This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

5 Crafty Entrepreneurs Jolly With Etsy Success

Stocks in this article: AMZNEBAY

This story has been updated. Etsy is a certified B Corp., but is not incorporated as such. The certification means Etsy balances its corporate mission between profit-making and contributing to environmental and socially responsible causes, but is not legally required to do so.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Etsians. It's a term for those who use Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade and creative goods.

The seven-year-old company is still a growing cult. More than 800,000 creatively inclined entrepreneurs now use the site to reach more than 20 million registered users globally. For sale is unique accessories, clothing, even furniture.

Many who sell on Etsy aren't looking to grow into large-scale companies or develop the newest patented technology. Instead, these entrepreneurs, mainly women with multiple sources of income, want an inexpensive storefront for their handmade, artisanal goods.

>>>Before Selling on Etsy, Learn to Craft on Craftsy

Before it was launched, artist and founder Rob Kalin was looking for a place to sell his own creative projects. He tried eBay (EBAY), but didn't think his art was a fit there. He realized there wasn't an online place available for others like him and in just three months, he partnered with two engineers to create, design and write the code for Etsy.

"There was no business plan, no grand strategy," says Matt Stinchcomb, Etsy's vice president of values and impact (a fancy way of saying customer-service relations). "Just a need for something like it." Stinchcomb was Kalin's roommate at the time and Etsy's first employee.

Sales on the website this year were up to $700 million as of early November, up more than 30% for all of 2011, according to the company. On Cyber Monday, more Etsy sellers had sales than on any other day in company history, with a third of the total sales coming from first-time buyers.

"With the current momentum, in 2013 we will begin measuring sales by the Etsy community in billions and sellers in the millions," the 400-employee company says.

While Etsy may be a growing destination to find the perfect hand-painted jewelry box, the company is striving to be more than just another Amazon (AMZN).

Besides being a marketplace where small crafters can sell their items to customers around the world, the company offers a growing amount of support and education, such as SEO best practices, product photography and accounting.

The site charges 20 cents to list each item for four months. Additionally, each time a product sells, Etsy collects a 3.5% commission whether the price of the item is $4 or $400. Etsy does have other ancillary revenue sources, such as an advertising program for sellers to promote their products. It also plans to launch a wholesale platform in the first quarter of 2013, where sellers will be able to connect with boutique owners to broaden the exposure of their goods.

In February, Etsy became a "certified B Corp.." Like a growing list of socially responsible companies, the certification means Etsy balances its corporate mission between profit-making and contributing to environmental and socially responsible causes. (While there have been a handful of states that offer B-corp. status, Etsy is incorporated in Delaware, which doesn't offer the option right now.)

Still, the B-corp. certification "has been really important for us," Stinchcomb says. "Our mission as a company is to re-imagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world."

TheStreet spoke to a handful of Etsy sellers about their secret sauce to being successful on the site. While all appreciated Etsy's increasing support, education and general ease in using the platform, success did not come without a passion for their products, being amenable to customer demands and using social media to boost their brand. In between frantically shipping orders to meet Christmas deadlines, five entrepreneurs shared their stories, which are featured below.

1 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,810.06 +91.06 0.51%
S&P 500 2,063.50 +10.75 0.52%
NASDAQ 4,712.97 +11.1030 0.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs