When e-commerce site Etsy went public last week, Etsy crafters in Pittsburgh and across the world gained global attention, too.
The New York Times
recently profiled Highland Park artist Amy Hamley’s association with Etsy before the company went public. Hamley, who makes jewelry and decorative items out of porcelain, credits Etsy for taking her wholesale business to the next level. She started the business is 2008 and made it her full-time pursuit in 2010.
“I’ve gained as many buyers and retail stores as I had in the entire three years doing it on my own,” she told the Times.
Since Etsy’s beginnings in 2005, the massive online site for vintage and handcrafted artisan goods has provided a vehicle for sellers to display their work for low sales fees plus a 3.5 percent commission. This changed the game for artisans, who used to depend on street fairs, arts festivals or gift trade shows to market their items. But with tens of millions of unique visits to Etsy’s site each day -- many of whom are retailers buying products wholesale-- sellers like Hamley gained a level of visibility never before granted to artists like her.
Last year, Hamley moved her studio out of her Highland Park home and launched Redraven Studios from a building converted from an old ice cream shop in Sharpsburg. She was one of a select group of Etsy sellers worldwide invited to attend the ringing of the stock market bell the morning the company went public. She was also among the small gathering of artisans who set up shop in Times Square to display and talk about her work.
Pittsburgh is home to a number of Etsy crafters
who bring their imaginations to market at the e-commerce site.
Source: The New York Times, Nasdaq, Upstart Business Journal