 orders occurred between buyers and sellers in different countries, sending holiday cheer across borders.
This year, our community has grown to 30 million members, a community full of heartwarming stories and incredible imagination. Our holiday campaign focuses on what makes this marketplace unlike any other: the people, the processes and the products that are unique to Etsy.
The theme is “Etsy: Where One-of-a-Kind Gifts Come From,” and your stellar businesses and items are the stars of the show. There’s truly no other market like Etsy, and by sharing your stories through our holiday video campaign, we’re reaching shoppers looking for those meaningful heirlooms that their families will remember for years to come. So far, our holiday videos have been seen over 5.7 million times in our online ads and placements across the web. Have you watched yet?
All of these numbers mean more success this year for the independent creative Etsy businesses around the world. Happy holidays, everyone!Continue reading
Photo by steelhipdesign
Update: Etsy Gift Cards are now available for purchase in Canadian dollars! Now both buyers and sellers in Canada can purchase gift cards in their local currency, just in time for the holiday season. Sellers in Canada who have enabled Direct Checkout will be able to automatically accept them in their shops. Simply go to etsy.com/giftcards to give the ones you love the gift of the entire Etsy marketplace this holiday season.
The original post below was published on October 8, 2013.
Last October, we announced the launch of Etsy Gift Cards in the US. In the first two months after launch, shoppers purchased 40,000 gift cards to share with friends and family, and nearly a year later, we’ve issued more than $4 million in gift cards to spend on Etsy.
Today, just in time for the holidays, we’re launching Etsy Gift Cards in two new currencies: GBP and EUR, making the coming gift-giving season brighter for both buyers and sellers!
In addition to being available in US dollars, Etsy Gift Cards are now available for purchase in British pounds and in euros. Buyers in select countries across Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK, can now purchase Etsy Gift Cards. Sellers who use Direct Checkout will also automatically be able to accept Etsy Gift Cards — no matter the currency — in their shops.
Purchasing a Gift Card
If you’re a buyer in any of these new countries, there are now even more opportunities for you to share the experience of shopping on Etsy with the ones you love. Send Etsy Gift Cards at etsy.com/giftcards to your friends and family in your local currency, via email (with a choice of fun designs!) or by printing them out to include in one-of-a-kind holiday cards.
If you’re a lucky gift card recipient, you can use your gift card to purchase from any shop that accepts Etsy Gift Cards, regardless of location. The ability to accept Etsy Gift Cards is now available to over 90% of shops, and any shops that accept them will have a green Gift Card icon above the “Add to Cart” button on their listings. You can also use the “Accepts Etsy Gift Cards” filter in the left navigation when searching for items you love.
Accepting Gift Cards in Your Shop
If you’re a seller who uses Direct Checkout, a host of exciting benefits await you as you prep for the holiday rush:
Greater Buyer Purchasing Power: Since launching this feature last October, US shoppers have purchased over $4 million in Etsy Gift Cards! And with the holidays fast-approaching, we’ll be ready to watch the December gift card sales snowball (buyers purchased $1 million in gift cards in December 2012 alone).
New Buyer Reach: 25% of all gift card purchasers thus far have been completely new to Etsy. Etsy Gift Cards help expand the ever-growing buyer community and get more eager eyes on your handcrafted and hand-picked items.
A Boost in Sales: Buyers with an Etsy gift card spend 24% more on average than their gift card value when using the gift card to pay for an order.
Expanding Etsy Gift Cards to our international community will continue to be a priority for us. We are committed to adding even more currencies for gift cards, and are actively working on Canada as our next step.Continue reading
Photo by Redstreake
Finish off the last of your candy stash as you sink your teeth into some site-wide data. With a 40.7% rise in dollars of goods sold compared to October 2012, and 37.3% year-over-year rise in items sold, October carries us into the start of the holiday season with gusto.
- $115.2 million of goods (after refunds and cancellations) were sold by our community in October, 5.21% higher than September
- That represents 5,893,733 items sold for the month, 6.04% higher than September
- 3,125,759 new items were listed in the month, 7.83% higher than September
- 1,127,675 new members joined the Etsy community, 8.42% higher than September
- 1.91 billion page views were recorded on the site in October (including web and apps)
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Etsy community in October 2013!
Curious about how other months compare? Check out our past Weather Reports for more statistics.Continue reading
Photo by DUEALBERI
With transactions occurring in 200 countries around the world, we’re proud of our vibrant, global Etsy community. Therefore, as Chad mentioned in his August blog post, one of our priorities is to make it as easy as possible to transact in our marketplace, no matter where you are. We’ve translated the site into English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Russian so that buyers and sellers can easily navigate their way through Etsy in their native tongues. However, up until today, most of our listings only appeared in English, making it difficult for many shoppers to find and purchase items they love. Today we’re taking another step forward as a global marketplace as we add millions of local language listings in French, German, Italian, and Spanish-speaking countries. We’re also improving the ways that shoppers in those markets can find listings, making it easier for sellers and buyers who speak different languages to connect on Etsy, and helping sellers better understand where their buyers are coming from.
Listings Translations for All Sellers
Starting today we will be rolling out automatic translation of all sellers’ listings into English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian and incorporating those listings into local language searches. The result is a dramatic increase in the listings that appear in these local languages — in some cases, up from thousands to millions of listings. This is a huge opportunity for increased sales to buyers around the world looking for the unique, one-of-a-kind items found on Etsy, who may have been stumped previously by English-only listings. Note: You need to support shipping to these markets in order for your listings to show up in local search results.
If you speak any languages fluently, we encourage you to continue creating your own translations and make your listings your own. But if you’ve struggled to translate your listings, you will no longer have to rely on an off-site translation service or friends and family to help. Anyone visiting an automatically translated listing will see a small disclaimer beneath the item description and will be able to view the listing in the seller’s primary shop language.
Leading up to this launch, we spoke with a few sellers about the power of international exchanges on Etsy. Check out this short video to get inspired about knocking down language barriers and expanding sales:
GPLA Soon in Four Additional Languages!
Google Product Listing Ads (GPLAs) have been a huge source of traffic on Etsy, with about a third of that from visitors who are new to Etsy. Previously, Google could only surface ads for Etsy goods in English-speaking countries because of low listing inventories in other languages. But now, with millions of listings in French, German, Italian, and Spanish, we’re enabling many more shops to be represented in Google Shopping. Since we launched GPLA, they’ve generated over 73 million visits and have become an increasingly important source of site traffic, including many new visitors to Etsy. We’ll begin with GPLA in French and German and will be launching them soon in Spanish and Italian. We hope this will drive additional holiday traffic to your shops, especially from new customers!
New Tools for Sellers
We believe that with listings in new languages available for syndication to GPLA, some sellers may start to see increased purchases and convos from abroad. In order to support the direct, personal relationships between buyers and sellers that make Etsy special, we’re launching a tool that allows buyers and sellers to translate convos (on-site messages) in all Etsy-supported languages. When you receive a convo with someone who has a different primary language setting, we’ll surface a “Translate to” hyperlink that you can simply click to see an automatically translated version within the convo. This means you’ll no longer have to visit an off-site translation service to understand your buyers’ questions. The buyer will also be able to translate the convo on their end.
