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Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's Etsy Day!

Today is officially unofficially* a day to celebrate all that is What is Etsy? It’s the best place on earth to find all things handmade. Art, woodworking, jewelry, ceramics… you name it, they have it for sale. Over two million people use Etsy everyday! Etsy has grown exponentially in the last few years. Exposure from The Martha Stewart Show and other traditional and online media has made Etsy’s numbers explode.

So how does Etsy work? Artists open their own shops with their own shop names. Shops can carry all handmade items, vintage items, craft supplies, or a mixture of all three. The individual artist runs his or her own shop. When you buy an item, you are paying the artist directly. It’s like a big craft show that you can go to anytime!

Many ways exist to interact with the artists and shops on the site.

Shop by Categories: Etsy is divided up into many categories such as jewelry, bath & body, knitting, paper goods, housewares, clothing, ceramics, weddings, glass, and many more. Subcategories are listed within the main categories to help you narrow down your search such as “necklace” under jewelry and “teapots” under ceramics.

Shop Local: If you are a fan of shopping local you can do that, too, on Etsy! Just type in your location and up pops shops listed for your region. If you are sending a gift to another place, you can also use this feature to shop local for your gift’s destination.

Shop by Color: The color interface on this part is really neat. You can get very specific shades of any color you want. Click on a color bubble and you’ll see listings tagged with that color. Shopping for someone who collects blue bowls? This feature will help you find just the right color.

Pounce: This feature lets you discover undiscovered shops that have had few sales or peruse through shops that recently had a sale. Just keep clicking “Pounce” and more items come up. It’s kind of addicting watching all this beautiful artwork pop up!

Treasuries: The Treasury feature is one of my personal favorites. Etsy users can curate a mini exhibit of items. Many are created with a theme like a specific color or style. Random selections of Treasuries eventually reach the front page of Etsy. Getting a treasury can be difficult but worth the wait.

Custom: Formerly known as “Alchemy”, the Custom section lets you place a request for a custom item. This can be anything you dream up! Maybe your sister loves angels and you want to have an angel painting created just for her. This is the place to ask for it. Artists will place bids on your request, and you get to choose who will make your item.

The Storque: This is Etsy’s blog. Find all kinds of articles here about Etsy shops, technical issues, and the handmade movement. Really worth a read as you will discover new shops and really good information about running a shop or buying handmade, vintage, or supply items.

Showcases and Gift Guides: Artists can purchase advertising spots in the Showcase. Etsy creates Gift Guides for holidays, for certain people, or for items like “A Cozy Home” and “Spring”.

Virtual Labs: This is where Etsy holds live workshops and classes. Etsy teams can hold meetings and trunk shows here. I love the Labs. I have learned so much from attending workshops.

Forums and Chat: Here is where you can pose site help questions, business topics, or look for sales and promotions. Etsy also has chat rooms.

So get on over to Etsy, sign up, and support handmade art and hardworking artists! Tell them InMyHeadStudios sent you! (Seriously – there is a referral box to fill in when you join. I could win something!)

Here is a sampling of shops that belong to the Etsy Twitter Team:

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

Buy Handmade

* The Fine Print: This promotion is being sponsored by independent Etsy shop owners, not But Etsy is excited about it!!


Ambient Lights said...

Woohoo! for etsy and for handmade =)

Etsy has a lot to offer, you did a great job explaining the features there!

tamdoll said...

I think this is a great idea & I hope lots of people get introduced to Etsy this way. I blogged about it yesterday, too -

Unique Women In Business said...

What a fantastic blog! Happy ETSY Day everyone!!!!
Erin Keys

ByLightOfMoon said...

Wishing everyone a FABULOUS ETSY Day!

smiles, Cyndi

Rocki said...

Awesome post! Happy Etsy Day!


Dragonfly Dreams said...

This is an awesome informative articule letting us learn more about etsy that we ever knew!
Thanks and Smiles, Cyndi

Stephen said...

I'd love to hear more about how the Twitter #etsyday promo worked out. Drop me a line if you have a minute.
stephen @ stephenpsmith dot com.

Also see my thoughts on hashtags in general here


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