Shop Etsy

Etsy’s First Five Years

Jan 30, 2008

by Rokali handmade and vintage goods

In early April of 2005, I sat in an orange chair facing an open window. It was nighttime and the lights were off. I was back in Brooklyn after a brief residence in Paris, and I was about to sketch the initial ideas that would become Etsy. Working with three friends – Chris, Haim and Jared – Etsy went from these ideas to a site live on the Web in about two months.

Now, thirty-three months later, Etsy is a company with fifty employees, a community with over 650,000 members, and a marketplace with over 120,000 sellers in 127 different countries.

We launched in June of 2005, which means we’re right in the middle of our first five years. Where are we headed? What do we need to get there?

Etsy: The Big Idea

The simplest way for me to show what Etsy is all about is to read you Swimmy, a book by Leo Leonni.

So our vision is to be the eye — to be a kind of organizing principle. We do not want Etsy itself to be a big tuna fish. Those tuna are the big companies that all us small businesses are teaming up against.

Those big companies are holdovers from the days before the Web existed. And any company that is being run the same way now as it was before the Web came about is due for some massive restructuring or deflation.

Etsy is a company born on the Web, literally. I see the company itself as a handmade project, and we’ll continue to build it this way. There’s much more to do, and we’re up for the challenge. But we need more than people to get there.

A New Investment

I am proud to announce to everyone that we have just accepted a $27 million investment. The funding comes in part from two existing Etsy investors, Union Square Ventures and Hubert Burda Media, and from an important new investor: Jim Breyer at Accel Partners.

What does this mean? Who’s Jim? Why do we need an investment? How will we use the funds? I’ll answer all of these in order, and then paint a clear picture of where Etsy is headed.

What does this investment mean?

This means that we now have the resources to extend Etsy’s reach in this world, to enable so many more people to make a living making things. We want Etsy to exist for hundreds of years. Our goal is for Etsy to be an independent, publicly traded company, focused on all things handmade.

Throughout Etsy’s growth, we have been very careful when raising money. We run the company as a democracy, meaning no one party has the power to act unilaterally. This new investment preserves these values, and adds to what we can do.

Who’s Jim?

Jim Breyer of Accel Partners is one of the "elder wisemen" of the investing world. Except he’s not that old. He’s an outstanding investor who has many times shown he can see into the heart of matters, finding and supporting businesses that tap into underlying and disruptive change for the common good. He spotted Facebook early on, and now he’s joining up with Etsy.

But more important than his experience and his connections, Jim is candid. As he joins our Board of Directors alongside Caterina Fake of flickr and Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, Jim is in a position to help steer the company, and to tell us when we’re off course.

I asked Jim for a quote to include in this article, and here’s what he had to say:

"Etsy is a company with a clarity of mission that can truly have a long term impact on the way this world works. Rob himself is patient but intense, challenges conventional wisdom, and has an infectious enthusiasm and spirit."

(I’m not so sure about the patient part but I’ve certainly been learning in that department.)

Jim currently sits on the Board of several other companies you might know something about: Facebook, Marvel Entertainment and Walmart. Walmart?! That’s right. Accel Partners was an investor in, the e-commerce arm of the retail giant. Apart from Jim’s insight gained from this role, there’s no connection between Etsy and Walmart.

Why do we need an investment?

Etsy is almost break-even, meaning our revenue pays all our bills, including the salaries and benefits of our fifty employees. This is a huge milestone for us! But when we look at the near future, it’s not enough. Here are some specific reasons why:

