I think we're witness a key shift in the evolution of Etsy. Etsy began as a celebration of craft and community. It's business function was to connect crafts people with each other, and provide them with an opportunity to reach buyers outside of their local market. That is to say that participating in the Etsy community was the end goal.
Now, due in large part to the growth of the blogosphere's influence and in even larger part to the trend of retailers (like West Elm and One Kings Lane) partnering with Etsy, the online community seems to have evolved into a stepping stone for creatives. It's now a weigh station on the road to discovery.
As a consumer, I'm so happy to see my favorite Etsy sellers (like OneFortyThree or Lisa Golightly of Kiki and Polly) move on to the next stage of their careers-- whether it's launching their own e-commerce site in order to accommodate increased demand or partnering with a retailer.
I do sometimes wonder, though, what the founders of Etsy think about the shift. When you read their mission statement, you don't get exactly get the impression that they intended to be a stepping stone to partnership with big box retailers. But you can't argue with the benefit to the individual craftspeople. And, after all, aren't big box retailers just furthering Etsy's mission to make craft more accessible to the broader public?
Since all this was on my mind, I thought I'd do a round up of some recent discoveries on Etsy in one of my favorite color schemes-- Navy and Persimmon. Enjoy!
- Moab I, 16 x 20" Archival Print - Limited Edition, Callie Helen @Etsy - $100
- Ouija Board, Melamine Decorative Plate, Burke Hare Co. @Etsy - $16
- Red Cardinal, A4 Print of Original Illustration, Tiny Kiwi Illustrations @Etsy - $14
- Modern Table Lamp, Ample Furniture @Etsy - $395
- 16 x 16" Vintage Turkish Kilim Pillow Cover, Sukan @Etsy - $170
- Urban Tote in Navy Waxed Canvas and Distressed Leather, Red Staggerwing @Etsy - $95