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Anyone Etsy?

kbalinski | Posted in General Discussion on

A friend made me aware of this website, knowing how much I sew and create.  The site is for people to buy and sell home crafted wares.  I’ve looked it over, and am wondering if any of you have done business there, and what your opinions are of it workings.  Just curious…

I have to laugh though, when I looked at “alchemy” and see postings there of ladies requesting dresses to be custom made for $20.  I’m happy to embroider for that price, but make a dress from scratch?  No, I don’t think so…



  1. Pattiann42 | | #1

    I haven't visited Etsy lately.  I will have to check out the alchemy - what a hoot!

  2. JanF | | #2

    I think you might be pleasantly surprised with Etsy!
    My daughter(the one who never stitched anything just cos Mum was a textiles teacher - and of course Mum never knew anything)!! has got herself a site there.
    Her site is under the name of Greygoat
    She has suddenly remembered all I had tried to teach her, and is starting to make herself quite a good hobby! In fact she has aspirations to stop work when her family comes along and continue with her stuff at home.
    Yes I agree there is loads of what I call "naff" stuff on it - and some people have great delusions of grandeur - but there is also some very good stuff too. At least if u buy from there the actual maker gets the cash!
    Go on to Etsy.com - and enter Greygoat if u like - I think she's made a good site for herself - but of course I'm biased.
    If you want to explore further - my site is under Corsetsus - but i never get the time to do stuff to put on it - although obviously there are some corsets!
    In fact Kate and i are off to London in late June to the first Etsy Fair - goodness knows what it will be like - but at least we are being treated by hubby to a weekend at the London Docklands Hilton!
    I'll let you know if it was a good event - but my motto is that we crafters/stitchers/ whatever, need somewhere like this to sell our wares - its the modern way to sell hand-made stuff - just be selective!

    1. Gloriasews | | #3

      Welcome back, Jan!  We were wondering where you had disappeared - guess life intervened, eh?  We'll probably hear more from you over the summer, after the school year is over.

      You're right about having a place to sell your wares, especially if you are creating at home.  The internet has so much to offer, but you do have to be careful.  It certainly beats renting tables at craft fairs every weekend trying to flog your wares (& never having a day to yourself).


      1. kbalinski | | #4

        I'm also a teacher, and so is the friend that turned me onto Etsy, coincidence???  However, I spend my days teaching math to high schoolers, while she is an art teacher.  3 weeks til school is out, and I'm tossing around the idea of making some items for Etsy.  Little girl sundresses are speaking to me right now as do-able projects that won't require a huge financial investment, that if they don't sell, I can give as gifts or put away for my daughter to wear in the future.  And if they do sell, I can further fund my fabric addiction!

        Yes, some of the items I've seen are so original and amazing.  Now I know where to look for a truly unique gift!

        Thanks for your input!


        1. Gloriasews | | #6

          That's a wonderful plan for your summer - bet you can't wait to start.  Let us know how you do with the sales, as it's a great way to have the $ to add to your stash, & it's an enjoyable second job.  Good luck!


          1. JanF | | #9

            Thank you -and work is progressing well - a deadline always works for me!
            Thanks Jan

          2. Gloriasews | | #13

            I'm another who works best with a deadline - if there is no deadline, I can put it off for ages :(.


          3. Ralphetta | | #14


          4. Gloriasews | | #15

            Good - we're obviously not the only ones (it's always nice to be part of an accepting group) :)


      2. JanF | | #5

        Thank you for the welcome back - I never really realised that I hadn't been on the sight for ages - and you are correct - work gets in the way.
        At last I have taken the plunge and decided to do less teaching. I actually went in to school to give in my notice (I'm afraid that I am obviously one of those persons for whom stress affects the stomach etc. -that I thought the only solution was to give up teaching)!
        However, once I was speaking to the person who organises the timetable - she asked me to consider just doing less hours - and lo and behold, from next September I will just be working 8 hours to cover the exam classes - which is great - pupils who have chosen to study textiles at ages 14 - 16, smaller classes and lots of interest!
        Hence I am starting to actually get around to doing what I want to do! My stress comes from never taking time to do my stuff before making meals, cleaning, marking, shopping for food....the list goes on.(I know this is a situation lots of women my age find themselves in - I was brought up to put every one else first and I find conditioning hard to break out of)
        As for less money...well as a true practical person I have always made money, when not out at work,from what I could make for others etc. and enjoyed it too- so for me Etsy will be a good thing I think.
        Also I will be able to share a little more of what I do/think with others on this site!!!
        However, I will have to ration my time - 'cos I also realise that I like to chat too much and here we are another half hour gone by before I start work!
        Good to chat to you - Jan

        1. Gloriasews | | #7

          Your stomach will thank you for taking on less hours at work - it's good that they offered the option to you.  You'll be much happier, relaxed, etc. doing more of what you want to.  You're right, though, that we of uncertain age have been conditioned to putting others (& our chores) ahead of our own wants/needs.  I still can't break that habit!  I actually feel guilty & selfish if I put my own wants ahead of other's, but I'm trying.  Life is too short to deny myself, & for what purpose?  Good luck with the Etsy - & keep us updated as how things are going.  I know what you mean about spending time on this site - it's enjoyable, but time-consuming when there are other things to be done.  It's my secret pleasure, though, so I don't feel guilty about it :)


    2. marthaq | | #8

      Both Etsy sites are fantastic. You need to get more stuff out there!

