Today is the first Etsy Day! A lot of us who sell items on Etsy.com spend a lot of time promoting our own shops, or occasionally picking one other shop to feature. But all of that only does so much good, and in the spirit of collective good, a bunch of Etsy sellers came together and declared April 24 Etsy Day. The idea is to spend today promoting Etsy as a whole, because so many people don’t know what it is.
Most people reading my blog probably already know that Etsy is a website where people can sell handmade or vintage items, as well as supplies for making handmade goods. So today I am going to take a moment to talk about why I think Etsy matters.
To be upfront, this whole running a business thing has been abit odd for me. I love making things, and I like the idea that other people might want the things that I make. I cannot afford to just leave handmade items laying around as gifts for whoever wants them.
But I’ve also been a long to critic of consumerism and corporate capitalism, and thus trying to get the hang of things like marketing in a way that doesn’t make me feel dirty or hypocritical has been difficult.
I like Etsy because I really do feel that it allows me to sell my crafts in a way that doesn’t conflict with my other values:
1. Art and Creativity Are Valuable too! At a time in US history when budgets for arts education are being slashed nationwide, it is nice to see venues like Etsy springing up online that specifically focus on arts and handmade items. Not only can you buy and sell handmade items on etsy, but the forums are always full of people discussing techniques and the Etsy Storque runs frequent How-to segments. That means you can actually go to Etsy to learn how to make things.
2. Etsy is not corporate capitalism. Ok, let’s be honest, it probably is. Etsy does charge people to sell their items and I’m sure the people who run etsy make a lot of money doing so. Good for them. Etsy still allows me to say “cheap mass-produced, animal-tested soap? No thanks! I’d rather get handmade soap from lilachillsoap, who uses milk from her own goat and wax from her own bees.” With Etsy, I can say “wear the newest, most popular thing that everyone and their mother is wearing? No thanks! I’d rather have my own vintage style with a great dress from hellcatvintage.” I either know directly where my purchase is coming from and who made it, or I know that by purchasing vintage I am reducing waste. Either way, I win.
3. Etsy allows for personal connections. Shopping on Etsy can be like shopping anywhere else on the net: quick, impersonal, click-a-button-and-you’re-done. But it doesn’t have to be. It can also be small-town-market meets the digital age. I spend probably more time than I should in the Etsy forums or in Etsy chat rooms. When Etsy seller jdsgemsnd‘s first granddaughter was born, her etsy friends were among the first to know.
For all of these reasons, I love Etsy! Etsy provides one way to strive for more ethical consumerism.
Here are a few of my favorites:
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