  • Given our current rate of growth — with how many images we store and how much traffic we serve — we estimate that we’ll need to spend $5 million on hardware and hosting in the next two years. This is not only to keep up with what we have now, but to support new features and expansion.
  • Right now, Etsy only supports the US Dollar and the English language. We want to support many other currencies and languages, but to do so requires significant resources: from people to translate the site as it exists now, to providing customer support in new languages.
  • The checkout experience on Etsy is not ideal. Every buyer has to pay every seller individually when checking out. Based on our own tests, and based on a lot of unsolicited feedback, this is a major hurdle to increasing sales. People shopping on Etsy expect an experience comparable to other leading ecommerce sites like We aim to build an in-house payment system, and to do this properly requires a significant amount of capital investment.
  • In the same vein as the previous point, people searching for items on Etsy expect search to be comparable to Google. This is quite a lofty goal, but we’re up for the challenge. Our new investment will help us achieve this.
  • Etsy is a platform on top of which tens of thousands of other people run their own businesses. We have a huge responsibility to keep our service humming and improve it based on community feedback. In order to do this, first of all we need to stick around. While it’s nice to know that we can cover our own operational costs, I never want to make the excuse that we can’t succeed because we lack funds to buy servers, cover a bandwidth bill, provide a warm office for our employees and so on. In other words, we need a bit of a cushion in order to provide the best service we can, confident that we can spend a bit more when need be.
  • We need to be able to make it through any hard times that hit the economy. We believe that the current economy, favoring megacorporations and supersizes, is unstable. People who make a living making things, especially those we have on Etsy, will play a key role in revitalizing and stabilizing the world.
  • The services Etsy provides, from customer support to shopping tools, need to grow and improve. We want to offer superb customer service, including live phone support; we want to provide our sellers with detailed stats on their shop. We can do these, but they require more resources than we currently have.
  • It is immensely important to me that all Etsy workers are paid a good salary, provided with full benefits (medical, dental, vision) by the company. Many companies, far too many companies, underpay their employees, don’t make workers employees at all ("permalancers" and "permatemp" are the new words for this), and provide few if any benefits. (We also know that many of the sellers on Etsy lack access to such benefits as health insurance, and we want to work to change this.)

If we can all team up, the way Swimmy did with all his other little fishes, we can establish our clout and credibility collectively in the upcoming years so that we can provide access to resources to our own community.

Forward Looking

Etsy is a young company: we’re not yet three years old, the majority of our employees are under 35 years of age, and we have an exuberance that knows no age. We have certainly had our fair share of what I call "conducting our education in public," and this is something I am proud of.

Throughout the myriad challenges since we launched the website, we have worked day and night to see things through. We’re in this for the long haul. We believe that the world cannot keep consuming the way it does now, and that buying handmade is part of the solution.

As Etsy grows, the responsibilities we have to our sellers also grow. It is humbling to know that people’s incomes depend on a service we provide, and inspiring to watch more and more people make a living from their Etsy shops.

The second half of our first five years will be a thrill. I am enthralled by the possibilities of what we can accomplish, and we will work unceasingly to make things happen.

I hope we’ll see our world take several huge steps in the right direction, and that we’ll all not only take these steps together, but lead the way.


P.S. I have been hugely inspired by two books: Deep Economy by Bill McKibben, and Banker to the Poor by Muhamamd Yunus. I’m going to restart the Etsy Book club so we can all read these (and many other) books together, and share our thoughts.

P.P.S. I’m planning another Town Hall, so please think up any questions and post them in the comments. I’ll gladly answer them during the online meetup.


  • charliemotel

    charliemotel said 13 years ago

    That story is amazing- how wonderful are those illustrations. Such a great way to get your point across. xx

  • charliemotel

    charliemotel said 13 years ago

    i just showed my husband! he loves it too! all the best with your new investement ventures!

  • ChristineRenee

    ChristineRenee said 13 years ago

    Wow! I'm suddenly feeling very uplifted and optimistic about the future of Etsy. I'm so happy to be part of this community.

  • babyannequilts

    babyannequilts said 13 years ago

    Excellent article...I love catching a glimpse of your vision for Etsy...thanks Rob!