We also want to help you understand where in the world your shop traffic and purchases are coming from, so we have created a world map view and ship-to suggestions in a new tab of your Shop Stats. By providing you with more information about your shop’s international reach, we hope that you can make more informed decisions about your shop — like which countries you offer shipping to, and what languages you should show your listings in. To see your world map, go to your Shop Stats and click on the new “Map” tab within it.
We know many of you will have questions about supporting international sales and new on-site translations, so we encourage you all to join us in the Forums here. We’ll be working hard to roll out additional languages and GPLA campaigns in 2014, further increasing the breadth and depth of our marketplace. At the end of the day, we’re hoping to build a more comprehensive experience for buyers regardless of which language they speak, driving more traffic to our sellers’ shops. Here’s to a wonderful holiday season with buyers from around the globe!Continue reading
Photo by Cocones
This holiday season, more members will visit Etsy from mobile devices than ever before! Mobile visits are nearing half of all traffic to the marketplace, and we’ve been focused on making the shopping experience easier and more engaging for members on every screen size. Today, we’re unveiling our updated Etsy for iPad and Android apps with a beautiful new look and feel.
Made Especially for iPad and Android Tablets
The refreshed design for iPad and Android tablets highlights discovery in the shopping experience, and makes exploring the marketplace easier and more fun. Shoppers can browse through top community picks in a new Trending category, see what tastemakers and friends are favoriting in a sleeker Activity Feed, or get lost perusing categories like Home & Living, Gift Ideas, Jewelry, and more. We’ve moved the navigation bar to the side to put shopping front and center and to make the app easier to use. The tablet experience also features a new Shop Info section where shoppers can learn more about the seller’s story and where their unique items come from.
All-New Etsy for Android
Etsy for Android smartphones is also getting a makeover in time for the holidays. Android smartphone users can shop with the same shiny new design as tablets that makes it easy to discover one-of-a-kind treasures from wherever they are. When members upgrade their app, they’ll also notice a new navigation, more robust search options, and different shopping categories.
Photo by NikkiGalapon
We’ve been hearing for some time now that the middle class is shrinking in the U.S. and that our representatives in government want to focus on creating good-paying jobs. But by focusing only on traditional full-time employment, they are neglecting the steadily growing community of micro-business entrepreneurs — like Etsy sellers — right in their backyard. Etsy sellers are a serious economic force, often overlooked or misunderstood, whose work is not captured by traditional metrics. We’re reminded just how powerful of a force Etsy sellers are every time we speak with a seller whose partner lost their job in the recession and relied on that extra income to pay the bills or a seller whose 9-5 job was leaving them feeling unfulfilled and constrained.
But those stories were largely anecdotal, and we wanted to measure the reality — and diversity — of Etsy sellers’ economic impact. With the help of the independent research firm, GfK, Custom Research, LLC, we conducted an anonymous online survey of 5,500 active U.S. sellers on topics including sources of start-up capital, motivation for starting a creative business, and how income from Etsy shops is used.
Here’s what we found:
- Etsy sellers don’t identify as hobbyists; 74% consider their Etsy shops businesses, and 91% aspire to grow their sales in the future.
- Etsy sellers are 88% women, 97% run their businesses from home, and they’re geographically dispersed around the US.
- Income earned on Etsy makes a real difference in people’s lives — it is used for household expenses, discretionary spending, savings and more.
- Etsy sellers are characteristic of a larger shift to flexible work; 18% sell goods full-time, and only 26% have other full-time traditional jobs.
- Etsy shops are a new kind of “start-up” that aren’t run by stereotypical Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who want to quickly grow as big as possible; Etsy sellers are independent, self-sufficient and want to stay that way.
You can download the full report here. We’ll be using our findings to urge policymakers to acknowledge the economic power of micro-businesses and to adapt public policies to support and promote them.Continue reading
Photo by Matte Stephens for Whole Foods Market's A Better Bag™ design
Step into a Whole Foods Market® this holiday season, and discover a pleasant surprise. Among the aisles of fresh produce and fragrant pumpkin pies, you might just recognize a familiar Etsy face.
This season, we are teaming up with Whole Foods Market to highlight Etsy’s community of independent artists and designers online and in Whole Foods Market locations around the world. As champions of the artisanal producer, Whole Foods Market is an all-natural fit with Etsy. The partnership, Ingredients for Creativity, kicks off in Whole Foods Market stores today, and will extend throughout all of 2014.
Starting today, creative holiday DIY tutorials crafted by Etsy sellers will appear online and in select Whole Foods Market stores. Eight Etsy sellers came up with festive craft ideas for holiday entertaining. Their tutorials will appear in print, in the Whole Foods Market’s Holiday Guide, and on “recipe cards” that shoppers will be able to take home. Best of all: all of these crafts can be made from everyday materials and ingredients.
Learn how to transform an old water bottle into a decorative bowl to store appetizer picks from Etsy seller FabricPaperGlue, or get step-by-step instructions from Etsy seller VirginiaKraljevic on how to upcycle an old cork into festive wine glass tags for your next party. Set the table in style with PygmyCloud’s Geometric Advent Tree Centerpiece, or follow OanaBefort’s potato-stamped gift wrap tutorial to wrap a one-of-a-kind holiday gift in your own packaging! Give your guests a reason to gather ‘round.
We also collaborated with Whole Foods Market on this season’s A Better Bag™ design. A Better Bag™ is a line of reusable totes available for purchase at Whole Foods Market. Matte Stephens, a painter, illustrator, and Etsy seller since 2007, was selected by Whole Foods Market to design this year’s holiday tote! The reusable, eco-friendly bags are made from 80% post-consumer materials, and will be available for purchase in Whole Foods Market stores across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. We couldn’t imagine a more stylish way to carry groceries home!
When we think about Etsy marketing, we look for ways to bring our seller community to the forefront. We can’t wait for you to check out our collaboration at a Whole Foods Market near you, and celebrate the holidays with creativity.
Find all the tutorials and Whole Foods Market’s favorite picks for gifts here:Continue reading
Photo by TomoVintage
Update: As of November 4, 2013, if your account is suspended or if you have questions about Direct Checkout, you can request a phone call! We’re available by phone 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and aim to call you back within 10 minutes of your request. Check out our discussion in the Etsy Forums for more information.
The original post below was published October 3, 2013.
As Chad mentioned during Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting, starting in November, Etsy will offer phone support for members who have questions about Direct Checkout or shop suspensions. We know this is a long-standing request from members and we agree that it’s time to make a live human voice available for these urgent and important questions.
We are still working out the final details, but we’re planning to offer phone support as a call-back service 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, in English. Members will find an option to “request a call” on Etsy’s contact page when they select any Direct Checkout question from the drop-down menu (or if their account is suspended). They will then submit their phone number and a brief description of their question. Our goal is to make all calls within 10 minutes of the request, which will give us enough time to look into the member’s request before getting on the phone and avoid extended hold times later.