      1. JanF | | #10

        Thanks for the vote of confidence - I am busy as we speak - 2 dresses almost finished and a third on its way - deadlines are great for me - motivation!
        Thanks jan
        ...and wouldn't you know - typical - just looked out the window on the first sunny day for a week - to find next doors father in law has lit a garden fire and its drenching my washing on the line(with full smoke...s..t!
        he does this every time his son and family go away for the holidays - what is it with some men??)
        No problem - I must be getting more assertive - Ive been around and told him!!
        Never done that before - hurrah to me.
        Sorry I digress - as usual!

        Edited 5/29/2008 5:24 am ET by JanF

        1. marthaq | | #11

          To digress myself, I envy you a daughter who sews, a daughter period. I have 4 sisters, but 2 sons! So all the sewing is selfish now.
          Good luck, and yes, all men like to burn things!

  3. Teaf5 | | #12

    What a coinicidence--I just heard about Etsy from a local newspaper story about it, and the day I checked, I saw the "dresses for $20" request.  Even when I did consignment sewing thirty years ago, that would've been an unrealistically low payment!

    People have been raving about some specialized shopping bags I made and use, but when I ask them how much they'd pay for one, they reply enthusiastically, "At least four dollars!"  For a hand-crafted, exquisite bag made of quality materials,  I would earn a profit of less than a dollar per hour!

    1. JanF | | #16

      I find payment for hand -made goods difficult to assess. I suppose mainly because people always want something for nothing! I will have to let you know what happens at the etsy sale - Kate and I are going to assess the standard of work/prices etc. Possibly as the sale is close to Covent Garden in central "posh" London, people might just be more realistic. Some people on Etsy sites appear to sell for OK prices but you have to add on postage.
      I have found in the past that people pay for individual, fitted items if they are "individual" in style too. However, artists don't help themselves sometimes. I have been to loads of fairs where people have been selling pretty ropey stuff for next to nothing that is just lots of the same stuff, but in different colours - alongside stalls that have excellent, good quality goods that then appear costly in comparison to the neighbours. Fair organisers perhaps need to be more picky about what the sellers are producing too.
      Venue is important I think, also - but then how do you tactfully tell some fee paying stallholder that what they have lovingly slaved over is actually not very good?
      I'd be good at that - I have to find something positive in every child's effort at school just to be PC.
      Perhaps the secret to making to sell is to be careful about the amount of work you actually put into it in the first place, so that realistic pricing will follow?

      1. User avater
        JunkQueen | | #20

        Many craft fairs and festivals are juried. You must submit an application with pictures and/or samples of the items you will be selling and how you will present them, and the organizers then tell you whether or not you will be allowed to buy booth space. One or two that I am familiar with restrict the number of vendors in a given discipline. That is, maybe two each selling paintings, metal work, clothing, purses, gourmet foods, etc etc. That keeps the quality of their festival at a high level and keeps the cheap mass produced doo-dads and shoddily made crafts out. That also allows the vendors to have a better chance to make a profit and keep coming back. It's a win/win situation.

        1. JanF | | #21

          Hope this is going to be the case in London - its actually quite a few years since Ive sold at a craft fair. I got fed up of the organizers taking the profits!
          One of the good things about etsy i think - costs are minimal and people have to pay for postage so they do know who gets the money.

  4. AmberE | | #17

    We have a lot of members on our new CraftStylish.com site who are members of Etsy. I actually live about two blocks away from thier offices and went to visit them recently. It's a great site that's nurturing a whole new generation of handmade artists.

    The new community of crafters (they prouly wear that moniker) is huge and amazing. They often gather at the Renegade and Maker Faire and are a group that Threads readers would fall in love with, in that they share many of the same values that Threads readers espouse.

    1. kbalinski | | #18

      I've been visitiing the Etsy website daily, and continue to be impressed with the unique and clever items I keep finding.  They should be proud "crafters", as most of them do possess a fine skill, incorporating their creativity and perspective.  I'm sure that all Etsy contributors (and Threads participants) are equally passionate about their creations, and we'd all get along famously!  On both sites, I find myself intimidated by the products I see, and think, "There's no way I can come close to that!", but find inspiration to try.  Likewise, the last issue of CraftStylish had a lot of great ideas and directions, as Threads always does.

      1. AmberE | | #19

        Yes, i am so excited that there is this whole new generation of crafters and makers---they are really artists

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