  • SusyJack

    SusyJack said 13 years ago

    It's great to hear plans for the future. I can't wait to see how they manifest on the site and in the community. Thank you for the article. I've had such a great time as a member so far, and learned so much. So, thank you for that, too. xx susy

  • littleputbooks

    littleputbooks said 13 years ago

    A. My son loved the story, thanks for saving me some reading time :) B. I am certainly excited to be a part of this community, always have been and I am glad to see how we're all moving forward. Thanks!

  • TheLolaCollection

    TheLolaCollection said 13 years ago

    Thank you so much for this article. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this wonderful community!

  • NestaHome

    NestaHome said 13 years ago

    Wow! Very motivating :)

  • babyleila

    babyleila said 13 years ago

    Thanks for the article, it's nice to read some 'real' news instead of rumours ;)

  • tigerlillyshop

    tigerlillyshop said 13 years ago

    so glad to hear it! congrats, guys;) such a responsible team of people heading this up. and i am so proud to watch this site grow and be able to contribute to it's success as a seller. *high 5's all around*

  • cicadastudio

    cicadastudio said 13 years ago

    Here's to your vision! Here's to the future! Long live Etsy!

  • ThePaintedTiger

    ThePaintedTiger said 13 years ago

    A story, some news, and a vision! Just what was needed in this month that tends to be slow. Thank you, and I hope you will consider emailing this message to all users.

  • SimplyWired

    SimplyWired said 13 years ago

    Beautifully done. Thank you for sharing your vision; I'm looking forward to being a part of it!

  • pancakeandlulu

    pancakeandlulu said 13 years ago

    Very exciting! Beautifully written and inspiring--I can't tell you how happy I am to be a part of it. Yay for Rob, Yay for Etsy! xxoo!

  • bluedogrose

    bluedogrose said 13 years ago

    Thank you for the big picture,it makes me believe in Etsy all over again.

  • blockpartypress

    blockpartypress said 13 years ago

    Very exciting! I can't wait to see where Etsy goes from here. I'm glad to be a small part of it.

  • hobbledehoy

    hobbledehoy said 13 years ago

    How inspiring! Thank you so much for explaining the investment publicly with all if it's possible impacts. I'm excited to see Etsy grow, (and also excited to watch my business grow right along with it!) Etsy has changed my life radically. Two years ago when I joined, I never expected to have the success and positive experiences that I've had. Thank you for building a platform that helps artists/crafters/artisans make a living! xoxoxo! Liz

  • ElenaMary

    ElenaMary said 13 years ago

    Go Swimmy..Go Rob..perfect example to illustrate your vision/mission. So glad you will be discussing Muhamamd Yunus and his wonderful work. He is a true visionary. When can we invest in ETSY? Going public soon?

  • hillarietasche

    hillarietasche said 13 years ago

    Inspiring! You have a believer in this youngster! I'm a 22yr old Law student, and I love your outlook on the economy, on corporations, and on individuals coming together to change the way things are! Yeah Rob! Yeah Etsy! I'm so proud to be here!

  • mamacateyes

    mamacateyes said 13 years ago

    a company who believe in paying their employees what they are worth. it's amazing and should be noted as a wonderful thing. it will flow down into the communities hands and they will feel the love as well. Thanks.

  • gypsywoman

    gypsywoman said 13 years ago

    Thanks a lot for giving us a look into the future. ETSY rocks, Fellow Etsians rock, and Admin rocks, what more could a woman want......

  • ocbaby

    ocbaby said 13 years ago

    Yes, I did read publicly traded....when and where do I sign up???!!?? Congrats on your accomplishments. What an astounding thing you have done in such a short time! You guys have such vision to have been able to see the possibilities and the drive to make it reality!

  • stereoette

    stereoette said 13 years ago

    my reaction = relief. ;o) congrats on the new investors, y'all... do them (and us) proud.

  • AntelopeBaby

    AntelopeBaby said 13 years ago

    What a great article. Etsy is inspiring to me in so many ways. Personally, as an artist/crafter and also as an entire business. Thank you for being candid and open about the direction of etsy. I'm on board!