Please note that this is in addition to our plans for urgent email support. As I described in a Forums post earlier this month, members will still have the ability to mark certain issues as urgent on the contact page, and these emails will still get priority response times. But we recognize that some members contacting Etsy with urgent questions will prefer a phone call to an email.
We’re very excited about launching phone support as another step toward the level of support you deserve. We’ll share more details about the program when we’re closer to launch but, in the meantime, we welcome your thoughts on the kinds of issues you’d like us to handle over the phone. Feel free to discuss in the Forums or reach out directly — we’ll keep your ideas in mind as we think about expanding the program.Continue reading
At Etsy, it’s important for us to support the communities we work with both online and in real life. As Chad mentioned in his blog post, one of the (many) reasons we became a certified B Corp is because we want to make the world more like Etsy: a world based on community, shared success, commitment to sustainable operations, and using the power of business for a higher purpose.
Over the past few months, groups of students have come in for tours of Etsy’s headquarters followed by Q&As about engineering as a career, and the discussions were nothing short of inspiring.
The New York Urban League
Students from The New York Urban League visited Etsy and spent time with some of our engineers who talked about what they do at Etsy. The engineers offered career advice and talked about the importance of studying and getting a good education.
According to Tiana McFarlane, the Director of Education and Technology at the New York Urban League, “We believe it’s important for our students to visit companies so they can be exposed to professionals in various fields, which provides them an opportunity to engage with individuals from different backgrounds who have had various educational and career paths that led to where they are today. One of our goals as an organization is to provide college and career readiness opportunities so our students are more successful in preparing for and embarking on the journey to college and beyond. Visits to companies like Etsy pique students’ interest in multiple ways and showcase firsthand that you can follow your passion to a future career and have great success.”
When asked to give advice to the students who are preparing to enter high school, Etsy Product Quality Manager Bernard Desert told the students, “Sometimes you don’t know how things will turn out so you should take opportunities as they arise and see what happens. Keep in mind a good education is helpful in no matter what you do.”
When asked what inspired him to become an engineer, Engineering Manager Ryan Young told the students, “I went to a summer camp as a kid and took an introductory class on programming where I made a small game. I think it was the first time I’d really created something myself, without any rules or script to follow, and the experience was exhilarating. I haven’t stopped learning since!”
After the visit, Ms. McFarlane told us, “The students truly enjoyed their trip to Etsy. They thought it was cool, innovative and fun. They liked the open office space and they liked the unique workspaces. But most of all, they learned a lot from the engineers who inspired them to focus on becoming the next generation of developers.”
The Artemis Project
We also had students visit us from Columbia University’s Artemis Project. The Artemis program targets rising high school girls at the critical age when the disparity between males and females in the sciences becomes most pronounced. The program aims to introduce students to the creative thinking and problem-solving skills that are at the core of computer science in hopes that it will later inspire them to take STEM-related classes or pursue computer science in their high school and college careers.
According to Yanrong Wo, Program Coordinator for the Artemis Project, field trips are a great way for the girls to learn about the working conditions in technology companies, and many students come to the realization that the stereotypes surrounding programmers are not true.
The students found Etsy to be a very unique company in terms of the working environment. In a following survey of our Etsy field trip, one student said Etsy “taught us how girls can still strive in Computer Science, despite there being few women in the industry.”
When asked why she volunteered to speak to these students, Engineer Gabrielle Gianelli said she is interested in supporting gender equality and encouraged the students not to buy into stereotypes about what engineers need to be like.
Similarly, Engineer Fiona Condon felt the engineers were able to be honest with the students about the challenges of being a woman in computing without giving the false impression that it’s not worthwhile. She told the students it’s fundamentally a great experience. When asked to give the students some career advice, Fiona encouraged the students to “think about what you’d like to do in terms of the tasks you enjoy and the changes you’d like to bring about in the world, and use those as guideposts for finding the right career.”
We were inspired by the enthusiasm and energy of the students and we wish them and all students out there the best of luck in this new school year. Study hard and don’t forget to do your homework!
Interested in a tour? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Continue reading
Photo by MontserratFolch
We’re well into the month of October, and the holidays are creeping up on us. That means Etsy sellers are feeling the heat: more orders to make and process, more convos to answer, more trips to the post office, and less time to manage your shop and listings. One current pain point with shop management is the shipping settings for your listings. We heard your feedback and are excited to announce a suite of shipping improvements in time for the holidays. To help you more easily reflect changes to your shipping cost, location and processing time, we’re launching “linked” Shipping Profiles and an improved Bulk Editor. We’ve also improved the Shipping Upgrades offered in our ongoing prototype team.
So what’s new?
First, we’re linking Shipping Profiles and listings so that when you change a Shipping Profile, those changes will automatically be reflected in related listings. Once you’ve linked a Shipping Profile to a listing (you’ll have to do this one time), you can then edit that profile in the future, and the shipping settings will automatically change. No more editing shipping on a listing by listing basis! Linking a listing with a Shipping Profile is a one-time process that you can complete either via your listings page or the Listings Manager with our new bulk edit tool (more info on that below). As an example, if you have a Shipping Profile for your T-shirts and need to increase their shipping price by $1.00, you can do it in one fell swoop by visiting the relevant Shipping Profile. It’s that easy. For more information on Shipping Profiles and linking them to your listings, check out our handy FAQs.
Secondly, we’ve built a new Bulk Editor for shipping that will live in the Listings Manager. With this new tool you’ll be able to grab a batch of your listings (try searching keywords like the screenshot above!), and apply necessary shipping changes. Once your listings are linked to the relevant Shipping Profiles, there’s no longer a need to edit shipping on a listing by listing basis (whew!). It’s simple and fast, and will save you time during the holidays.
Third, based on your feedback, we made changes to Shipping Upgrades to tailor them to your business. Still in prototype, Shipping Upgrades allow you to create a set of additional shipping settings that buyers can add to their order at checkout. As prototype membership grew, we heard a couple themes come through loud and clear: you wanted an improved buyer experience in the cart and an improved way to calculate upgrades for buyers. Good news — we made both improvements, so join the prototype today for immediate access.
How will these new features save time?
Our prototype team members have already been loving the tools. Etsy seller Nottoto has over 1500 listings, and told us, “I have a lot of buyers who will be making last minute gifts, as well as those who will need more supplies than usual, so offering expedited shipping will be a great help in these situations. With this new feature, I can add these expedited shipping services, and within minutes, every listing will show these updates.” In addition, she plans on using the bulk editor to update listing variations and shipping profiles to reflect both customers’ demands and her production capacity. XOHandworks added, “The next time there’s a postage increase, it will be so much easier (not to mention MUCH faster) to change just my four Shipping Profiles instead of each of my 700+ listings.” We hope you’ll find similar benefits with your shops!
We’ll continue to refine our shipping tools with feedback from our sellers, but won’t be making any substantial changes until after the new year. To discuss these new shipping features with Admin and fellow sellers, join the conversation in our forum thread.
