I’ve been away from the blog for quite some time and I felt that with Etsy’s new policies and guidelines that they have announced, it would be the perfect opportunity to come back and chat about it.
I watched and listened intently to the Town Hall Meeting anticipating their announcements and conversation. It was interesting to say the least. I have been on the forums for the past 48 hours, reading with fervor to piece together, understand and absorb as much as possible.
This is highly contrary to popular opinion, however I believe in what I’m about to say. Etsy has essentially announced that they have “changed” the definition of “handmade”. They have morphed it into a (in my humble opinion) brilliant philosophy instead based on 3 principles:
Authorship . Responsibility . Transparency
You can view their definitions here: https://www.etsy.com/new-guidelines
While most feel that this new definition is solely created to fulfill their own agenda, I feel as though it’s riddled with glorious opportunity. I need to first say that I intend to NEVER under any circumstances, outsource Woo Woo Workshop to a manufacturer or factory. Every tag that we create will always be created with our own two hands. However, and it’s a BIG however…it’s an opportunity for the dream, to build and expand our brand to levels I never thought possible, while still being associated with Etsy. They have created this philosophy and loosened their guidelines to open the door for independent designers/makers to broaden their product scope, and most importantly, think bigger!
Etsy’s role in my business is one of support. It’s simply a tool, just as my computer is a tool. It doesn’t create my revenue, it doesn’t magically put money in my bank account. Our work has done that, our research has done that. Our loyal and wonderful customers have done that. Our ethics and moral business standards have done that and frankly, our talent has done that. Not one single policy or guideline change will affect any of that. What they will do is allow us to grow. Growth and change within a business is inevitable and it’s exciting!
We have worked EXTREMELY hard to get where we are a year and half later. We have had a 336% increase in revenue this year from last. That is something that we’re very proud of, especially in a time where others have been very outspoken about this year being the worst they’ve had on Etsy.
You have to learn to grow and morph with the changes…it’s as simple as that. Think bigger and think with opportunity. If you don’t, and you get stuck and stymied by the new changes, you will get buried.
Keep doing what you’re doing, but do it better. If you learn to grow within change, your success will be something that you’ve never thought possible. Stop saying that Etsy controls your level of revenue. They don’t, believe me. YOU control your business vision, your talent and your product. Sadly, I’ve heard so many shop owners state that they should just “Give up” – what?!? That’ll be the day that a corporate policy change will force me to ever give up.
If you start to think of Etsy as a tool as opposed to an employer, you will then learn to take the reigns of what and always will be, solely yours.
Here’s to independent artisans, designers and makers creating businesses based on independent thinking, hard work and talented vision. It’s one of the most important things in my life that I truly and honestly believe in. It’s part of my soul, and no one can force that down and bury that, and most certainly, not any amount of mass produced products created unethically and immorally.