  • TwinDreamCreations

    TwinDreamCreations said 13 years ago

    That's great to hear. I love being a part of etsy in its early stages. :-)

  • nanjodogz

    nanjodogz said 13 years ago

    Wonderful article -- I love Etsy and am glad to be a part of this new and exciting adventure.

  • projectfelt

    projectfelt said 13 years ago

    Very nice of you to keep us all informed of the future of Etsy. I never really thought about the fact that Etsy does have a huge responsiblity as you do hold the kep to thousands of other businesses. With out Etsy, many of us would not have a business. Thank you P.s Im intersted in the live phone support! I would love to know more about this as well as other positions etsy will be creating in the future.

  • MAKUstudio

    MAKUstudio said 13 years ago

    Congrats on the investment! Thank you for keeping us informed. Love Etsy and in it for the long haul too! It's exciting to be a part of Etsy in the early stages and watching it grow. Yes, when can we buy shares?!!!

  • oldsevens

    oldsevens said 13 years ago

    Go Etsy! Congrats on the funds and your plans for the future. I love the Reading Rainbows treatment, more bedtime stories by Rob!

  • NatureAutumn

    NatureAutumn said 13 years ago

    Thank you Rob for this not only informative but also inspiring article. Congrats~~~ Etsy is an excellent community, we love it here:0

  • megrnc

    megrnc said 13 years ago

    Wow, that's some news after having read Ebay's announcements and the forums about it here on Etsy.

  • desirapesta

    desirapesta said 13 years ago

    Hi Five Rob & Etsy. And thanks for sharing everything that's going on. I know I appreciate having no blindfold to what is happening.

  • karlita

    karlita said 13 years ago

    When I read all this, i'm very proud to be a part of Etsy. We share some similar believes. And i'm really looking forward to some of the changes that you announce!! Keep making the world a happier place :)

  • bemyshark

    bemyshark said 13 years ago

    exciting, and just a little scary! but of course i trust etsy, so i'll focus on the excitement :)

  • bemyshark

    bemyshark said 13 years ago

    p.s. yay etsy book club!

  • OneHoney

    OneHoney said 13 years ago

    I have felt for awhile now that etsy is on the verge of becoming as big a part of the culture as ebay. That's one reason I'm glad we're here. Another reason is that etsy is really, to my mind, a movement of independence, offering the opportunity to earn a living outside typical business structures. I'm glad etsy has chosen this path. Sydney Barton Chicago Honey Co-op

  • vmdesigns

    vmdesigns said 13 years ago

    as always rob, i love hearing about the direction that etsy is heading in. very informative article and to be honest....a HUGE relief to see some of the concerns of the community being addressed with plans to make them better! i'm so proud to be a part of etsy and my business wouldn't be half of what it is without you guys! so, thank you! : )

  • Chauncey

    Chauncey said 13 years ago

    Great article! This is an exciting time for Etsy and I'm really happy to be here. Thanks.

  • ruralabandon

    ruralabandon said 13 years ago

    Rob for President! :)

  • KealaLegacy

    KealaLegacy said 13 years ago

    What an absolutely awesome article! I read the articles here but rarely if ever comment on them... but this needed it! Thanks for keeping us up to date on whats happening here at Etsy. You didnt have to, but you chose to. Also, thanks for all of your hard work... seriously. I see all the griping about admin and it makes me sick... yall are "rad" "da bomb" "wicked" tottaly outrageous"... well you get the idea. Thanks again for making such a wonderful community... me ke aloha pumehana, Keala

  • paperstories

    paperstories said 13 years ago

    Another book I would highly suggest,Rob... "Small Giants: Companies that choose to be great instead of big" by Bo Burlingham. I think it deals with many of the philosophical issues Etsy struggles with in terms of it's responsibility to its buyers, sellers, and employees. Rock on, Etsy!