A special shout-out to the wonderful, vocal sellers in our prototype team who stuck with us and made sure the product we’re launching is helpful, simple, and gets you one step closer to achieving your high-reaching goals. Now get out there and start shipping!Continue reading
Photo by GailMNelson
Are you feeling inspired by the crunchy leaves underfoot? Well maybe September’s site-wide numbers will do the trick. With a 42.6% increase in dollars of goods sold compared to last year (September 2012), and a 39.3% increase in items sold, the Etsy community continues to be a vibrant source of new growth.
- $109.5 million of goods (after refunds and cancellations) were sold by our community in September, 0.37% higher than August
- That represents 5,558,230 items sold for the month, 1.36% higher than August
- 2,898,770 new items were listed in the month, 3.37% higher than August
- 1,040,120 new members joined the Etsy community, 2.41% lower than August
- 1.81 billion page views were recorded on the site in September (including web and apps)
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Etsy community in September 2013!
Curious about how other months compare? Check out our past Weather Reports for more statistics.Continue reading
Photo by ElviaPerrin
Last week, we announced updated Guidelines that allow sellers to apply for approval to sell items made in collaboration with manufacturers. On Etsy, a manufacturer is simply any outside business a seller uses to produce their items. A factory with 20 employees can be a manufacturer, but so can a two-person sewing workshop.
Many Etsy sellers already use partnerships like these to create their goods. Our former policies on partial manufacturing assistance allowed these collaborations, but didn’t give sellers good ways to share that information publicly. With our new Guidelines, we are asking sellers to share this information with us and the Etsy community. So far, 250 Etsy sellers have applied for review. On average, their shops have been open two-and-a-half years. Here are five that exemplify particularly great partnerships.
Bailey Doesn’t Bark
Re Jin Lee has been selling her covetable ceramics and home goods on Etsy since 2008. Re Jin makes her ceramics on her own, but uses partnerships for the other items in her shop. Her tea towels are made by a group of artisans in India she connected with through Aid to Artisans, an organization dedicated to helping artisans around the world make a living, and her prints (originally done one-by-one on a Gocco printer) are created with a local printing house in New York City.
For more on Bailey Doesn’t Bark, visit their About page.
Ozan Berke started designerDad in 2001, the year his daughter was born, and opened his Etsy shop in spring 2013. His love of typography and cartography is showcased in a collection of bold and colorful map posters, made with assistance from French Paper Company in Niles, Michigan and Monolith Press in Alameda, California, a print shop that uses eco-friendly inks.
Discover more of Ozan’s story on his shop’s About page.
A passion for sustainability and a unique local material inspired Natalia’s innovative bags, wallets and cases made from cork. Cork is an earth-friendly material that’s abundant in Portugal, Natalia’s home base. By partnering with a group of local artisans in a small, family-owned company to make the larger bags in her line, Natalia is able to keep her quality high while creating local jobs — a win-win for all concerned. She opened her Etsy shop in 2012.
Learn more on Corkor’s About page.
Tielor McBride was the very first Etsy seller approved to list items made with a manufacturer. He’s been selling his signature line of bags and accessories, TM1985, on Etsy since 2010. His designs come to life with help from a family-owned New Jersey company that specializes in leather and canvas goods.
Tielor shares more of his story on his About page.
Little Hero Capes
Allison and her family.
Allison Faunce wants every little kid to discover their courageous inner superhero — that’s why she started selling capes on Etsy in 2007. She works with nearby Fall River Apparel in Fall River, Massachusetts, to turn fabric into a magical, empowering item perfect for creative play.
Read more about Allison’s shop on her About page.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more stories about sellers partnering with manufacturers in creative and innovative ways. Stay tuned!
Curious about manufacturing on Etsy? Learn more.Continue reading
Photo by DoritKohStudio
Etsy’s Member Operations team works to keep the marketplace a safe and trustworthy place to shop by enforcing policies that apply to buyers and sellers. We respond to member inquiries, ensure that the items sold on Etsy reflect our values and comply with our policies, connect and communicate with some of our most passionate members through the Forums, and protect buyers and sellers from fraudulent behavior. It’s absolutely essential that we enforce policies in a way that not only helps to ensure the marketplace’s integrity, but also balances the needs of buyers and sellers. It’s a big job, but we’re committed to getting it right. One part of getting it right is giving members something they’ve asked for — the option to appeal permanent suspensions of any account privileges.
When members fall out of line with Etsy policy, our job is to help them get back on track. Often members don’t realize that they’ve violated Etsy policy and when we alert them, they take steps to correct the situation. This is often enough to get members back into compliance, but there are instances when we’re required to suspend account privileges (like commenting in the Forums) or close shops.
We don’t take this step lightly, because we know how upsetting and disruptive it is, but it is a tool we need to do our job. We recognize that our system is not a perfect one. We make mistakes, and that’s okay, but only if we have systems in place to correct those mistakes. That’s why we’re launching the Member Appeals program. Starting today, if your account privileges have been permanently suspended, you’ll be able to file an Appeal and have your case reviewed.
How It Works
If you’ve had any account privileges permanently suspended, you can go to the contact form on the Help page, select the “Appeals” option from the drop down menu, and send us the relevant information about your situation.
As the Manager of Member Appeals, I’ll be personally evaluating each submitted appeal. I’ll work cross-functionally with all of the policy enforcement teams at Etsy in order to complete a thorough and independent review of each case, before determining whether to uphold or overturn the suspension of account privileges. This isn’t going to be a process that lets bad actors back into the marketplace. It’s also important to note that I will not be able to overturn legal decisions (for example, copyright infringement). Going forward, I hope that this process makes us even better at our jobs, and I will be working with all the Member Operations teams to improve our systems and reduce errors and mistakes.
I am personally excited to take on this challenge, and grateful to be part of a community that values introspection and fairness, even in the hardest of circumstances. If a well-meaning person has been suspended due to a misunderstanding or an error on our part, we want the ability to make that right. Ultimately, we owe it to our community to take a second look, and to be extra rigorous in the fairness of our decisions. In the months ahead, I’ll be giving regular updates to the community on the nature of the appeals I’m processing, as well as metrics on decisions made, so we can move towards a stronger, fairer marketplace.Continue reading
Photo by jgouveia
Today, we announced some clarifications and changes to our policies that allow sellers to hire staff, have someone else ship their goods, and apply to sell items they produce with manufacturing partners. I’ve been excited to present these changes because I believe they’re way overdue and give the control back to sellers to decide how to run their businesses. I’m aware, though, that the new Guidelines will raise serious questions for many community members, so I want to share how we got here.
Authorship, Responsibility and Transparency
When Etsy started, we relied on one word to carry all our values out into the world: handmade. Almost immediately, that was a problem. Many of us felt we knew handmade when we saw it, but that was hard to put into enforceable policy. What kind of tools could you use? How many hands could shape the product? Could you use mass-produced components to put together something original? As Etsy wrestled with defining exactly what handmade meant, and what was and wasn’t allowed, our DOs and DON’Ts ballooned from about 4,000 to 14,000 words. Inside the company, we struggled to see our way out of this bind without compromising what we felt kept Etsy special.
