After more than eight years, I’ve decided to close up my shop on Etsy. Lately I’ve just had more negative things to say about the service than positive, and I figured it was time to put my money where my mouth was and move on. (I’ll probably write something more about while I left later, but Abby Glassenberg — who loves Etsy, for the record —has a comprehensive list of the common Etsy complaints here.)
To find a new home for my handmade shop, I spent the last few days creating this chart comparing ecommerce options for makers & designers. It includes the major craft marketplaces as well as standalone ecommerce platforms that let you set up a standalone shop fairly simply, without needing your own website or host. I also calculated the fees each of the various platforms charge for four separate sales scenarios. I found it very interesting to dig into the numbers and check out my options, and there are definite trends that come up when you compare the fees for small volume sales to high-volume sales.
Dec. 22 update: I’ve added a column noting whether the service has made any statement or offered advice about VATMOSS and the 2015 European value added tax rule changes.
February 2015 update: You likely arrived here from my piece on Wired.com: How Etsy Alienated Its Crafters and Lost Its Soul. Welcome! I hope you find the information useful.
October 2015 update: Amazon just launched its Handmade vertical, so I’ve added that to the list.
So, as you know, I recently gave notice at my day job. And my new craft business book just came out! One of the things I’m most excited about as I enter the wild world of full-time freelancing is a DIY book tour/road trip I’m doing in September!
Basically, I’m packing up the old Prius and going on the road, talking about craft biz, hanging out with friends and seeing much of the eastern half of the country. I’ve got a lot of gigs lined up, but I’d love to add more! Specifically, I don’t have anything lined up yet for New York City/Brooklyn, upstate New York or Boston yet. (And I’d also love to go to Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, the Southeast, the Northwest — basically everywhere.) Want me to speak at your craft store or event? Email me!
Here’s my in-progress schedule of craft workshops and appearances:
- Saturday, Sept. 8 — Washington, DC — Summit of Awesome
I’ll be doing a bookbinding workshop and talking about getting published at this one-day craft business conference!
- Wednesday, Sept. 12 — Brooklyn, NY — t.b.d. Brooklyn
I’m putting together a totally informal Creative Business Drinkup! Anyone who’s into creative entrepreneurship is welcome.
- Saturday, Sept. 15 — Providence, RI — Craftland
Never been to the smallest state before, so I’m stoked to do my getting published workshop at Craftland. 3 to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, Sept. 23 — Pittsburgh, PA — WildCard
Meet-the-author crafty brunch! 12 to 2 p.m.
- Tuesday, Sept. 25 — Cleveland, OH — Salty Not Sweet
Tentative topic: Everything you need to know about craft shows. Details are still being finalized!
- Saturday, Sept. 29 — Indianapolis, IN — Homespun
This is going to be a two-hour mega-workshop about using social media and how to get published. 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 6 — Columbus, OH — Wholly Craft
Details are still being finalized!
It’s no secret that the handmade aesthetic has become huge in the last five years. But this year, specifically, craft trends have influenced high fashion brands. Burberry is especially keen on Etsy-esque motifs, but they’re not the only ones. It all makes a crafter wanna multiply her prices by 10…
Burberry’s line of owl and bird t-shirts range from $95 to $995, and the sweaters are $1,295 to $2,995.
The Burberry fox bracelet is $650; the owl ring is $425.
Marc by Marc Jacobs’ Natasha bag with sparrow accents is $438.
Tiffany’s cupcake charm pendant in 18k gold on a chain is $1,500. In sterling silver, they’re $300.
Alexander McQueen’s brass-knuckle-topped clutches are $1,995 to $3,270.
And just for fun — DANNIJO’s mustache iPhone case is $98. Totally Etsy.
Crafty business conferences are popping up all over the place! I’ll be appearing at some of these; all are certified awesome:
June 4-5: Midwest Craft Caucus, Columbus, OH
August 5-7: Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs, San Francisco, CA
Sept. 23-25: Schoolhouse Craft, Seattle, WA
Oct. 20-22: Summit of Awesome, Baltimore, MD
Current word count: 9,400 (out of 30,000)
I’m not as far along as I’d like to be, but I’m making progress. I’d hoped to hit 15,000 words by the end of October… that’d take a miracle at this point, I think.
But really, I’m not terribly behind. I’ve started interviewing a ton of awesome crafters, but I’ve integrated relatively little of their information into the book. So once I start doing that, it’ll write itself. (Or so I keep telling myself.)
In any case, I’m almost a third of the way there with about four months to go.
The title meeting for my book was the week before last, but so far there’s still no final decision. I pitched a few ideas, as did my editor, but there are many more people in on the discussion—the publisher, salespeople, marketing managers. I hope there’s a decision soon… I think the book will start feeling more real when there’s a title attached.