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 13 years ago

    << Althea loved the Swimmy story. :) I'm always proud of you guys. You never cease to amaze me. Thanks for everything~

  • myzoebug

    myzoebug said 13 years ago

    "It is immensely important to me that all Etsy workers are paid a good salary, provided with full benefits (medical, dental, vision) by the company. Many companies, far too many companies, underpay their employees, don't make workers employees at all..." I am a stay at home mom and I am able to do this becasue of the benefits and salary my hubby recieves. However, the comp. he works for decided 3 yrs ago he makes too much $(based on other comp.) they refuse to give him any raises...each year we have cut back cut back cut back, and etsy is providing us with a little relief which I appriciate so much. It is important to set standards for other companies and be leaders when it comes to salaries and healthcare. GO ETSY!!!

  • cyndiesmithdesigns

    cyndiesmithdesigns said 13 years ago

    Thank you for that article! I'm proud to know that I'm part of an organization with forward thinking and plans to be around for the long run. I have enjoyed my experience since joining Etsy, and look forward to many more years!

  • verybigjen

    verybigjen said 13 years ago

    It's great that Etsy is going to implement a payment system, but honstly, all the payment process needs now is a redesign! You guys stopped loving buttons on page three! That is that trips everyone up!

  • gemmafactrix

    gemmafactrix said 13 years ago

    great info - thanks.

  • prettycheap

    prettycheap said 13 years ago

    I am running, not walking, SPRINTING to my investment advisor.

  • dismantled

    dismantled said 13 years ago

    I've been waiting for awhile now on news when Etsy would become a publicly traded company. All I can hope is that the community gets first shot at stock options!

  • jewelboxjane

    jewelboxjane said 13 years ago

    Thanks for the great article! I don't read here as much as I should (yet) but I couldn't pass this one up. As a newbie, I'm thrilled to come in to the mix at such an exciting time! Thanks Rob!

  • DancingMooney

    DancingMooney said 13 years ago

    Great article! Go etsy! I love you!! ♥

  • RachelRose

    RachelRose said 13 years ago

    This article gives me the incentive to really push harder! I can't wait to see etsy be all that Rob has outlined. It has been a great experience these last two years for me and I am sticking around for the long term! Thanks again Rob!

  • loosewirestudio

    loosewirestudio said 13 years ago

    I'm so proud be a part of this big fish! Go Swimmy, Go!

  • boodlesofbeads

    boodlesofbeads said 13 years ago

    What a gratifying thing Etsy is and can be! And yes, every time I explain Etsy to someone new, I always add that I would love to buy stock cause I want to encourage the Etsy mission!

  • Kaskaad

    Kaskaad said 13 years ago

    Extremely informative and well written. My thanks!

  • SnipSnap

    SnipSnap said 13 years ago

    Fantastic article. Thanks for the info!

  • 315thomas

    315thomas said 13 years ago

    i love hearing about the future of etsy and your vision. i feel inspired, and lucky to be a part of such a wonderful community. thank you, rob!

  • Itybitybags

    Itybitybags said 13 years ago

    Great article Rob! I am so happy to be part of Etsy!♥Lisa

  • aplanetnamedjanet

    aplanetnamedjanet said 13 years ago

    Thanks for the info. Been thinking Etsy is on the edge of the tipping point for awhile now.

  • opheliamiller

    opheliamiller said 13 years ago

    Great article. Thanks.

  • aplanetnamedjanet

    aplanetnamedjanet said 13 years ago

    My comment disappeared. Thanks for the info.

  • piperewan

    piperewan said 13 years ago

    thank you so much for providing me with this opportunity that is etsy! i am glad to have an online selling venue that lines up with my own personal aspirations. i am looking forward to what the future will bring for all of us. xo, kirsten

  • smittenkittenorig

    smittenkittenorig said 13 years ago

    By far one of the most exciting things I've read with regard to Etsy and its future landscape in a long time. :) Even now, the Etsy I joined has grown and is much changed, I am looking forward to more. :) It's been a great ride so far and I'm strapped in for the long haul.

  • aplanetnamedjanet

    aplanetnamedjanet said 13 years ago

    Oops there it is.

