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Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Handmade Pledge: Ethics & a Buyer's Viewpoint

Handpicked on Etsy by Plumberry
Indie versus mass produced: The issue has been much debated on the Etsy forums, and I'm among the many who would love to see the Etsy administration re-affirm its core value by either banning mass-market goods that are unaltered by the artisan, or by creating a separate category for factory-made, just as they've done for vintage. What inspired me today was a convo from a buyer who's been a fan of my shops, and who got so frustrated when she was shopping on Etsy the other day that she stopped searching and created a treasury to show her support of true indie design, showcasing the items featured here today. Then, she went to the forums and posted about what it means to a buyer to be able to trust in Etsy's "handmade pledge." Here's that thread: Buyer Beef
Debates aside, I was very flattered to be included in Plumberry's treasury, among these other talented Etsy sellers. Click on the pictures to go directly to these Etsy listings. Prices range from $10.00 to $500.00
From top left to bottom right, today's featured artists include: jingjingdesign, Ellita, TwoSecrets, pompompurses, triciahoke, arianemariane, fuzzystuff, babinka1981, ModernEraDesign, daintythings, blackberrypatch, KatsaraYarns


  1. I'm glad you brought up this issue, Andria, since it is hard to offer original handmade items on Etsy and find yourself up against mass-produced unaltered products. Etsy was created to showcase beautiful handmade creations, not items you can find at your local discount store. Congratulations, Andria, for having your lovely work featured!- Mary

  2. Thank you, Mary.

    I really respect Plumberry as a buyer for taking the time to address this issue. We artisans know it is probably futile to expect Etsy's admin. to take this issue seriously, but if more buyers were to speak up about it, maybe that would get their attention.

  3. Hi Everyone,
    I'm Plumberry and wanted to say I follow this gorgeous blog, which is why you see some items here that Andria has showcased before. I find many new faves here thanks to Andria's great eye :)

  4. Andria, congratulations for being featured in Plumberry's treasury, and thank you for featuring my item among this great list on your blog. I am all for raising awareness of handmade items and weeding out the mass produced on Etsy. I chose to sell on Etsy because of the handmade pledge. The great community and features put the icing on the cake, so without a meaningful handmade pledge, it depreciates the values significantly. Hopefully they'll get back on track so we can have our original Etsy back!


  5. Awesome the items listed as well, very beautiful..Hand Made all the way!!!! Thanks.

  6. Hello. I am here at Blackberry's suggestion to weigh in. As an Etsy seller of OOAK jewelry I had mostly fallen through the cracks. Bloggers and promo threads have saved my shop from obscurity. I would appreciate not having to compete with commerical resellers where I should not have to compete with them in the first place- on a website for handmade goods, period. Thank you for your time.

  7. Thanks to each of you for visiting, commenting and sharing your views. I agree that it gets more frustrating every day to compete with all the resellers of mass made consumers products. When I joined Etsy, I did so precisely to get away from this eBay/price-driven mentality. In my view, the Etsy folks have succumbed to greed, and I agree with Plumberry's forum statement that if they stuck to their guns, they'd do far better in the long run. When it gets to the point where buyers are annoyed at all the Walmart-type stuff, it is definitely alarming. Why should buyers have to feel like they're dumpster diving when they shop on Etsy! It is pathetic to see the Etsy founders show so little respect for their very own ideals as well as the artisans who built their site and are making their fortunes. Meh.

  8. Gorgeous treasury, and I couldn't agree more about the resellers. It is a shame.