Monday, March 18, 2013

Etsy 101 - Part Two - History II

What Is Etsy?

Following in the grand tradition of craft fairs and flea markets worldwide, Etsy is essentially an online version of an arts and crafts supermall. Every seller on the site opens their own shop, naming it, running it, making, marketing, selling and shipping their wares. For the most part, everything on the site is supposed to either be handmade or vintage, or in some cases, modified sufficiently to create something handmade.

Launched in 2005, Etsy was named after the creator watched Fellini's 8 ½ and, searching for a vaguely nonsense word that would allow him to build the brand with no preconceived notions, noticed the phrase “Etsi” uttered often. In Italian, it means “Oh yes”.

Imagined as a marketplace that values hard work and handmade items, a place where quality over quantity reigns, the site struggled for the first few years, but slowly gained customers and shops. Along the way, they also modified things, staying on top of site improvements and keeping an eye on media trends like Twitter and Facebook.

Today, Etsy has over 22 million registered members and over 850,000 shop fronts. (Though that sounds gigantic, eBay has over 100 million active members) Most Etsy shoppes are considered a side business, a way to make a little extra cash or unload some “Vintage” clothing they found at a yard sale. According to Wikipedia, the bulk of sellers on Etsy are college educated women in their twenties and thirties and range from stay at home moms, to bakers, to artists and craftsmen as well as vintage sellers and fabricators.

Quickly becoming an offbeat and unique way to find a gift and support the independent business world, there is a lot to love about Etsy. Their search engine is quite efficient at finding what you are searching for and the range of products and prices is almost unmatched and they strive to be thorough when it comes to weeding out big businesses that are selling bulk quantities. That said, many people have managed to push the shops boundaries a bit and there are some out there that seem to be outside the realm of handmade products and goods.

Today there are over 18 million items on Etsy and 42 million unique visitors peruse the shops every month.

Peruse us HERE!

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