Etsy.com is a for-profit website which allows the creators of handmade goods to offer their retail wares directly to the public. While the main focus is on handmade items and related services, it is also allowable to purchase and resell retail items that are either vintage or materials used to create handmade items. Examples of common shops on Etsy include handmade or vintage clothing, handmade or vintage jewelry, original artwork and prints, knitted and crocheted items, display items, home décor, accessories, personal care items, baked goods, and paper goods. If you are looking for a hand bound leather journal, a screen printed original art T-shirt, the perfect hand thrown pottery for your new place, a hand painted silk scarf, a one-of-a-kind sterling ring for your sweetie, scrumptious slow-cooked caramels, or sumptuous hand cream, the shops at Etsy.com are a craft-lover’s dream.
If you make handcrafted items yourself, the Etsy marketplace is also a wonderful resource for craft supplies: beads, jewelry findings, charms, scrapbooking supplies, fabrics, and the tools for many crafts are available on through Etsy suppliers. Supplies are often sold by Etsy crafters with handmade goods shops, as supplements to the crafts they also sell.
One fabulous niche combining both tools and handcrafts is filled by makers who hand make tools for creating hand crafted items, such as hand made leather punches for belts and purses, hand made metal punches for jewelry and accessories, and original silk-screened pattern fabrics for clothing and accessories. If it can be made by hand, you are likely to find it on Etsy.
For those who wax nostalgic over vintage collectibles like depression glass, antique tools and mid-century needlepoint, there is a special section on Etsy just for you. Ask any questions you like of sellers, and enjoy investigating the detailed photos they post.
One of the most compelling reasons to shop on Etsy is the personal contact available with the makers and sellers of handmade items. Many sellers are happy to create special orders suited to your particular needs, and will discuss your special interests and considerations, suggesting options tailored just to you. Custom clothing, custom jewelry, and custom tools for your craft are just some of the many options available to you. It’s pleasant to read the shop stories and meet the makers of hand crafted products from all over the world. Many shops run sales, offer coupons, and offer links to their blogs, web sites and craft show calendars so that you can follow them on a more individual level and even meet them in person at shows and events.
Etsy is a wonderful opportunity to find the hand made items and personal contact with artists that is usually available only at art shows.