Meanwhile, sellers told us again and again that our policies were confusing, that how we enforced them was unclear, and that as a result, they felt anxious and worried about their Etsy shops and unable to reach for their goals. Some sellers chose to work punishing hours to maintain a one-person shop, thinking that if they hired help, they would get kicked off the site. Some sellers quietly began to bend the rules, hoping that no one would really notice. Some sellers simply left, because they felt Etsy’s policies were too intrusive and restrictive. We think this is tragic.
When we rethought these policies, we went back to the heart of Etsy: the people in the community. When we consider the truly dazzling array of methods sellers use to make their handmade items — everything from raising the bees that provide the wax base for hand-dipped candles to 3-D printing jewelry — we realized that handmade on Etsy could never be defined as a single method or process.
Instead, handmade was about values we as a community prize: authorship — the idea that your handmade item begins with you — and responsibility, because Etsy sellers are deeply involved in how their items are made and accountable for their buyers’ experiences. When we began to think about giving sellers greater choices for staffing, shipping and making items, the third value was evident: transparency. The Etsy community places a premium on knowing the person and the story behind a handmade item.
We know defining handmade as authorship, responsibility and transparency may not match your personal definition, but these are the values we see Etsy sellers living every day. They capture what sets Etsy apart, and they create a clear framework for giving more opportunity to sellers.
Why These Changes Make Sense Now
Etsy sellers are at the heart of a growing revolution. More and more people around the world are interested in supporting local, mindful, independent businesses. Buyers increasingly want to know where their goods come from. At the same time, makers have access to an ever-growing array of methods to create their items, everything from laser cutters and CNC routers, to manufacturers who do small runs of high-quality items. Artists are integrating these new technologies with some of the oldest hand-making processes in the world in surprising ways. Makers are banding together to collaborate, sharing workshops and tools, and building their own production facilities.
We believe these trends are going to continue and we want Etsy to lead the way. As we reimagined our policies, we wanted to give Etsy sellers the ability to take full advantage of all these incredible developments.
Why Transparency Matters
We need to hit the reset button. Etsy community members deserve clarity. Our former policies allowed sellers to use “partial production assistance,” but those collaborations were also often completely opaque on the site. When members saw items that didn’t “look” handmade, they could assume shops were breaking our rules, but many shops were actually following rules that we hadn’t made clear enough to everyone.
Going forward, Etsy is giving sellers better ways to be open and honest. We are asking all sellers who work with an outside business to make handmade items to apply for review and approval by the beginning of 2014. The application requires sellers to demonstrate authorship, responsibility and transparency. If the application is approved, you can list the items, and information about your manufacturer is made public in your shop’s About page.
Transparency extends to Etsy, the company, as well. We admit that we haven’t done a great job explaining how we monitor the marketplace and enforce our policies. We’ve also missed the mark not communicating enough with you about our goals as a company and community, and how they have evolved over time. As a young company (still), we’ve spent too much time debating and figuring it out inside our offices and not enough time discussing it with you. We’re committing to fixing that — starting with regular quarterly updates to share with you what we’re planning on working on and why. We know that unless you understand our vision for the success and health of the marketplace, you can’t decide how you fit in.
I know we won’t and can’t please everyone with these changes, but I believe they are essential for Etsy to thrive as a community and platform. Etsy sellers have shown us, time and again, that you know better than anyone else what makes sense for your businesses, and we trust you.
We’re here to take your questions and discuss your concerns. Join us in the Forums or send your questions privately to email@example.com; we will be listening and responding. We’re excited to discuss the future with you. You’ve grown Etsy in ways we never predicted, and that is thrilling to see.Continue reading
Photo by tushtush
Corinne Haxton Pavlovic leads Etsy’s Trust and Safety team, where she’s been working the last three and a half years.
As the head of Trust and Safety at Etsy, my job is to keep Etsy a safe and secure space for sellers to do business, and a trustworthy place for buyers to shop. Etsy’s Integrity team, tasked with helping sellers comply with our policies, reports to me. The announcement of our new Guidelines is the perfect moment to connect as a community and tackle a concern that is front-and-center for our team and for many Etsy members: reselling.
Reselling is buying an item and selling it unchanged as if it were your handmade creation. On Etsy, that’s not allowed. That rule is not changing with our new Guidelines.
Some of the issues around reselling have grown from communications problems on Etsy’s part. From the beginning, Etsy actively encouraged community members to flag sellers and items that appear to be breaking our rules. As our policies grew more lengthy and complex, it was harder to understand how Etsy defined handmade and exactly how marketplace rules were being enforced.
This situation frustrated many Etsy members. When they took the trouble to flag shops that appeared to flout Etsy’s rules and saw no action taken, their trust in us was damaged. Going forward, we want to be clear: identifying problems in the marketplace is our responsibility. We’re not expecting members to do that work for us.
We want the Etsy community to know that we review every single flag — to date, literally hundreds of thousands — and we remove items and close shops that violate our policy. (If you’d like a look at the quarterly numbers, check out our new Integrity page.) If you’ve flagged a shop that has stayed open for business or an item that is still for sale in the marketplace, that means it is Etsy-legal or under review. Our reviews are usually complete within three weeks.
That may be confounding to members who feel certain that shops or items that they have flagged are breaking the rules. We’ve evaluated thousands of shops very closely and we’ve found that many suspected of reselling are actually individuals or small groups of people making items by hand, following Etsy’s policies. We need to give sellers the editorial tools to better showcase their making process, so that it’s clear to everyone, not just Etsy, that these shops belong on Etsy.
Creating greater transparency addresses one facet of the problem. But there are more issues at play. Let’s look at some issues that members often bring up when they suspect a shop of reselling.
1. The same item photos also show up in other online marketplaces with different policies and aesthetics.
When the same photo shows up in different marketplaces, it’s important to remember that many Etsy sellers list items on other platforms — Etsy doesn’t demand exclusivity or dictate what other venues sellers should use. In some cases, listing photos have been taken from an Etsy seller and used without permission. If this has happened to you, we have resources to help you learn how to protect your work.
2. The same listing photo shows up in multiple Etsy shops.
When the Trust and Safety team takes a closer look at cases like these, we often find that the same person is running all the shops and listing similar items in each. We know this impacts search or browse results in unfair ways, and we’re currently working on how to correct for that to level the playing field. We will update you.
3. The same type of item shows up in multiple Etsy shops.
This is the hardest issue. Trendy items that are simple to make, like bubble necklaces or iPhone cases, can challenge our personal definitions of handmade, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed on Etsy. Etsy is a unjuried marketplace, and sellers choose what types of items to make for their shops and how they present those items. Many sellers choose to sell popular items for an understandable reason — because they sell. We don’t remove items unless they violate our policies, and our policies don’t ask sellers to meet any set of aesthetic criteria. Our role is to keep the marketplace safe and trustworthy; we aren’t here to be the creativity police.