  • arttoweardiva

    arttoweardiva said 13 years ago

    Thank you for that information. I am very encouraged and comforted that Etsy has a vision and mission statement that I can support whole heartedly (no pun intended,) and be proud to be associated with.

  • Odannysgirl

    Odannysgirl said 13 years ago

    Thank you for the behind the scenes info!

  • snappyshop

    snappyshop said 13 years ago

    Wow. Such an exciting article. I am so proud to be part of a company that cares about people. It's inspirational. Thanks for all your hard work!

  • heartworksbylori

    heartworksbylori said 13 years ago

    Rob, I have profound admiration for you and for all of the Etsy Clan of workers who put their heart and soul into their jobs to create a wonderful community here. You are a blazing pioneer for change amidst a world of money-hungry entrepeneurs and I respect your character and integrity. Thanks so much for creating a place where inspiration meets creativity and together they walk hand in hand to promote change and make this world sweeter. You're a breath of fresh air! ~Lori P.S. and I love that you wrote "love" before you signed your name!

  • huntersdesigns

    huntersdesigns said 13 years ago

    brilliant article, thanks for this

  • threemusesart

    threemusesart said 13 years ago

    Woo hoo! I'm in with Etsy for the long haul. :-)

  • huntersdesigns

    huntersdesigns said 13 years ago

    brilliant article, thanks for this

  • FrucciDesign

    FrucciDesign said 13 years ago

    Great, thanx for the useful update and the big ideas!

  • lavenderlizard

    lavenderlizard said 13 years ago

    Thanks for the information, Rob! It's great to see a part of the big picture, and what it takes to move forward. I for one, appreciate that you haven't lost sight of the people of Etsy, both employees and sellers. Thank you!

  • amyzo

    amyzo said 13 years ago

    So my decision in November to start an online etsy shop was a good one, huh? :-) I'm so happy to be a part of what looks to be a very exciting beginning... You've definitely motivated me to continue my forward-thinking business plan for myself and my cards. What next?!

  • FishOnTheWall

    FishOnTheWall said 13 years ago

    Thank you for letting us know what is going on and some of the plans for the future. But one thing: regarding the checkout process: "...based on a lot of unsolicited feedback..." HELLO? If it is 'unsolicited' then WHY does the *Ideas Forum* say "have a way to make Etsy better? let us know!" I think this IS asking us for our IDEAS & HOW TO IMPROVE ETSY.

  • ArtMind

    ArtMind said 13 years ago

    Thanks for giving us a wee view into the future of Etsy. I already loved it but I think I will love it even more! :) A big thank you for the whole team behind Etsy who make this happen. I can just feel the enthusiasm through my computer and I love that!

  • Jewelry24Seven

    Jewelry24Seven said 13 years ago

    Great article ... Etsy is going to be BIG ... We wanna go along for the ride!

  • dottyral

    dottyral said 13 years ago

    Rob, it's so wonderful to hear from you. The future for all of us is exciting. Thanks!

  • quiltingmama

    quiltingmama said 13 years ago

    Thank you.

  • zencreations04

    zencreations04 said 13 years ago

    Thank you for the update Rob. This has been a very fun ride so far, and I'm looking forward to the future!!

  • Rokali

    Rokali said 13 years ago

    A warm thanks for all the comments! There's so much to do, and I plan on writing regularly for the Storque now, to keep everyone abreast of what's going on.

  • CreativeArtandSoul

    CreativeArtandSoul said 13 years ago

    Thank you so much for the updates. I'm proud to be part of this wonderful community! Cheers to you!

  • GuidingLightCandles

    GuidingLightCandles said 13 years ago

    Great article full of enthusiasm and passion. Thank you.

  • teresasart

    teresasart said 13 years ago

    Great article! Thanks for sharing some of the ideas you all have for the future of Etsy.

