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Drew Barrymore Teams Up With Dayna Isom Johnson to Judge the 2020 Etsies

Jun 30, 2020

by Jackie Buddie handmade and vintage goods

When actress, producer, and superstar style icon Drew Barrymore recently took to social media to express her genuine appreciation for the hard work of Etsy sellers, we were both surprised and delighted and, of course, 100 percent in agreement. After all, here at Etsy we share that same passion for celebrating creative entrepreneurs—from the mom who’s cooked up a natural skin care line in her kitchen to the vintage aficionado who’s scoured the globe for priceless flea market finds. So when we kicked off this year’s Design Awards—our global competition recognizing the most uniquely designed, one-of-a-kind items on Etsy and the brilliant minds behind them—we had an idea for who we might call to help us in our search for the best and brightest. 

Learn more about the Etsy Design Awards

“I’m a huge fan of supporting independent creators, and Etsy has long been my favorite treasure trove for all things special and thoughtfully made,” says Drew, who happily accepted a place on this year’s judging panel alongside our in-house trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson. “Design and entrepreneurship are so close to my heart, and it’s a joy to be a part of this year’s Etsies and to honor this incredibly talented global community.”

Portrait of Drew Barrymore in front of a fabric mood board.
Photograph courtesy of Barrymore Brands
Portrait of Dayna Isom Johnson
Photograph by Evan Watkins

This fall, Drew and Dayna will join together to select the distinguished Grand Prize Winner and 10 Category Winners of this year’s Etsies, and as two of the most eagle-eyed, enthusiastic Etsy fans we know, we couldn’t think of a more qualified duo. To learn more about what these two power-browsers are looking for in their search for special, we caught up with them to discuss personal style, fave purchases, and what they’d like to see in a winning design. Here’s what they said.

What makes the experience of purchasing from Etsy sellers so special?

Drew: When you support small businesses, your money is going to such an important place—it’s about a person, not a corporation. That exchange is very meaningful. It feels good to know that when I buy something on Etsy, I’m making a difference by supporting a real person who made something with love.

Dayna: I think it’s always important to support small businesses—even more so during challenging times. Now more than ever, when you shop from a small business, you’re making a difference in someone’s life and livelihood.

A recycled paper pulp bowl from Franky and J Designs
Shop the 2019 Finalists: Recycled paper pulp bowl from Franky and J Designs, $45

Any memorable recent purchases?

Dayna: I recently purchased a custom pet portrait of my dog, Mojo. Not only was the seller kind and personable, but she also made sure that the portrait was exactly what I was looking for, from the canvas size to Mojo’s positioning. The package even arrived with a personalized note!

Drew: I love when sellers send personalized notes. It gives me a sense of them and a little history about what I bought, and it’s so sweet to receive a handwritten note!

Dayna: That’s the great thing about Etsy. You can actually build relationships with the makers and find out the story behind what you’re buying. Whether it’s a personalized illustration or a vintage accessory, you know you’re going to find something truly one-of-a-kind.

A linen jumpsuit from Lauren Winter Co.
Shop the 2019 Finalists: Linen jumpsuit from Lauren Winter Co., $290
A vegan convertible backpack from Canopy Verde
Shop the 2019 Finalists: Vegan convertible backpack from Canopy Verde, $179

What are some of your favorite things to shop for on Etsy?

Drew: I get everything from personalized school supplies for my girls, to a custom window seat cushion, and furniture, macramé wall installations, lamps to globes. I just got a bunch of vintage floral towels that make me so happy.

Dayna: Since I’ve been spending so much time at home lately, I’ve been shopping for decor items and DIY projects more than ever. One of my favorite recent purchases is a turmeric tie dye kit—I used the natural dye kit to create a one-of-a-kind pillowcase and update some of my white clothing. And I always turn to Etsy for my next pair of statement earrings, a standout jumpsuit, personalized gifts for the family, or a new bandana for my fur baby.

