In honor of the first ever Etsy Day, today April 24th, I thought I'd post my observations so far of this very unique sales venue/artisan's colony/community - http://www.etsy.com/.
I opened my shop on Etsy back on December 22, 2008. Since I was insanely busy in the middle of Holiday Season sales, I paid very little attention to it. My intention at that time was to reserve my name and put a placeholder on my shop - which actually is pretty good business sense as a pretty much exclusively online brand. I've done the same with many other sales venues over the past several months.
Once the Holiday season died down a bit in late February, I had more time to focus on my Etsy shop (www.BellissimaMinerals.etsy.com). I educated myself on the terms of service, read all the help pages and articles, set up my shop appearance, store policies and listed a few items, just as I'd had with all the other sales sites. And then I eagerly headed into the forums (or 'fora', as the plural of forum is used more often in threads) to meet my fellow sellers.
And so with a few topics, posts, threads and chat, my eyes were opened.
Etsy is nothing like any of the other sales venues I've experienced.
This is truly a community of artists, deigners and crafters driving the handmade revolution. No where else have I found so many people applauding fellow artists's skills and abilities and supporting other etsians' accomplishments. They revel in member's triumphs and victories and compassionately empathize with their disappointments. They work hard through blog posts and tweets to spotlight favorite sellers, draw attention to etsians' distinctive talents and expose unique, ingenious items. This community is in fact a motivating force - proving that 'handmade' is not just a way to shop - or even a way of life - but an honest-to-goodness, heartfelt sensibility.
I'm keeping this one short, but read more about Etsy Day here: