ME: Hi. I’m Rachel and I am an artist with an Etsy page. I’ve been on Etsy for 14 days now.
GROUP: Hi Rachel.
I set up an Etsy account two weeks ago to sell these simple little earrings I make. I’m not sure why but I feel kind of ashamed about it – like it’s hurting the artist credibilty that I like to imagine I have sometimes. I’ve sold these earrings anonymously at area boutiques for years, but somehow the internet feels more like coming out–maybe because it’s so much easier on the net to make the connection between my real art and my crafty secret. But when I think about it, there’s not a thing wrong with selling things we make, or making things to sell. I’ve bought into that art world intimation that selling = selling out without really knowing it.
So no more! Next time I coil a head pin or polish a bead I’ll hold my head high. Besides, it’s not like I’m doing something really insipid, like scrapbooking.
NB: After originally posting this I came across an interesting post about Etsy on Crafting an MBA. The main point was that Etsy is a useful tool for a lot of crafters who supplement with their own marketing and craft shows, but a dissapointment as a selling tool on its own because it fails to create a buying experience that lets buyers feel like they are buying quality crafted goods rather than crap. If Etsy doesn’t tap into that experience-based selling style that lets buyers feel a part of creative culture, why would anyone (who isn’t a crafter or a crafter wannabe) shop there? The answer seems to be that they wouldn’t. The question of the shopping experience on an open source site like Etsy is a really interesting one.