Wooden dancer lamps from La Pattea Bois
Shop the 2019 Finalists: Wooden dancer lamps from La Pattea Bois, from $99
Iridescent statement earrings from Elysian Theory
Shop the 2019 Finalists: Iridescent statement earrings from Elysian Theory, $48

Which of your Etsy purchases do you get the most compliments on?

Dayna: I’m a huge fan of over-the-top jewelry, and I almost always get a comment whenever I’m wearing a statement piece from Etsy. One of the items I probably get the most questions about is my set of large gold hoop earrings from Etsy shop Lingua Nigra. I’m always proud to let people know that I bought them from Alicia.

An architectural ceramic planter from Collage Crafting
Shop the 2019 Finalists: Architectural ceramic planter from Collage Crafting, $23
Glass straws from Brook Drabot Glass
Shop the 2019 Finalists: Glass straws from Brook Drabot Glass, $21

What are some of the ways thoughtfully designed items help spark joy in your everyday life?

Drew: I like to create little moments in my house that tell a story. A table with books and the perfect light. A little vase for leaves or flowers and a comfortable chair with a mini table to set my drink on. And then I’ll wonder when I’ll have the time to actually sit down and enjoy this area. But until I can, it truly inspires me as I run past it all day chasing my kids around and bustling around my house!

Dayna: I’m a big fan of bright, happy colors. Seeing vibrant tones instantly lifts my mood and brightens my day. I also keep items around my home that remind me of family. My family is the number one thing in my life, so anything that makes me think of them—whether it’s a scented candle that reminds me of home or a framed photo of us all together—brings me so much joy.

A coral leather purse from VEINAGE
Shop the 2019 Finalists: Coral leather purse from VEINAGE, $190
A floating cocktail cabinet from KARVD
Shop the 2019 Finalists: Floating cocktail cabinet from KARVD, $299

When it comes to the Design Awards entries, what are you going to be looking for in choosing the finalists and winners?

Dayna: I’ll be considering several criteria, including the quality, utility, and wow factor of each item. Last year, I was amazed by the caliber and breadth of the entries, particularly the craftsmanship and attention to detail in the products. Sellers never cease to amaze me with their creativity.

Drew: I hope to find sellers that go overboard with the personal touch! I also hope to truly help shine a light on the uniqueness that the world of Etsy can bring to someone’s life.

Why are you excited to be a judge for this year’s Design Awards?

Drew: I was honored that Etsy asked me! I’ve publicly raved about Etsy because I feel what they do is very important. So I really want to try to celebrate these sellers and the impact their work has on the world!

Dayna: I totally agree. Sellers pour their hearts into their products, and the Etsies give us the opportunity to really honor that hard work and spotlight the extraordinary talents of our community at a time when they need it most.

Learn more about the 2020 Etsy Design Awards


  • RodeoChicks

    Cindy Boggs from RODEOCHICS said 1 year ago

    Love this award. Thank you for making this happen. I believe homemade/handmade is so beautiful and Etsy has allowed us all to do the thing we love most. :)

  • bbzvlhql

    Irina Shcherbinina from AmiguRinaDesigns said 1 year ago

    Very interesting, thanks!

  • katrinshinesupplies

    Ekaterina from katrinshinesupplies said 1 year ago

    Great article! Last year winners all are awesome designs.

  • vika041080

    Victoria from FolkArtBuffet said 1 year ago

    Thank you for this award. Thank you for the opportunity to do what we love and at the same time bring joy to people. All these words inspire us to create new beautiful things! Love Etsy!

  • chickandcharming

    Lori Spink from chickandcharming said 1 year ago

    Ms. Barrymore's own Flower collection is just dreamy!

  • gg16xhkr

    Anna from SublimationDesignsAn said 1 year ago

    It is very nice to read that small business is valued even by such people.

  • thefuchsiamoon

    FuchsiaMoon from TheFuchsiaMoon said 1 year ago

    Incredible creativity from the 2019 Finalists. Looking forward to seeing who captures the eyes of Dayna and Drew for 2020. Cheers!

