Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Bloomberg Businessweek, August 15-28, 2011
HANDICRAFT WEBSITE ETSY
Etsy.com, the online market for all things handmade, has 10 million items for sale. Among them: a hand-knit coffee mug cozy ($13); a vintage Underwood typewriter modified to work as a computer keyboard ($799); a set of pickle forks ($60). The oddball mix spawned Regretsy, a blog that commnets on eccentric Etsy finds. The tagline: "Where DIY meets WTF," Regretsy may be an indicator of Etsy's success. Since its founding in 2005, the site has helped turn the artisanal, locally source, bespoke-authentic movement into a viable business, at least for itself and a handful of its 800,000 vendors. Sales hit $314 million in 2010, the first year Etsy was profitable. Etsy freely acknowledges most of its vendors won't make a living on the site. Yokoo Gibraan, who knits scarves for Etsy ($50-$150) in her Atlanta living room, is one who does. "I work around the clock" to make about $90,000 in annual sales, she says, "but knitting isn't stressful - it's the best job I ever had."
-Susan Berfield, Bloomberg Businessweek
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