Etsy sellers use a dazzling array of methods and processes to create their items. They have a wide spectrum of skill levels and a diverse set of aesthetics. That’s one of the most valuable things about the Etsy marketplace, and we feel lucky to support such a breadth of talent and ideas. That’s why we choose to define handmade as a set of values, and not a particular method or process. Being inclusive means that we give sellers space to make choices and be creative, but it also means community members need to keep an open mind about other sellers’ methods and choices.
We understand that our approach isn’t going to please everyone, but we believe trust and transparency are the strongest foundation for the Etsy marketplace. By requiring sellers to be more open and honest about how their items are made and who is involved, we move to a fairer, more transparent marketplace. And it’s a two-way street: as a company, we are committed to sharing statistics on how we enforce the rules through quarterly reports on our Integrity page. We know this is just a first step, and these are sensitive, complex issues. Please share your thoughts in this forum thread.Continue reading
Photo by NaturesImagesPhoto
Over the last few months, we’ve been on a journey to better understand what it means to “create an Etsy Economy,” after Mayor Morrissey of Rockford, Illinois put this challenge to us in March. Thank you for following along with us as we learned about the economic challenges in Rockford with the mayor and local Etsy team, committed to launch a Craft Entrepreneurship program in response to these challenges in Rockford and beyond at the Clinton Global Initiative, and got to know the Rockford community better at Craft Party.
After a huge effort that connected Etsy, city governments, Etsy teams, and local communities, we are now launching a Craft Entrepreneurship Program that we’ve created together. Last week, Rockford Etsy Team member Chris began teaching residents in the Rockford Housing Authority how to use their craft skills to build a business and earn income. Our Seller Education team worked with the Housing Authority to develop a four-week curriculum covering topics from business finance to marketing, using Etsy as a live learning lab.
In Chris’s class, there are men and women with skills including woodworking, jewelry making, photography, stationery, and more. We’ve looked at baseline levels of personal income, purchasing power, confidence, and well-being, and will be measuring the success of the program against the movement in these metrics over time. This is not just about creating new Etsy shops, it’s about creating entrepreneurs.
Today, one week after our kick-off with Rockford, we are also rolling out the program in New York City! After learning about our initiative in Rockford, the Deputy Mayor’s office for Economic Development reached out to us to brainstorm areas of economic need in New York where the Craft Entrepreneurship Program could have an impact. From there, we began working with the Department of Small Business Services to serve New Yorkers who are underemployed or, in other words, employed but with income that is not enough to meet their needs. We believe that for those with craft skills, the Craft Entrepreneurship program will create an opportunity for earning vital supplemental income. We’re kicking off with 3 classes and about 60 students in Brooklyn and Queens taught by three incredible members of the Etsy NY Team.
Launching this program with both Rockford and New York City has shown us that cities big and small face similar challenges in creating economic opportunity for unemployed and underemployed residents. Working in two cities with very different populations, resources, and histories makes us hopeful that we can help develop a curriculum that’s versatile and scalable.
We’re looking forward to sharing more about the program, the stories of the participants, and the results as we go. We’re going in with an open mind, eager to learn and iterate. You can find out more and follow the story here.
The third portion of our commitment is to make the curriculum and process of the Craft Entrepreneurship Program available for any community anywhere to use. After learning from our first round of pilot programs in Rockford and New York, we’ll start sharing these resources. We already have a few more iterations in the works (look out for an announcement about our work in some non-US cities and even a version of the program in schools!), and are eager to work with more communities in the future. This is truly a personal collaboration, and we couldn’t do it without the Rockford Etsy Team, the Etsy NY Team, and inspiration and real-life lessons from Etsy sellers around the world — thank you!Continue reading
Photo by BeverlyLeFevre
The summer light might be fading, but can you smell the faint whiff of holiday traffic in the air? With a 43.2% increase in dollars of goods sold compared to last year (August 2012), and a 44.2% increase in items sold, the Etsy community is rearing up for a record-breaking season.
- $109.1 million of goods (after refunds and cancellations) were sold by our community in August, 8.13% higher than July
- That represents 5,483,399 items sold for the month, 9.44% higher than July
- 2,804,300 new items were listed in the month, 3.46% higher than July
- 1,065,767 new members joined the Etsy community, 6.13% higher than July
- 1.8 billion page views were recorded on the site in August (including web and apps)
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Etsy community in August 2013!
Ed. Note: We discovered an error in how the statistic for number of items sold had been calculated for the months of January – July, 2013. The statistic and percentage comparisons on each of the reports have since been corrected, and we apologize sincerely for the error. We’re proud that as a company we share these reports with our community, and we hold ourselves to high standards when it comes to accuracy and transparency.
Curious about how other months compare? Check out our past Weather Reports for more statistics.Continue reading
Photo by Sweet Paul Magazine's Page
Have you ever found the perfect Etsy gift on your favorite blog? Discovered a new seller in a magazine? With such a wealth of one-of-a-kind items and shops on Etsy, it’s no wonder brands use the marketplace as a source for unique editorial and shopping inspiration. They cull the site for items they know their audiences will love, and are eager to support the independent makers, collectors and artists that make up our community. To better highlight this curation, we’re inviting these tastemakers to join the community and share their favorite items directly with our shoppers, through Etsy Pages.
As Etsy continues to grow globally, shoppers are always looking for new ways to explore the marketplace that fit their personal taste and interests. With Pages, brands can offer their unique lens, creating stylized shopping experiences through their curation. You can follow Pages just as you would follow another member on Etsy — and keep tabs on their collections through the Activity Feed. By following your favorite tastemakers, whether savvy members or recognizable brands, you can find new and more personalized paths to discovery.
To launch Pages, we’ve hand-selected brands and bloggers who celebrate Etsy’s items and makers, and boast strong editorial chops when it comes to curating for their audiences. With a mix of perspectives — from home decor, kids, weddings and more — and a global spread, we’re excited to kick off Pages with such a talented group! As they grow their following on Etsy, the partners will also help spread awareness of our unique marketplace by using Pages’ tools to post their curation to their own communities. And we’re excited to continue to add new Pages in the coming months.
Ready to check out our launch brands, bloggers and their Pages? Visit them here, and remember to follow your favorites! We’d love to hear feedback from our community on Pages. Let us know what you think in this forum thread.Continue reading
Teacher, speaker, and author Charles Eisenstein believes that our economy is morphing from one that is based on money to what he calls the “Gift Economy.” At our Hello Etsy conference this past spring, he shared his ideas about our journey from profit to purpose.
At present, we generally measure success in accrued wealth, specifically GDP. This measurement is dependent upon us converting materials and time into money. And we are good at it — our society is richer in monetary measures than any that has come before us, according to Eisenstein. Yet, he suggests, we are the poorest society in history when it comes to the elements of life that cannot be measured — fulfillment, connection, community.
In an economy driven by money, we compete with each other and we convert our social relationships into digital products that can be sold. We don’t have need for other people unless we are paying them for a service. This means we have no reason to engage with our neighbors or the people around us. They won’t enable us to make more money so we don’t need them for anything.
Eisenstein links this disconnection from each other to the impersonal and disposable goods that dominate the majority of our commerce. Most of the things we consume are not special, they are largely interchangeable, and they are made and sold in a manner that detaches person and provenance from the item. Why would we care about the things we buy and the people behind them?
