Business & Industry

Jan 1, 2018

VINTAGE AND CRAFTS

Etsy portal was founded in 2005 with an extremely simple precept, to make it possible for craftsman all over the world to be able to sell the fruit of their labour. The concept expanded and currently it's possible to negotiate vintage products (minimum age being two decades) and even some factory produced extremely limited editions.

By PABLO HERNANDEZ

Since then it never stopped growing and currently includes 789 employees, 1.9 million sellers, 31.7 million customers, a gross business value of nearly three billion dollars in 2016 and offices spread out through the United States of America, Ireland, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Canada.

Collectors and buyers of handcrafted and vintage products always dealt with the same problem: they had to schedule their dislocations throughout the whole year to attend handcraft or antique fairs to be able to sell or purchase exclusive products not available on most stores.

So why not create a virtual fair that would always be available?

Besides allowing that craftsmen and sellers to place their products for sale, why not also include the selling of raw materials used by these same craftsmen? The portal also allows the search for boutiques, flea markets and handcraft fairs where its customers can also purchase its products on a more conventional way or meet and greet some of the artists responsible for their favourite products.

Let's face it, like in all other cases of innovation and success, the founders of Etsy (currently Etsy Inc. coted on NASDAQ) were able to solve a lacking that pretty much everyone already had detected on a certain niche market, but that so far remained unsolved!

The business structure, although having grown to include limited editions and vintage antiques, has not changed over the last decade. Any artist, craftsmen or seller can create a virtual store on Etsy, anywhere in the world, paying a fee as low as 20 cents of a dollar. The popularity has been such that it was already considered as the main competitor to the more gigantic and generic eBay!

Heading towards a staff of 800 spread through offices in six distinct nations and coted on the Stock Market, no one would think back in 2005 that a portal created from scratch on a Brooklyn apartment over the curse of several months – given that the three founders chose to create the code that made it possible for the platform to work all by themselves, on all sorts of digital handcrafting – would go this far.

Besides having created the source code themselves, the founders took their artisan and creative vein to the extreme of assembling the servers where the portal would be hosted and even the cables themselves! This meaning that Etsy is a business literally built from scratch by its founders.

On a continuous evolution, Etsy managed to attract as investors the founders of platforms such as Flikr and Delicious and currently, although it's a platform dedicated to real people and organic creations, it has invested on the developing of new e-commerce technologies.

Taking as its mission to keep business as human as possible, the company has been championing ethics and sustainability, giving the example by recycling as much as possible on its offices and training and educating the craftsmen and artists that use the platform on how to improve their earnings in a such a way that will allow them to live solely of its craft on a more consistent way, since many of them only devoted their attention to painting, sculpting and other artistically or craftsmanship skills as a hobby or a way make a few extra bucks every now and then. Currently, on the USA alone, 76% of Etsy's sellers now work full time on their craft as professionals!

Contacts * www.etsy.com * legal@etsy.com * Tel: +353 1 513 7100 * Etsy Ireland UC, 66/67 Great Strand Street, Dublin 1, Ireland

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