5 Crafty Entrepreneurs Jolly With Etsy Success
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 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) .