I absolutely love Etsy. I adore Etsy. I wonder how we ever sold our handiworks pre-Etsy. There are some really innovative and talented artists/designers/crafters/makers on Etsy. They make me want to step up my game.
BUT. There are also lots and lots of copykitties.
I will scream directly in the face of whomever is unlucky enough to be standing next to me the next time I see one more permutation of “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Ugh.
Just try being a jewelry maker on Etsy. Like a needle in a needle-stack.
I have often struggled with what to sell on Etsy, because it SEEMS that just about any product idea already has a million and one variations. (But then every once in a while I am pleasantly surprised to find a twist on a common product. Then I’m mad I didn’t think of it, lol. )
The low cost of entry into such venues is a double edged sword. It is wonderful that you can get your shop up and running relatively quickly and start earning income on your own terms. On the other hand, there are a lot of shops that don’t appear to take the time and effort to hone their skills and craft before setting up shop.
While I am of the belief that the cream will always rise to the top, I have a nagging concern.
I want you, dear readers, to be aware that I express this concern with great hesitation, because far be it for me suggest that someone’s else’s creation is crap. I struggle with this concern as a hardcore diy-er and maker extraordinaire.
I wonder about the clutter impact of all our making stuff. Are we really being more environmentally conscious, are we just creating more things that will end up in our landfills one day? Does the world really need yet another tote bag? Is the world really a much better place because of our handmade doo-dads? Does anyone absolutely need a cozy of any sort?
What about all the products created and sold purely for zeitgeist, i.e, Moustache-themed anything. When I look at some handicrafts, I can’t help thinking how much more complicated packing up and moving would be if I was a collector of stuff. I guess that’s why I’m always purging.
I can’t help thinking that I don’t want to contribute to the clutter in the world. These concerns are probably why my Etsy shop never get filled up past 15 items (which I hear is bad for sales).
I blame this nagging concern on having been raised in a no-frills culture during a no-frills period in time. Nigeria in the 80’s wasn’t exactly a buffet of choices, though it was (and still is) a haven of creative handicraft. As hard as I fight against it, that no-frills sensibility still informs what I do. I want to make unique, beautiful useful things, not trendy throwaway items for a quick buck.
Like a previous commenter mentioned, just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should.
Am I being cynical, harsh, or a hater? Do I need a nice tall glass of STFU? Bring it!