By contrast, in a gift economy, we share with one another, and therefore depend on each other. Each of our unique offerings, be they skills or goods, contributes to the functionality and health of our communities. Eisenstein believes that receiving gifts inspires us to give in-turn and that giving will provide us with a sense of purpose, that is lacking in today’s money-based system. Car sharing, community-supported agriculture, and marketplaces that are community led, are moving us towards this. The gift economy will lower our GDP and it will make us more reliant upon one another. Compassion and connections will be bred from necessity for each other.
Eisenstein admits that a realistic version of the future includes money, and some impersonal transactions, but he thinks there is room for giving. Your Etsy shops and purchases, sharing resources, and even basic interactions are all part of the shift. The simple act of recognizing the person behind the counter or at the other end of an email can be a gift.
How do you envision the future of our economy and community?Continue reading
This week’s Hello Etsy talk comes from Stuart Wallis, Director of the New Economics Foundation. He builds upon the messages of Rasnath Dasa and Robin Chase by extrapolating the principles of living our values — both at work and through our purchases — to affect change in the way business is done.
In Wallis’s talk, he comments upon the interlinked problems of our global economic system: namely, that it is unsustainable, unfair, and unstable. This should come as no surprise to many of us; we are using too many natural resources, our current system benefits a select few and punishes the majority, and we needn’t look further than the nightly news to see evidence of the instability of economies worldwide.
Luckily, Wallis doesn’t leave us at the door of despair. He suggests that we have the ability to change this system by no longer allowing financial gain to be the sole driver for business.
To accomplish this, we must first adopt new measures of success. GDP, he suggests, measures only speed, not whether or not we are moving in the right direction. If we use GDP as our core means of measuring economic progress, we will never drive companies to account for their ecological impact or the wellbeing of their employees.
Wallis suggest that, rather than segregating corporate commitment to people and planet to an isolated arm of Corporate Social Responsibility, these concepts should be integrated into the core of every business. Corporations should recognize that true success isn’t exclusively financial — it is intertwined with the well-being of employees and responsible stewardship for our environment.
Wallis emphasizes that this transformation will not happen passively. We can all participate by taking our values into the workplace and encouraging our employers to move towards progressive practices, or letting benevolence guide our own businesses. We can also make values led-purchasing decisions, communicating to companies that good business is good for business.
Remodeling our economic system is a journey, but, as Wallis suggests, it is essential, urgent, and a movement to which we can all contribute.Continue reading
Photo by TWOEMS
One of the unique strengths of our community is that buyers interact directly with independent artists, makers and collectors around the world. This intimate exchange is ultimately shared by leaving feedback, a reflection on a one-of-a-kind experience. Both buying and selling is notably personal, making feedback on Etsy more meaningful than reviews you might find elsewhere.
As we announced in April, we’ve been working on updating Etsy’s feedback and review system, developing a better method that supports the unique qualities of our marketplace. As part of this process we asked sellers to fill out a survey and spoke to buyers. The community feedback was invaluable in reshaping how reviews works on Etsy, so we thank you!
Read on to learn about the high-level changes, supporting the project’s original goals.
Promote honesty and fairness
We want to provide Etsy shoppers with relevant information as they consider what to buy. Previously, a shop’s feedback score included the ratings the owner received as a buyer — which was misleading for prospective shoppers. Now a shop’s overall rating will reflect only reviews left by buyers in the last year, sharing the shop’s current reputation with shoppers.
To encourage authentic reviews, the buyer’s profile name will be displayed publicly with their reviews going forward. Additionally, item reviews will require text as well as a rating, so that future shoppers (and the seller) understand the context.
These changes, as well as decline in non-payment issues, reduce the need for rating buyers. Sellers who took our survey revealed that rating buyers was a tedious task — and in fact, buyer scores were rarely viewed. So, buyers will no longer be rated in the new system.
Enable better communication and issue resolution
We heard from many sellers that negative feedback often resulted from a misunderstanding, whether feedback was left too early, or the buyer didn’t contact the seller to resolve an issue. Reviews can now be edited, providing a window for the buyer and seller to communicate and resolve issues directly. To prevent premature reviews, we’re tying in processing and shipment information, so that an item can only be reviewed once we believe it‘s arrived.
Improve the shopping experience
Through testing, we learned that when we highlighted reviews more prominently, buyers were more likely to favorite and add items to their cart! We’ll be working on more ways to encourage buyers to come back and review their purchases, so that more items are reviewed on Etsy. To make reviews more shopper-friendly, we’re moving to a 5-star rating system. Stars are also more favorable toward sellers than the old, rigid percentage ratings, which will migrate over to stars.
Sellers can learn more about how the new system works here:
We’ll be rolling out the new reviews to the community in the coming weeks — we understand this is a big change, and will take some time to get used to. We believe that the new system will provide an improved sense of fairness and transparency, in addition to a better shopping experience across the marketplace.
To learn more about the review system, read our FAQs.Continue reading
Photo by JonPaul Douglass
Here at Etsy, we take our continuing education pretty seriously. And while off-site lectures and workshops are always beneficial, we’ve found that learning from each other can foster not just cognitive development, but community connections as well. Now in its third semester, Etsy School is a series of courses — from silk screening to Python programming — that Etsy employees teach each other.
Admin Sarah Starpoli took a lunchtime juggling class in the very first semester, and remembers it fondly: “I could never figure out how to do it on my own, but it was so much fun to try something new and use my brain differently — I was so refreshed after that break during the day.” While some of the classes more clearly complement the work that is done at Etsy HQ, such as learning how to build your own mobile app, others help Admin connect to the greater Etsy community by trying a traditional craft, or rejuvenate the body and mind after a long week hunched at the desk.
Admin Sarah Abramson teaches her coworkers how to make enamel pendant jewelry in her own studio. "It was a sifting and firing whirlwind," Sarah delightedly recalls.
Matt Stinchcomb, VP of Values & Impact, teaches in his Mindfulness 101 course: “When you eat, just eat. Turn off the TV, shut down the computer, put down your book, and stop talking. With practice, you might just realize that the food is interconnected with the whole universe.” Admin Morgan Evans teaches in her Big City Biking class: “Assume all doors are opening and all cars are turning.” In Feminism & Technology, students discuss readings about how search engines propagate problematic representations of women. By participating in these cross-disciplinary gatherings, we are further exposed to new, distinctive perspectives that help us understand ourselves and our world better. As residents in this iconic melting pot of a city, and employees to a global community of 30 million members, we recognize firsthand how well-roundedness can be a powerful path to real-world problem solving.
Admin Morgan Evans was inspired to teach a class focused on biking in Manhattan after hearing so many of her coworkers confess their fears.