  • designedbyDiana

    designedbyDiana said 13 years ago

    i think swimmy is now my favorite book. thanks for everything rob. i didn't think it would be possible to have a website before you. and i can't wait to see etsy grow even more.

  • WendyLousNaturalBath

    WendyLousNaturalBath said 13 years ago

    Good read - thanks for the heads up on the future of Etsy.

  • ScottBulgerPhoto

    ScottBulgerPhoto said 13 years ago

    Thanks for the info. Well done.

  • topsyturvydesign

    topsyturvydesign said 13 years ago

    I just reserved Deep Economy & Swimmy at my local libray. So thrilling to be a part of the etsy movement! Cheers & many thanks! Kim

  • Basilechko

    Basilechko said 13 years ago

    Rob, THANK YOU SO MUCH for such an inspiring article. I must confess that I wasn’t going t read it. I thought it was too long and I was definitely not in the mood. But I read it anyway and you couldn't be timelier! I'm just on the verge of quitting my daytime job (as a dull secretary) and devote myself full time to what I like and know best: crafting and translating. I know the blend may sound funny, but (what can I do?) those are my passions --the first one came with college and the other one… I think it just runs in my blood! The thing is that I've waited all my life for this moment, my big step into the world of self-employment, and now that the pieces seem to fit and everybody around me (mostly my life partner and business “coach”, Dario) are convinced that I’m on the right track, I’m SO scared! Anyway, I didn’t mean to bother you, I just wanted to say thank you for the article and thank you all for giving us Etsy. All the best for the second half! Vicky PS: If you ever need a translator, you can be sure: I’ll be delighted to join you!

  • theflashbulb

    theflashbulb said 13 years ago

    I'm excited to see where Etsy is heading. Thanks for all the news and information.

  • alkemystic88

    alkemystic88 said 13 years ago

    Congradulations!! You deserve it. Your work is appreciated. You are a part of history and a man to be respected for your hard work and vision.

  • woolies

    woolies said 13 years ago

    wow. and then again, wow. Impressive. I'm happy to be on the Etsy Train. :0)

  • nimoy

    nimoy said 13 years ago

    Looking forward to the Etsy Book Club :]

  • kellirene

    kellirene said 13 years ago

    Congratulations to Rob and to those who have worked so hard to create such an awesome venue! This is quite an accomplishment and you all are so deserving. I look forward to all the positive changes and growth within Etsy. Wish I could see ten years down the road.... Congrats again! Kelli.

  • Rosez75

    Rosez75 said 13 years ago

    You have all stepped up to the plate in making this knowledge available to us. Thank you. Good luck to Etsy and good luck to all of us who craft and make beautiful art!

  • marciapalmer

    marciapalmer said 13 years ago

    Bravo, Etsy!

  • lookability

    lookability said 13 years ago

    Thanks for the article. My specific question is: what steps have to be taken before etsy can be "publicly traded"? Is there something else you're waiting on, or is it just based on the company's finances?

  • moxiedesigns

    moxiedesigns said 13 years ago

    thank you so much for this update -- i feel so relieved to have a better sense of the direction that etsy is heading.

  • beadheaddesigns

    beadheaddesigns said 13 years ago

    that was a great article, I love being a part of Etsy and looking forward to growing with it!

  • mudandmint

    mudandmint said 13 years ago

    i love being here... and i didn't really need the reminder as to why but appreciate it all the same. thanks for sharing your vision for the future of etsy rob... i'm looking forward to watching all of us grow and be the best we can be.

  • spacemonkey

    spacemonkey said 13 years ago

    Fantastic! Yay for investors! Yay for publicly traded!! Yay for Swimmy!

  • SalmonStreetStudio

    SalmonStreetStudio said 13 years ago

    Cool, $ to go with your passion and enthusiasm!

  • ClinkscalesArts

    ClinkscalesArts said 13 years ago

    I'm very interested in the 'publicly traded' part too. Thank you for such an insightful article!

  • syko

    syko said 13 years ago

    Sounds like sweet music to my ears! I will be proud to be part of etsy's future and development. Etsy payment, languages and currencies are my favoutite topics from the above.

