If you’re going to change the definition of handmade, may as well go ahead and change the definition of one-of-a-kind too, eh?
According to the Etsy blog, Etsy will be featuring shops in its’ 2013 holiday videos and, “In each, you get a tantalizing glimpse of the maker behind a one-of-a-kind item.” From the following blog post, Etsy takes us behind the scenes of one of the holiday-featured shops (with a link to the 2011 Featured Seller post for this shop):
This is a beautiful shop, with adorable and unique, quality products. The shop-owner has obviously worked hard to build a very successful small business for which she deserves much praise. And I truly love her story. From the post and her shop About Page, it appears the shop owner is (now) a designer who sends out her designs to local “facilities” for manufacture. It is very admirable that she chooses to use business assistance from within her own community, and her business model is inspiring.
This featured shop owner is obviously one of the 1% from Etsy’s “research” statistics. “(W)hen Etsy sellers who strive to expand their businesses list their greatest barriers to growth… (o)nly 1% believe their primary barrier to growth is “not enough help…” This is the 1% Etsy made changes to accommodate because Etsy understandably does not want these shops to leave once they start large-quantity manufacturing (making money); and, the shop may not want to leave the Etsy nest. Under the new guidelines, that is all fine and good. But why does Etsy insist on continuing to call the products from this shop handmade when they obviously are not? And on top of that, they are also calling them one-of-a-kind?
We can only guess the reason for the one-of-a-kind label is because of the new (holiday?) Etsy tagline….Etsy, Where one-of-a-kind gifts come from. Looks like Etsy is making a gradual shift from handmade to unique…. one-of-a-kind…. makerware… yet they continue to label everything on the site handmade. Etsy is definitely having an identity crisis, as aptly noted by this recent news article.
Unfortunately, these 1% shops (and other independent artists) only provide a facade for the other 75% reseller shops to hide behind.
ETA: Forum Post