Etsy School is unlike most company programs, because it empowers both student and teacher. Matt Graham, who leads our API team, admits: “As a novice sempster, I didn’t have high expectations for what I would be able to make in the sewing class, but I was completely wrong!” After finishing a zipper pouch and a stuffed bunny for his daughter, Matt says, “Now I can’t help but notice the seams on all of my clothes.” In the Reel Life documentary class of the second semester, coworkers stayed late into the night watching and then discussing the 3-hour epic, Hoop Dreams. Every day, we are inspired by our sellers, who have taken ownership over their expertise, and through it, found a path to independence. Etsy Admin, too, are are a diverse bunch, with an inspiring set of extra-curricular skills, and we believe it’s important to encourage each other to share such personal knowledge.
Admin Ashley Edwards shares her interest in Western herbal medicine by teaching her coworkers how to make infusions, tinctures, and lip balms.
Etsy School not only offers tangible lessons and empowering opportunities, but also natural icebreakers. As the company continues to grow, it’s more important than ever before to foster dialogues between coworkers who work in different teams, on different floors, even in different cities. Admin Bowen Slate-Greene, who led a Faulkner study group, reflects: “Teaching an Etsy School class was a powerful reminder that the people here aren’t just my coworkers — they’re my collaborators and friends.” It’s not hard to see how vital the tool of social interaction is for business development when it comes to Etsy sellers on Teams and in the Forums. And with each SQL session or knitting circle, we get that much closer to making our work more human, and thus, more meaningful.Continue reading
Photo by AtlantisPrints
You’re invited to September’s line-up of crisp autumnal crafts for this month’s Etsy Meet & Make workshops. Meet & Make is a series of hands-on creative community events hosted each month by creative partner organizations, with support from Etsy. For our September roster, join in the fun and learn how to sew a sunglasses case in San Francisco (September 12), try your hand at screenprinting in Los Angeles (September 5), stitch reusable sandwich bags in San Jose (September 6), and find inspiration in the leaves in Chicago (September 6). Mark your calendar and make time to make with us.
Thanks to support from Bernina, the Meet & Make locations are now equipped with shiny new sewing machines, many of which are making their debut this month!
Craft Night in Los Angeles: Screenprinting
Join author, designer, and craft star Mark Montano to remake and resurrect your favorite pre-loved T-shirts, tote bags, or jeans. Equipped with stencils, silk screens, and fabric paints, you’ll transform old patterns and logos into new designs, and in turn, recycle, save money, and exercise your inventive muscles. When you’re ready, take a break from crafting for a casual tour of the current exhibitions led by Craft and Folk Art Museum staff.
Admission is $7 at the door or free for CAFAM members, and covers materials, snacks, drinks, and instruction. RSVP is required. A big thank you to Speedball and DecoArt for providing supplies.
Be sure to bring a garment with you – something made of absorbent fabrics and pre-washed.
When: Thursday, September 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. PT (Doors open at 6:45 p.m.)
Where: Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA (In the courtyard!)
Craft Lab in San Francisco: Sunglasses Case
Add machine sewing to your list of crafting super powers in this short drop-in workshop! Etsy expert Rebecca Saylor of OodleBaDoodle will teach you the basics of using a Bernina sewing machine as you sew a fun and very functional little case for your sunglasses. Choose from a variety of materials from Eddie’s Quilting Bee and FabMo, such as reclaimed denim or gingham. This simple pattern can be reused for future craft projects to create grocery bags, laundry bags, and more. To complement your crafting, check out the museum’s current exhibitions.
Admission for this 21+ event is $10, or $5 for museum members, and covers supplies, instruction, and adult beverages sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company and Anchor Brewing Company.
When: Thursday, September 12, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. PT (No walk-ins after 8 p.m., please.)
Where: Museum of Craft and Design, 2569 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
Fiber Salon in San Jose: Fabric Sandwich Bags
Join local artist Jen Johnson from SF Etsy to learn how to make reusable fabric sandwich bags. After you have fun sewing with the museum’s new Bernina sewing machines, you’ll be able to pack those back-to-school lunches with eco-friendly style! Some sewing experience is helpful, but don’t worry if you’re not an expert. Jen will teach you the basics needed to complete this enjoyable and practical project. While you’re at the museum, be sure to visit the current exhibits, including the “Tasty! Food Inspired Quilts,” the source of inspiration for this month’s Meet & Make project.
RSVP required through Eventbrite. Space is limited.
When: Friday, September 6, from 7 to 10 p.m. PT (Sessions start at 7, 8, and 9 p.m.)
Where: San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textiles, 520 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113
Craft Bar Chicago: Autumn Leaf Projects
This month’s workshop celebrates the changing of the seasons with nature-themed projects designed to get you energized for cooler breezes, warm coats, and long walks amidst colorful, falling leaves. Join us to make three leafy projects: hand-stamped leaf bookmarks, personalized journals, and autumn-scented leaf sachets.
As always, all supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your own project to work on. The $5 admission covers materials, snacks, and instruction for the projects.
Julie Schneider is a Brooklyn-based artist, teacher and punster. When she's not working on Etsy's community team, she's writing, drawing and making cards and papercuts. Keep up with her latest creations on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.Continue reading
With the unique combination of being a Wall Street banker and Bhakti monk, Rasnath Dasa was a must-see speaker at our Hello Etsy ideas conference this past spring. In his lecture, Rasnath addressed the subject of reimagining work, relaying the story of how he broke down the artifice he’d created to fulfill workplace expectations, encouraging us all to do the same.
Many of us have experienced the feeling of needing to leave one’s personal life, and sometimes entire personality, at the office door. Perhaps it’s even driven some of us to the shelter of self-employment. Rasanath’s talk highlights the ways in which isolating our true selves from our professional personas drives us to rely upon inauthentic forms of external validation. Living with our egos under threat makes us subject to fear. This leads to competition with our colleagues and a need to feel superior. It drives us to ignore other people’s gifts and amplify their weaknesses in order to elevate ourselves.
Rasnath asks us to imagine a workplace in which we have the freedom to be honest about our mistakes, to collaborate rather than compete, and where every employee’s unique gifts are valued. Sounds good, right? So, how do we create it? His solution is simple: be the first to shed the mask behind which your insecurities are hiding. By holding a space for vulnerability and making it okay to not have the answer, to need help, to admit that we are struggling, our personal and professional selves can integrate.
Rasnath challenges each of us to be the first to break the cycle — be open about what you don’t know and see what you can learn, show your weaknesses and be astonished by who shows up to help, and most importantly, remove the artificial image and watch those around you follow your lead — paving the way for honest connection.Continue reading
Photo by EarlybirdPrints
Who’s got time for vacation when there are numbers to crunch? With a 45.2% increase in dollars of goods sold compared to July 2012, and a 41% increase in items sold, the community’s been more active than ever before.
- $100.9 million of goods (after refunds and cancellations) were sold by our community in July, 7.6% higher than June
- That represents 4,336,698 items sold for the month, 6.4% higher than June
- 2,710,619 new items were listed in the month, 3.7% higher than June
- 1,004,204 new members joined the Etsy community, 8.9% higher than June
- 1.4 billion page views were recorded on the site in July (including web and apps)
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Etsy community in July 2013!
Curious about how other months compare? Check out our past Weather Reports for more statistics.Continue reading