Authenticity and handmade

flower handmade

You may have read in the news lately that there is an enormous hoopla brewing about etsy and the issue of sellers items being represented as handmade, when in reality they are not. This issue came to a head about a week ago when etsy choose a particular seller for a feature article. Said seller was deemed by the etsy community as an importer and it was on! The outcry led to an investigation by etsy admin with that response posted here.

The outcry has been further reaching than the etsy community, as noted by articles this article in the Huffington Post: Etsy Scandals Highlight Thin Line Between ‘Handmade’ And ‘Factory Made’ and this article in the Wall Street Journal: Busted by the Crafts Cops, which attempts to chronicle etsy response to the situation.

At this moment, protests are being organized and a boycott is being planned. As for myself, I am not big on tilting at windmills. I try to keep my business ‘business’ and not ‘personal’, a task that is already quite a challenge when handmade items are by nature, personal. I realize that I can’t have all my eggs in one basket (etsy), so I’ll sell there as long as it works for me, while continuing to develop other venues.

However, I do admit to one concern regarding the etsy integrity issue that gets under my skin to some extent. That is the fact that customers are being misled. I love the fact that there are so many wonderful people who choose to buy handmade, for the authenticity, the uniqueness and the creativeness of the items. And I hate the fact that these good-hearted people are being taken advantage of by importers and resellers.

So, I saw on the etsy forums this morning a neat little ‘protest’ brewing. Not so much of a protest as a showing of hands, quite literally. Many etsy folks posted in a forum thread entitled ‘Show you hands to show your heart.’  The idea is, for the day of the protest (May 10th), whether closing your shop or not, to change your profile pic to your hands to signify that your items are indeed handmade.

Some great pics arose, as many people took pics of the hands creating their items. So, I thought I’d show my support by posting them here.
nodsu avatar  Sarah avatar  katandthefiddle avatar   Ample Goddess Jewelry avatar  Sherrie Meyer avatar  elise avatar

However you feel about the issue of integrity at etsy, I’d just like to raise my voice, once again, in support of (authentic) handmade.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. laurelsusanstudio
    May 05, 2012 @ 01:53:34

    I’m so glad you addressed this issue. I agree with you; it’s upsetting! We who are working along–one item at a time–cannot possibly compete with the resellers.


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