Saturday, August 2, 2008

Stumbled across this last night...

July 13th, 2008

ETSY – Online Shopping The Handmade Way
by Stacie Haight Connerty

I have been a shopaholic for about as long as I can remember. When eBay came along, I was one of the first to register thus beginning what I am certain will a lifelong affair with online auctions and online shopping. In the past several years however it has gotten more and more expensive to shop online and I have begun looking for different alternatives for online shopping. I guess that you could say a place that supports the little person more than the big corporation.

Recently I met another mother at a playgroup and she said that she had her own business. I was intrigued, as I always am by any business owner especially so when the owner is both a woman and a mother. She said that she made boutique baby items and sold them online. I naturally assumed eBay but she said that it was someplace different. A site that I had never heard of before called Etsy.

As soon as I got home, I immediately Googled Etsy and found it right away. Etsy is self described as ‘Your place to buy & sell all things handmade.’ In essence, Etsy connects artists with buyers. Not art in the sense of a painting. Well, it could be a painting but it is also so much more. Further, Etsy is socially and environmentally conscious by “offering alternatives to mass produced objects.”

Etsy is the place to go for craftsmanship and originality. For all my fashion and gift needs, this is where I almost always go to first. You will find one-of-a-kind art, jewelry, paintings, clothing, housewares, accessories, candles, beauty products, linens and so much more. The place is amazing and what is more amazing is that these sellers made it all. You will not find mass-produced items on Etsy. You will find the stay-at-home mother who makes boutique baby bibs in her spare time (All of my friends get them from me when they have babies). The quality rivals that of the finest shops. A jewelry maker who makes bracelets and cocktail rings out of snakeskin that she purchased as a waste product (I have one of each and they are fabulous).

I often see clothing or accessories on the runway and then find them on Etsy. Perhaps a little cheaper than in the stores but the quality is so much better and I am supporting an artisan. I found a fabulous Maxi dress on Etsy which is one of my new summer staples. I paid $25 for the dress plus shipping. Every place that I wear it, people ask me where I got it. I scored a $30 wrap skirt that looks like it stepped off of the pages of Vogue.

Etsy has over 1 million registered members from across the world that have purchased more than $29.5 million so far in 2008 alone from about 185,000 sellers. Etsy has been mentioned in the media more than 90 times. I am always a big person on sharing especially when it comes to something that I feel is an amazing find. Even more so when the site is eco-friendly.

A quick mention for your aspiring young fashionistas at home, the one-of-kind item in the picture is available here and can be customized with your daughter’s name.

(A big thank you to Stacie Connerty!)

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