Etsy offers some startling realizations.
1. There are a lot of people much like me.
In spite of all my loner-qualities, I feel a sense of community when I read interviews with and profiles of Etsy artists. This is a rare and precious sensation for a happy misfit like me! (Hmmm, HappyMisfit...that'd make a decent shop name.)
2. Common ground.
The lists of favorite music, movies, and websites for featured artists frequently match my own. When not, they provide fun discoveries.
3. A strong sense of geography.
Although I get a "we could be such great friends if we were neighbors" feeling with crafty folks from east to south to north, I am oddly connected to those in Washington and Oregon. It's a belonging I've felt while traveling there. The connectivity continues: most of my sales are made to that zone, and many of my hearted items were made there.
Stories of passion for creating, strong DIY backgrounds, and willingness to try new things are empowering. For example, although I believe in (and work in) public schools, the many Etsy sellers who have a tribe of home-schooled kids growing gardens and learning life-skills along with academics day-to-day make me dreamy. It's something I admire, but know I couldn't do well year-round.
5. Raising the bar.
Featured sellers are nearly always role-models for item photography, marketing, item descriptions, and a sense of personality in an online shop. The combinations of these factors are great to observe.
6. Occasional eye-rolls.
Once in a while, I am left wondering, "Huh? That stuff sells?"
And who doesn't enjoy a tiny, short-lived sense of bewildered superiority?
Please leave a comment with your own observations on this topic.
(Sorry for the lack of pictures; don't you hate blogs like this?)