Sunday, July 25, 2010

Arkansas Democrat Gazette's Article about Etsy

July 24, 2010 the Arkansas Democrat Gazette printed this article in the newspaper about artist in Arkansas that used Etsy to sell their work. It includes a few interviews with local artist. is easing artists’ sales tasks

LITTLE ROCK — Craftsmen, artists and collectors from around Arkansas have flocked to the website to sell their wares. Buyers, in turn, can go there to find artwork and handicrafts like photos, paintings, ironwork, woodwork, candles, soap, fabrics, hand-spun wool and yarn, scrapbooking supplies - even vintage dinnerware and decor- all from Arkansas vendors. was conceived in early 2005 by painter, carpenter and photographer Rob Kalin as a venue for creative folks to sell their oneof-a-kind designs. The site went live June 18, 2005, and has been featured on shows like CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America and The Rachael Ray Show as well as in numerous print publications.Today, the site has more than 5million members and generates about $200 million in annual sales.

Scottie Schnauzer Dog Sculpture
by VonChandler
“About three years ago, I decided to start selling my art online,” says Dillon Chandler, owner of the Farmington-based studio VonChandler. “I figured I was missing out on a huge market.”
Chandler says he first turned to to sell his metal lawn sculptures and decor, but soon found that the online marketplacewas inundated with cheap, often mass-produced goods that overshadowed his unique designs.After a few months, Chandler closed his eBay shop and resigned himself to selling locally. That changed, however, when a coworker recommended Etsy.Chandler now averages from 10 to 30 sales each month on thewebsite. “The first and foremost benefit [of Etsy] is the ability to display and offer my artwork to anyone in the world with a click of their mouse,” he says.

Worldwide exposure is a benefit many Arkansans are enjoying. Some vendors, like Rogers painter Jan Ironside and Hot Springs glassworker Jordan Kudabeck, get inquiries about their work from as far away as Australia and Europe.

PDF Crochet Pattern for Fall Mums
by MaddCrocheter (Susan Hilton)
 Etsy also offers artists the ability to work from home. Just ask Susan Hinton of Fayetteville, who sells her electronic crochet and sewing patterns along with sewing supplies on Etsy.
“I don’t have to load my stuff up in my car and drive somewhere, set it up, sit all day - usually outdoors - or worry about the weather,” she says.

The keys to Etsy’s success, according to many Arkansas sellers, are its user-friendly web design, inexpensive listing fees and the site’s more than 724 million monthly page views.
“Etsy simplifies online selling,” says Bentonville artist Dave Clark. “They provide shopping cart and PayPal integration, not to mention intuitive drag-and-drop storefront creation software. No HTML knowledge is required.” “It’s nice to be able to point potential customers to a professional-looking online storefront,” he adds.

Cheap listing prices and lengthy auctions keep Kate Matthews of Little Rock coming back to Etsy.“It costs only 20 cents to list an item, and the listing is for four months,” she says.
Compared to eBay’s 10- to 35-cent insertion fees for seven day listings, that’s a bargain. Etsy’s commission fees are also negligible, meaning most of the profit from sales go directly to the artist.

“If it weren’t for Etsy, I wouldn’t have been able to indulge myself in the creative process at the level I currently enjoy,” says Susan McSherry, a mosaic artist from Marble Falls. “It has basically bankrolled my adventure in the arts.”

AREtsy - Arkansas Etsy Street Team
Etsy also offers online communities based on geography and types of artsand crafts.“The people I’ve met through that site have been extremely valuable in their knowledge of Etsy, the handmade industry and craft shows to participate in,” says Erin Jepson, a Fayetteville artist who sells hand-spun yarn. Jepson also leads the Arkansas Etsy Street Team, or AREtsy, to further promote Arkansas members.

“One of the best things I’ve gotten into on Etsy is the Dirt-Road Artists Team,” says potter Liz Gamelin of Mountain Home. “We chat in the forums daily, sharing our day-to-day lives, our Etsy successes and troubles.”That sense of community extends to buyers, who can choose the “shop local” option on Etsy’s homepage to find sellers near them. A simple click typically produces hundreds of search results.

“Etsy is like the farmers market of the Internet,” says craftsman Eddie Robinett of Jonesboro, who sells handcrafted birdhouses and signs. “Etsy is for people who want something other than an item mass-produced overseas.”


  1. That's a great article! I wish my town would do some sort of feature of local Etsy artisans (or crafters in general) in our local paper. I would really loved to be featured too ;)

  2. excellent article. No chance of our local paper doing an article like this sadly. Half my neighbors don't even have internet yet! that and they are French.

  3. excellent article!! thanks for posting it....and for following me!

  4. Thanks for posting this article - it was really interesting. Also, thanks for stopping by my blog. I am following you back now!

  5. oh! crochet patterns! My momma loves to crochet! thanks for commenting on my blog! I look forward to reading your blogs!


  6. Many thanks for sharing this interesting post!

  7. found your blog on the forums and am following you now..come on over and say hi :)