I Love Suzy Sweet!

badge (1)After publishing this blog post, Etsy pinned a post in the forums asking sellers

“What does Etsy entrepreneurship mean to you?”

Following several warm and fuzzy answers, Suzy Sweet had this to say:

Etsy entrepreneurship meant a great deal to me just a couple of months ago. I am one of those educated people who make less than the average household. I believed though if I stuck with it and made the very best product I could make, my business would grow. But I saw changes, even before the town hall meeting, that indicated that I don’t mean a great deal to Etsy (of course I don’t – I’m only one little shop in a community of a million different shops). And now I don’t have a future here. I see a seller on Ebay that makes 13 x 19 posters for 5.99 with free shipping. I know their work is not the same quality as mine. I know they probably bought their art from somebody – but can still prove authorship somewhere, if pressed. I know the paper they use probably is not museum quality, but in times of economic uncertainty, with their 68,000 sales and massive inventory, their shop will be much easier to find than mine. And those types of companies will come here because the door is open for them. They can list many many many more items than I can. They can spend thousands of dollars a month in fees. So now Etsy entrepreneurship means to me uncertainty, an uneven playing field, something that can’t be trusted. It means I have my store, my livelihood in the hands of people who change up the rules, test test test without the thoughts of what it means to me and my little family over here in Oregon. I don’t feel proud to say I have an Etsy shop. I feel like I am an irresponsible sucker to have as many eggs in this basket as I do.
It is interesting to me that this show of support for small business owners comes at the same time etsy has yanked the rug out from under (them). I’m in awe of the way these surveys killed so many birds with one stone. Make the phone calls, give the $50 gift cards, make these 5,500 surveyed feel heard so they can pass the etsy love to others – and do a study at the same time. I respect the efficiency.
I love you, Suzy Sweet!!
This is the statistical information presented in the Etsy blog post. Most significantly (emphasis added):

The vast majority of Etsy sellers — 91% — want to
increase their sales in the future. But when asked
about the size of their shops in “five years, very few
aspire to be “as big as possible”; the strong majority of
sellers – 61% – want their future shops to be “a size I
can manage myself.” They prioritize independence and
long-term sustainability over growth for growth’s sake.

When faced with unexpected demand for their
products, only 7% of those Etsy sellers hired help,
while 76% expanded their own working hours.
Similarly, when Etsy sellers who strive to expand their
businesses list their greatest barriers to growth, 32%
rank “lack of time” as their number one challenge,
followed by “lack of customer demand.” Only 1%
believe their primary barrier to growth is “not enough
help,” and 11% cite “insufficient cash on hand.”

Read what The Muted Seller has to say about Etsy entering the political arena!

And don’t forget to add the “I Love Suzy” button to your website!

ETA: Another brilliant post in this thread:

With all due respect, please don’t insult my intelligence with highly questionable, spun data derived from a negligible number of participants. And please don’t profess to be qualified to represent my interest with a post and report that does not name one specific intent to be carried out by this representation.

Attempting to patronize intelligent, independent, ingenuitive women for their support with propaganda is akin to trying to herd cats. The problem is plainly stated in your own data. We’re over educated and under paid, yet we survive on our own ingenuity by thinking for ourselves.

Etsy did not invent handmade. Etsy is not a messiah and never has been. Cottage industries existed long before etsy and will continue if Etsy disappears today. Etsy is just a venue, as defined by themselves, who is most concerned with itself and the bottom line the investors want to see.

If etsy truly advocated me as an individual seller and struggling woman there wouldn’t be multiple exits out of my shop and advertisements for similar items to draw my customer I promoted to, drove to my site and advocated Etsy to away at checkout. And there certainly wouldn’t be a sweeping policy change opening the doors to mass manufactured items to be sold here under the guise of handmade.

I completely understand Etsy now needs to manufacture a political machine to redefine the term handmade as it’s used in federal law and viewed in the minds of the masses. It’s going to be difficult to effectively do that under the circumstances. Professing to be advocates of poor challenged women and spouting Etsy’s a handmade venue while opening the door to factories with sweeping policy changes is not only insulting but a clear oxymoron no matter how many lobbyists are hired for damage control and diversion.

Whether or not Etsy divides the site between manufactured and handmade, they’ve effectively divided this community and obviously eroded much of the seller loyalty as evidenced by the responses here.

I pay Etsy to use their venue as a tool for my own survival. I do not advocate Etsy to speak for me.

You go girls!

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