Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Guest Post on Clarks Lunchbox

****My brother is away from his blog this week and asked me to compose a guest post to help fill the week for his readers. I hope you enjoy this little blurb.

Recently by dear big brother signed up for his very own Etsy shop to sell his marvelous paintings, which secured my role as Etsy evangelist, since he was my first convert. Now that I have him signed up, I'm out to proselytize more to my little community. You might be wondering "What the heck is an etsy?" much like I was a few short months ago. Back then, I was toiling away selling vintage home goods and apparel, wanting desperately to branch out to something a tad more creative. Not to mention, Ebay is getting a ridiculous amount of seller's cash by way of listing and closing value fees.

Enter Etsy...or at least a link to it....where I clicked around suspiciously, starting to fume that there was no "completed items" search option where I could see at a glance if anybody was selling anything here...and by extension, making any money. As one of my friends said, "I looked at Etsy, but it scared me, so I left." That is precisely what I did the first time.

But then I took myself by the shoulders and said, "Self, do you want to be like an old lady in church? The one that complains that 'We don't do it that way!' and 'The old way is just fine for me' ?" And the answer of course, was "HELL NO! I do not want to be a cranky old lady." So I went back and I clicked around some more. I looked at all kinds of things...things that were quirky and pretty and creative and most importantly, not one bit better than anything I had stacked in my garage. From what I could see, there were sellers of handmade items. Sellers of Vintage items. And sellers, like me, of a little of both. But that's new stuff. No Walmart or Gap or Comp USA. Etsy is for handcrafted and vintage only.

And so I said to my long-suffering husband, "I think I'm gonna try listing on that Etsy thing." To which he shrugged his shoulders and said, "b'okay." A few weeks later, I said, "I think I'm going to stop selling on Ebay and just list everything through Etsy." He hesitated, asked a couple questions, but ultimately, shrugged and said "b'okay." I did that....Yada yada yada.... now I have 47 sales under my belt...hey cool...make that 48 sales!

I like the fact that Etsy openly declares that they want sellers to be able to "make a living" at their craft. This makes me feel much more complete, somehow...that all the knowledge I have acquired over the years about antiques and vintage items, and about the new crafts I am exploring, are not peripheral and mere jewelry to my life. Instead, I can pursue my passions knowing that through Etsy, I can release my treasures and therefore grow as a businesswoman and artist. I love re-affirming the uniqueness of people by offering unique items in my store. I believe in valuing items that are made well, made to last, and made by humans for humans. I am proud to utilize what is vintage and accessible rather than demanding new (and frequently inferior) products to made and consumed and trashed. I love things that are beautiful, especially the often humble, utilitarian items used to make a home. I feel more true to myself and my upbringing when I just make it myself. And I want to take this moment to apologize to my mother, who I held a long grudge against, because she made my underwear when I was in elementary school. I hated it back then, but I gotta give my mom props for being so ahead of her time.

And Mom, anytime you want to set up your Etsy store, just ask Ron, I'm sure he can help you.....since he's THERE!


Kate P said...

I've been selling on Etsy since May, and to me, unlike ebay, it feels like I have a real shop- it has a gentler feeling to it and yes I ditto the cheapness factor. I felt like I was getting robbed at ebay and didn't do enough business to justify a store. But although I love the 5 free pictures, they do take FOREVER to download. Um haven't made it into Springy dale yet- just through it- and then I broke the glass to the frame. I really like your brother's paintings! Such a talented family you all are.

ness said...

Kate! I've been wondering about you!

You are SO right about the gentler feel of the shop. It's so much more laid back...I absolutely love it!

now, i have to find you on etsy!

how big is the glass? i have some pieces on hand.

kate p said...

Well, don't bother looking in the handmade section because I don't have the crafting gene; I do all my alterations with safety pins and tape!

But, if you think you have found me you can heart me:) Oh and the glass size is 14 X 11.

tammi said...

I LOVE me some Etsy...ever since I found some adorable hand-drawn whimsical art work for the nursery in there about a year or so ago.

Etsy is a mind-blowing explosion of everything you could possibly imagine (and some things you can't) of cool things.

I heart Etsy.

Heidi said...

Wow, Ron is an incredible artist. Can't wait to see what else he sells.

I just opened my shop this week and can now say I've sold on both. Etsy beats ebay hands down. Ebay's listing process changes too often and became confusing. I love how etsy's uniform listings make it look professional, but allow for personal touches.

The best part is all the things I found that I never knew existed. Christmas shopping is going to be so much easier this year!

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