Friday, February 1, 2008

I have little doubt that this will be the first among a plethora of posts I dedicate to going forward into the future.
New to Etsy as both a buyer and seller, I am just getting acquainted with the rapidly growing online company.  And I must say, my first impressions are all good ones. 
For those of you who don't know, is an online community of buyers and sellers peddling every kind of hand-crafted item imaginable.  Here are few stats I've recently learned about them (click here for a recent letter from the founder):
Etsy is thirty-three months old (that's 2 and 3/4 years old), and in that time have grown from a company of 4 to one of 50.  They have a community with 650,000 members, and a marketplace of over 120,000 sellers in 127 different countries!  Needless to say, they recently announced that they will be receiving some venture capital to support further growth.  Obviously someone sees the potential!

That said, here are my top 5 reasons to love
1. Competition: Etsy creates a place for entrepreneurial artisans to turn their talents and skills into a marketable venture.  In a world of ever-growing Huge Box Stores, Etsy provides a place for the teeny, small-time seller to set up shop (virtually, that is) and compete.
2.  Community:  buyers and sellers have the opportunity to interact with each other in a way that is infinitely more personal than shopping at the proverbial mega-mall, including teams, forums, labs, and more!
3.  two words: Handmade and Local.  if Etsy helps sellers compete in a global marketplace, it also help buyers invest their money into quality products that are often produced in people's homes or small studios.  it gives purchasers an opportunity to support small, locally-owned businesses in an easy and affordable way.
4.  it's Fun!  ten minutes of surfing Etsy's inventory is like walking through your favorite boutique.  there is a lot of talent out there, and some pretty cool, extremely unique, stuff to buy.
5.  it's Easy!  well designed and easy to navigate, Etsy buyers can find what they're looking for and more without the headache.  true, the system isn't perfected, but look forward to advances in efficiency as Etsy continue to grow.

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