Saturday, June 23, 2007

Etsy, The New Wave of Crafters and Hobbyists is Here!

From the traditional to the bizarre, Etsy has something for everyone. Where else can you find a genuine gemstone necklace next to an anatomically correct heart pendant, or a picture of the spooky twins from The Shining? The only requirement for shop ownership on Etsy, is that all items must be handcrafted by the designer. Etsy is a true supporter of independent artists and crafters everywhere. Their virtual marketplace includes handmade items from all over the wold, that previously weren’t available on such a large scale. Etsy also provides a great place to buy arts and craft supplies and vintage items.

The brainchild of a small group of entrepreneurs, it is run like a large commune for artists online. Etsy is like the anti-Ebay, with low listing fees, no auctions or outside advertising, and a personalized touch. Communication between Etsy administrators, buyers and sellers, can occur easily through email or forum style. Customer and artist concerns are addressed in a friendly and personal way.

As a Self Representing Artist and Jewelry Designer, Etsy was the solution to all of my needs. I have been designing jewelry for 7 years, and I have sold online for 5. I became incorporated 3 years ago as Jewelry by Tara, and . I decided I no longer wished to sell through Ebay, other auction sites, or craft fairs. Then, after 3 years of solely running my own site, I realized that the costs of advertising, web design, and credit card processing, were killing my business. Designers and artists can get lost on the web, without the larger budgets of our competitors. My move to Etsy has provided me with an outlet to sell my jewelry online with free advertising, low listing fees, and complete technical and community support. Through Etsy I have met true artists and my personal mentor, .Who has given me invaluable help and insight into the artist’s world. I have seen my profits triple in the five months I have been on Etsy and my overhead reduce to half of the previous cost. The support and community of atmosphere of Etsy has encouraged me in my creative pursuits and driven me to expand. I am currently sell my jewelry in the United States and several shops around the world including Scotland, Ireland, and other parts of the U.K. Etsy has enabled people to find me on a global scale and encouraged my international presence.

There are many opportunities for involvement on Etsy, and I am proud to be a member, leader, and co-founder of several Etsy Street Teams. JET is led by myself, and Tanya Gonzalez of Jewelry on Etsy Team, boasts 266 members, and we provide fantastic group sales, promotions, contests and support to our fellow independent jewelry designers. To learn more about our group, please visit our blog, I am also currently a member of EFA, Etsy For Animals. EFA members are encouraged to donate a portion of their profits to a worthy animal charity that is chosen at random from the group. There are many other eclectic groups of artist run Street Teams on Etsy, representing a variety of people. There is a vegetarian team (of which I am also a member), CCCOE, (California Crafter’s On Etsy), also created by Tanya and I. And many other groups including; gay, lesbian, and transgender, dark crafts, luxury items, glass artists, and everything else you can imagine.

Not only am I an Etsy shop owner, but I am a large scale buyer! I like to support my fellow Etsians and I buy most of my promotional items, supplies, artwork, bath & body, and gifts on Etsy. The quality of these handmade products is amazing! For a society that has lost the personal touch in retail, online and off, Etsy is very refreshing. The store owners are very concerned with originality and craftsmanship. On Etsy, the old saying, “the customer is always right”, actually means something. There is feedback and previously sold items listed in every shop, which reinforces the accountability of the store owner. You can research the reliability and quality of the designer’s work by using these tools.

If you are looking for original photographs, artwork, home d├ęcor, clothing, or just about anything else that you can think of, Etsy can and will accommodate all of your shopping needs. Searches from the most obscure to the recently trendy, will undoubtedly result in great finds. Caring administration and customer driven sales, make for a wonderful buying experience. I would strongly urge all artists and designers currently selling on the internet, to learn about the benefits of Etsy shop ownership.
Creative and inventive people everywhere have finally found a home for their handcrafted designs, through the help and support of this amazing site.

To learn more about Etsy, please visit their website here,


Sandra Eileen - Artisan Jewelry For Your Good Life said...

You are always working on getting the word out.... great.

Terri said...

Fantastic article, Tara!!