In this week’s Q&A, Juliet Gorman, head of Etsy PR, responded to questions about the recent HuffPost Live segment by accusing the HuffPost panel of painting a “sensationalistic” and “xenophobic” picture when suggesting items on Etsy were “pumped out in factories by the hundreds of thousands from China.” Most would agree there is nothing sensationalistic about the truth, and saying the word “China” does not a xenophobe make.
Ms. Gorman further admonished the editorial staff at HuffPost for “poor form” in not reaching out to Etsy PR for its point of view, and she admitted disappointment at not being invited to respond to panel criticism, even though Etsy has a reputation for declining comment on criticism. (Rusetsy thinks the PR head is just mad because there is no way to permamute HuffPo.)
Ms. Gorman said if given the chance, she would have talked about the seller application process for outside manufacturing. To prove her point that Etsy is not being flooded with a “new kind of seller or product,” she stated that only 225 manufacturing applications have been approved thus far. Rusetsy thinks she shot herself in the foot pulling out that little statistic, considering that the new guidelines were created to accommodate those many, many, many Etsy sellers who without outside assistance would outgrow the site. 225? really?
The focus of the HuffPost panel was resellers, and on this issue Ms. Gorman referenced the Etsy blog post, A Frank Conversation About Resellers. She then took the same old Etsy stance that there is no problem with resellers; the problem is with sellers, and their misunderstanding and frustration. Then, in her own show of “poor form” by way of handmade snobbery, Ms. Gorman admitted understanding seller frustration at those who hand assemble items “…they construct with simple mass-manufactured trendy components…” Yet, Ms. Gorman followed Etsy protocol and defended the “bird lariat necklace” sellers as hand-assemblers, sometimes on a “large scale.”
As one more way of side-stepping the reseller problem, the PR head issued a reminder that Etsy cannot go down the slippery slope of imposing standards of creativity on its sellers.
Good idea. Etsy could probably not handle any more slippery slopes just now.