  • virginiapouso

    Vi P. from VidaPlusMore said 1 year ago

    Very inspiring!

  • 5ftjjt0a

    Nina from OriginalJewelrByNina said 1 year ago

    Спасибо за статью! Очень стимулирует мастеров!

  • d3fdeflm

    Anastasia from CosyHomeByAnastasia said 1 year ago

    Awesom this award! Thank you Etsy !

  • z7pv89qn

    Laura Michael from AWorthyBrand said 1 year ago

    I love that Drew Barrymore is a judge this year! It's amazing to be among such talented artists and designers. I love Etsy and I buy from shops all the time. And as a seller I'm so grateful for all of my beautiful customers!

  • ai848vtb

    Anastasia from YourAdventureInGlass said 1 year ago

    Now I know that I will participate!

  • i2g53zbz

    Ernest Wright said 1 year ago

    I Think U R Great. Order Came Much Sooner Than Expected. Very Satisfied & We Will Defiantly Purchase More Soon. Thanks Again.

  • jt3vlxxm

    Anna Sypalo from XstitchbyAnna said 1 year ago

    Thank you! Best motivation!

  • qc1ywx0e

    Tatiana from Alexandmiladesigns said 1 year ago

    What awesome artists! This was a great read.

  • chantidavenport

    Chanti Davenport-Hilliard from CompletelyCraftyC said 1 year ago

    Great read..congrats to the finalist!

  • BellaSapone

    Margherite Tercovich from BellaSapone said 1 year ago

    Congratulations to all the finalists, each unique in their own way.

  • bedouin

    Nicole from KarmaCodeOne said 1 year ago

    Awe ~ so my kinda gals ~!~ Etsy has been one one and only loyal venue since 09. True to my heart I too appreciate all the talent showcased. Cheers and happiness.

  • BunnyM21

    Bunny Mischief from MzChiefBunny said 1 year ago

    Sounds fantastic. Everything they both said rings true.

  • 6on8m21j

    Planity Team from planity said 1 year ago

    This is just too cool, I love Drew as actress and it's so motivating to think that she might see my products when browsing through Etsy! I am too shy to participate in the award this year but I wish everyone who does best of luck!

  • wrongydm

    Maria Klevakina from KnittingForBabyArt said 1 year ago

    A wonderful reward for handmade creators!

  • fatash1

    Faye A. from fatash1 said 1 year ago

    where do you go to see all winners design from 2019? I have seen little bits here and there.

  • joy8dzhs

    Victoria from ForgetMeNotNature said 1 year ago

    cute earrings

  • YearsAfter

    Sharon from YearsAfter said 1 year ago

    I'm so glad to see Drew Barrymore involved with the Etsy design awards this year! She's one of my very fav actresses and people! I'm sure she'll choose some beauties!

  • umxmsiik

    edwin from VideoRockConcerts said 1 year ago

    Love this award. :)Very interesting, thanks!Ms. Barrymore's own Flower collection is just dreamy!I love that Drew Barrymore is a judge this year! I love Drew as actress and it's so motivating to think that she might see our products when browsing through Etsy! I wish everyone who does best of luck!I'm so glad to see Drew Barrymore involved with the Etsy design awards this year! She's one of my very fav actresses and people! I'm sure she'll choose some beauties!

  • MysticalRaindrops

    Jeannie from MysticalRaindrops said 1 year ago

    Wow! What a great story. I love entrepreneurs, too and seeing a favorite actress have such great words for Etsies gave me a smile. Glad to see even the famous people enjoy buying gifts and home accessories we make with love with our own hands.

  • khhzuz2k

    Maggy from ReusableBag said 1 year ago

    When your creation brings joy it means a lot! A lot of eco-friendly products among the winners, this is very pleasing!

