I have a confession. I don’t always buy organic. I’m not a vegetarian. And yes, I have even set foot in the dreaded big box store that Shall Not Be Named (hint: it starts with a “W”).
I’ve been working on this guest blog post introducing Got Craft’s newest sponsor, the fabulous handmade marketplace, Etsy, for days now and I think the guilt of not living 100% by Etsy’s credo of “buy, sell, live handmade” is getting to me.
Etsy, for the uninitiated, is an online marketplace devoted to helping people make a living by making things. Etsy was launched in 2005 and since then has grown to over 7 million registered users with more than $300 million in annual sales. While there have been plenty of internet success stories (and failures), what sets Etsy apart is their commitment to community, advocating the handmade lifestyle.
“The main tenet of this lifestyle is choosing handmade over mass-produced objects whenever possible. We feel that this creates a more sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible alternative to the current economy.” ~ Adam Brown, Etsy Marketing & Press Team
As if that weren’t awesome enough, they also promote community by connecting artists & crafters from all over the world. I started my own Etsy shop in 2008 and it literally changed my life. I’m continually learning new tricks & techniques, meeting new friends and have been able to sell my work to buyers all over the world (um, Estonia? Hope you’re enjoying the prints!).
When you buy something from a seller on Etsy or from a local market like Got Craft, there will forever be a story attached to that item. Just looking around my house right now, I see the bicycle earrings that I bought from fused glass artist Groovy Glass Girl. When I wear them, I’m reminded of Poppy and that makes me smile.
My desk has a stack of greeting cards handmade by Sandy of Firefly Notes:
My pencils, pens and erasers are stored in a Kukubee pouch:
I look at those things and think about the person behind them, lovingly creating them. There’s something different about knowing who the person *is* who made that particular trinket with their own two hands.
Apparently “legally” I’m not allowed to tell you that shopping at Etsy will make you a better person, but I will say that it feels really good to support the people in my community and to support creativity in general.
I may not be 100% there yet, but I am striving to live handmade. And thoroughly enjoying the journey!
aCageyBee.com is the internet stomping grounds of painter kgb (or Kris G. Brownlee, if you're not into the whole brevity thing).
An artist, crafter and all around Maker of Stuff, I finally realized that spending my life doing something I don't love is a lot crazier than following my dreams. I hope you'll join me for the journey!