Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's an Etsy?

For some reason, I am always surprised by the question. Why? Well, first of all, it's an e-commerce global store of approximately 800,00 shops. Secondly, it's been online since 2005 with sales topping $700 million in 2012. Perhaps that explains my surprise at the question. Statistics aside, my favorite part of the question, "What's an Etsy?" are the shop owners.

Shop owners are artists, artisans, crafters and, more recently, sellers of vintage (more than 20 years old) items. As Wikipedia states, "...  in the tradition of open craft fairs, giving sellers personal storefronts..."

There are highly talented visual artists and photographers, the most clever crafters and upcyclers, and a wonderful mix of fabric shop owners creating everything from clothing to quilts. Personally, I'm always delighted with all the original and creative work that I find on Etsy shops.

With so many shops, how is it possible to be noticed? What to do? Artisans could be alone with their little store front trying to get noticed. That could be very frustrating. That's where the genius of Etsy comes into play.

Etsy encourages shop owners to join a team or teams. There are teams for  shop owners' type of products, interests, or locations. Some teams welcome anyone and some have criteria. The genius is that in the team environment, everyone mutual marketing by promoting each other. It's the action of reciprocation.: "I scratch your back and you scratch mine"

For example, I belong to a few teams: one promotes education for maximizing Etsy computer applications, another is a Northwest team and, my favorite of all, a local Eugene Team. It's my favorite because we meet once a month and I personally know many of the members. As artisan-entrepreneurs, they have lots of energy and can-do resourcefulness.

Eugene Team on Etsy members are also ambitious to reach the local market. To that end, they are inaugurating a local vendor fair.
Additionally, in keeping with the sense of local community, the vendor fair partnered with of a local charity that teaches parenting skills and provides support to families with young children. That is what Etsy is and the genius of mutual marketing.

Note: The Artisans & Vintage Spring Fair and Fundraiser for Parenting Now! (formerly Birth To Three) is Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 10:00am to 5:00pm at Valley River Inn, Columbia Rooms, 1000 Valley River Way, Eugene, OR 97401. (Each Team vendor is donating a work for the fundraiser drawing.) (click image to enlarge)

My shop?


  1. I must admit I didn't know. Since I'm local, I've put this event on my calendar and I'm looking forward to seeing you. Nancy

  2. Is "Etsy" an acronym? If so, what does it represent? sz

    1. Good question, sz. According to Wikipedia is derived from the Italian "etsi" which means "it is."

  3. Really awesome. Tamara (Eugene Team on Etsy)

  4. I know Etsy and I've bought lots of things from the shops. It's fun to shop there. They have really unique handcrafted things.