  • xywetsy

    Elis from GrandmasNaturalSoap said 1 year ago

    Love the flowers collection

  • qbpazj2i

    Jenny from VivreOrganics said 1 year ago

    This is amazing! Love it! <3

  • kwgkrbnt

    Pat said 1 year ago

    This is thrilling. How wonderful to support these creative artists , and what excellent judges:) Well done Etsy.

  • teresitasboutique

    Terrie from HillsAndValleysCO said 1 year ago

    Love this.

  • pkgmf0so

    Honeysuckle May from HoneysuckleMay said 1 year ago

    As a new Etsy seller, I am excited to know that not just grams next door is interested in what I make and sell. Knowing that Etsy gives me a platform that even celebs frequent is mindblowing to me. I think everyone should support more local artisans and handmade businesses and hope that an event like the Etsies 2020 will bring more awareness to the masses that people like myself are here being innovative and working hard to craft new and inspiring items to share with them.

  • wlp5ggc4

    Amy from KnitKnotLoop said 1 year ago

    It’s great to see a woman like Drew Barrymore team up with Etsy! Can’t wait For the Etsies and reading about all the wonderful makers.

  • xpllfm9q

    Angela Tocilă from AngelaTArt said 1 year ago

    Just discovered Etsy and already love it ❤️

  • 9jepefzy

    Corinne Bootes from QoqobuJewelryDesigns said 1 year ago

    Wow! This is so inspiring! I give it a try this year!❤️

  • edgxl2c4

    Irina Yablonskaya from MilanahandmadByIrina said 1 year ago

    Thank you so much for the article! It is very important to know that handmade work is appreciated. It is inspired. Etsy is one of the largest platform that gives a chance to show the handmade items for people from all over the world. I'm looking forward to watching for 2020 Etsy Design Awards.

  • VintageRoseAffair

    Bev from TheDangleFarm said 1 year ago

    Great article! Thank you for sharing! xoxo

  • gilliannorthcott

    Gillian Northcott from esanivintage said 1 year ago

    Great style. All worth winning.

  • KayPennerStudios

    Kayla Penner from KayPennerStudios said 1 year ago

    Excited about this!

  • JewelrybyAlison

    Alison Paglin from JewelrybyAlison said 1 year ago

    Inspiring to know Drew Barrymore loves Etsy! Thanks for supporting small business!

  • tiffanybryant22

    Tiffany Bryant from YourFavCollectibles said 1 year ago

    Lovely article. I love to see all the hard work and efforts of other extraordinary artists.

  • ewet7hgx

    Angelo from iloveSvgFiles said 1 year ago

    Just discovered Etsy and already love it Thank you! Best motivation!

  • Lsoukup2

    Laurel Soukup from WoodArtSignsAndMore said 1 year ago

    I love Etsy and being amongst the most creative and talented artists!

  • ldaunais

    Lisa Daunais from CapeCodCoastalKnits said 1 year ago

    Love being a part of this creative ETSY family. Drew Barrymoore just rocks in every way!

  • qppq320k

    Mariya from MagicArtForYou said 1 year ago

    Very cool award! And it is very nice to know that it will be evaluated by such enthusiastic and creative people!

  • jlockedesigns702

    Jeffrey Locke Lemert from TheHealingTreeStudio said 1 year ago

    Great article and very excited to see all the finalist and winners. I think this is brilliant idea to have these awards.

  • sandywho1

    sandywho1 from amaskforallseasons said 1 year ago

    The sky is the limit with the handmade products one can find here. I love the items that inspire in bold and daring ways. The products shown above are so beautiful and unique!

  • xpllfm9q

    Angela Tocilă from AngelaTArt said 362 days ago

    This is a great chance for everybody on Etsy

  • 1nhpm6ea

    Liliya from NostalgicByLiliya said 355 days ago

    Wow! This is so awesome! Drew Barrymore is one of the judges for Etsy awards?!!! My favorite actress! This is way cool! Now I love Etsy even more! Go Etsy Go!

  • jtxrpdwo

    Maria from EcoLinenShopArt said 354 days ago

    Thank you ETSY ))) A fine reward )))

  • 7m7awppn

    Nicole from mydutchgallery said 314 days ago

    Great article!

