Etsy Gets Around

Etsy is etching out a comfortable niche in the retail market. Since starting in 2005, they have always been innovative in leading craftspeople to internet sales. By now, they have established themselves as an iconic marketplace, doing over $180 million in business last year.

I found Kim, John and Sebastian, 3 of the 170-strong Etsy team, at the One of a Kind show in New York last week. They had set up a booth and were promoting Etsy to consumers and crafters alike. This kind of outreach is indicative of how they've stayed true to their grassroots past. It also shows that there is still room to grow. Last year's sales have already been topped (they reached $200 mil by November), and that is PRE-CHRISTMAS.

Although I honestly didn't see many signs of the Esty effect in England, I was told that 30% of vendor sales went to overseas customers last year. But it wasn't until I came back to America that I started to notice its impact. Many times, when I ask a friend where he or she got something, the reply is "Etsy". Amazing!

They have sent over a team to Europe to work on an Etsy Europe, so let's hope that works out. It's a great tool for designers to reach a direct market. Designers lose less than 5% of the retail price per sale - an unheard of ratio. It is much more profitable than selling through a gallery, shop, or even trade fair.



  1. I love this post and etsy! Connecting to crafters anytime...anywhere...

  2. Thanks :) That's exactly what is so interesting - the digital age is actually salvaging handmaking rather than eliminating it. Who would have thought?
    The Etsy people were really nice to talk to. They showed a lot of enthusiasm for what they do.

  3. There is actually a very good book about that digital age favouring crafts. It is quite old and in French, but who knows it may have been translated: Pierrette Grondin, Cyberculture et objet de design industriel ;)