  • BrooklynLotus

    Padmini Persaud-Obasi from BrooklynLotus said 308 days ago

    Great feature. Congratulations to everyone!

  • tqniyn7e

    Karina from STEBLYNAlingerie said 307 days ago

    Love Etsy for this🤍 hope you will love my shop STEBLYNAlingerie too, it’s realy very big deal for small business ❤️

  • ecilos

    Jackie Cote from Ecilos said 305 days ago

    This is wonderful!

  • thegoodviv

    TheVIV from TheVIVgoods said 303 days ago

    I'm so chuffed my Bag has been selected as a finalist! Thank you thank you!

  • Samsarart

    Sara Bacchioni from Samsarart said 302 days ago

    Thank you Etsy, lovely award, great opportunity,

  • shabbycloche

    Geraldine Purcell from shabbycloche said 301 days ago

    Great read! Thank you.. nice to know Etsy artists Have this opportunity. Wonderful stuff!!

  • jeanrust1

    jeanrust1 said 301 days ago

    Faded Florals.......The most beautiful printed linen fabric I have ever purchased! Cecile, the owner will make sure you get your every detail attended to by her! Jean Rust

  • 3sjpjsy3

    Kelly from KellysCabsLapidary said 301 days ago

    Well I haven't been with Etsy that long, only about 6 months. But I have enjoyed the platform for creating and selling my lapidary stones. It is very encouraging meeting customer needs and getting great feedback. I'm sure Rembrandt would have loved Etsy. I do.

  • hp5qicpo

    Dixie said 301 days ago

    I do appreciate talented artists who are original enough to put their ideas into real items and start a profitable business by selling to like artists. Love Etsy and have beautiful items that I bought from these artists. Good luck to everybody!

  • jendabombberg

    jendabombberg said 301 days ago

    ♥️ Loving this! I’m discovering great finds all the time.

  • 68qbjwi2

    Yolanda Soto-mayor said 301 days ago

    I like the African American doll very creative

  • loisamp

    lois paradice from PiecesOfParadice said 301 days ago

    I didn't even know about this award, but it is a great idea. I'm a one person shop owner,maker so I'm limited as to what I can do. So I will support the bigger shops in the awards

  • 7cl33c7z

    Maddy Byer said 301 days ago

    Perfection to have this award. I truly enjoy shopping here

  • meriastapley

    Meria Stapley said 301 days ago

    Love these artisan beauties! Want to buy.

  • hunter55v

    paul a mischak from hunter55v said 301 days ago


  • kcw5v96q

    Vicki Roberts from CherishMomentMosaics said 300 days ago

    I appreciate all that Etsy does for us. Giving us such a platform I'known-organized. There's still so much to do with postings and advertising I'm alittle overwelmed. But then I can relax when I sit down and design my stained glass mosaics. Working the colors is centering :). Thank you for This opportunity Vicki Roberts

  • AngelisArting

    Marisa Angelis from AngelisArting said 299 days ago

    Congratulations to everyone involved / participating - Such Brilliant talent ! Long Live Handmade 🧡 - Hand-created - and always Made with Love :-) ❤️

  • dragaqjt

    Stephanie said 299 days ago

    I love the bright colors the different designs

  • maggiei

    Marguerite Iurato from MaggiesGemJewelry said 298 days ago

    How fantastic is it that creators have Etsy as a venue for showcasing their art? It's even more special that some are recognized with awards and nominations! It's humbling that a celebrity of Drew Barrymore's stature is an Etsy fan and awards judge. Thanks to Etsy, to Drew and Dayna; and congrats to all nominees and winners.

  • juvxs8iv

    Sheila from heARTofMN said 297 days ago

    Last years finalists are so talented. This looks like a great way to recognize true talent.

  • fashiontou

    Natasja Kats from fashionfromrussia said 287 days ago

    I sent my hearts to talented designers. Nice that they arrange this award.

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