  • ThePeacockFeather

    ThePeacockFeather said 13 years ago

    "Our goal is for Etsy to be an independent, publicly traded company" this is the part that scares me. Once a company is publicly traded, the users of the site come in 2nd place behind the stockholders. We watched this with ebay. we are still watching this with ebay. and it isn't like Pierre left because he is still there working at ebay. many people depended on ebay for an income and I see that are quite a few that depend on Etsy for one too. what is going to keep it from becoming another ebay? stockholders always need to make money off of their investments because if they don't, then they sell their stock. in order to keep making money then it is shouldered by the users of the site, which in turn means the users keep paying more and more. it becomes a huge vicious circle. how is Etsy going to be different from other businesses in this aspect?

  • katiedoodah

    katiedoodah said 13 years ago

    Wow for some reason, the Swimmy story reminded me of the old school show "Reading Rainbow". Rob get some funding to bring "Reading Rainbow" back, hehe. I loved that show as a kid. Also, I like how you tried to separate the investor from but having worked for from the beginning, prior to when Walmart officially purchased them, it was an amazing place to work. Sadly, I also am reminded of how much my options would have been worth had I stayed through the buy out. :*( Good luck with the new investing, I can't wait to see the shopping changes to come!

  • NestaUsa

    NestaUsa said 13 years ago

    Rob, After loosing my 'Day Job' of 7 years due to the economy slump this article (and Etsy in general) has empowered me with so much hope for the future... I thank you and Etsy for giving me a place to create and feel a part of a community that is so very special. That's all :) Tandie

  • FabricAnnex

    FabricAnnex said 13 years ago

    A very informative article, Rob. There are times that I am not sure of my place here at Etsy, but with what you have already done, and are planning, I have a sense that having been here for 2 years, I am only seeing the outer edges of what will be a Wonderful, and long lived accomplishment. More power to you and all the folks who make this place run!

  • katinkapinka

    katinkapinka said 13 years ago

    congrats! i look forward to seeing what happens in the coming years....hopefully we will all continue to grow. "SURSUM" onward and upward!

  • spugmeistress

    spugmeistress said 13 years ago

    this is a great article and really answers a lot of questions that have been bubbling up over the past month or so. congratulations on the new investment, and here's to all the new things you can do with it! although now you know you have less of an excuse not to do the changes you've said you want to make ;) i am just wondering exactly how accountable etsy is to your new investors, and to the things you have stated you plan to do with the new money, since by holding the purse strings in a more obvious way (as opposed to the sellers who contribute by paying for the services provided) they potentially have a louder voice, and one that i hope will continue to challenge etsy to become bigger and better and more internationally renowned.

  • plenox

    plenox said 13 years ago

    What a wonderfully informative article. It is so nice to get a peek behind the wall at what is coming down the pipeline. You all have created such a warm community I'm proud to be a part of.

  • AmandaKLockrowJewels

    AmandaKLockrowJewels said 13 years ago

    Thanks for such an informative article. It is great to know the overall mission and direction of Etsy. I am so happy to be a part of this community.

  • MangoTango

    MangoTango said 13 years ago

    Great article! Thank you, Rob!

  • StudioYTE

    StudioYTE said 13 years ago

    What a great vision - thank you Etsy! There's a reason why I signed up to be part of this incredible group - my gut, my intuition told me this is a good place for me, - now I know this is where I plan to stay for a long time...

  • SilverShadow

    SilverShadow said 13 years ago

    Excellent article and very positive concepts. There are always improvements that can be made to any work in progress (Gift Guides, etc.), but Etsy is making progress in a timely and considered manner. Pounce and the Pounce Undiscovered are such improvements (I would appreciate a time stamp on the Pounced and a "fewer than 10 sales" inclusion on the Undiscovered). Etsy is proving to be a worthwhile proving ground for many artisans; I'm glad to be part of it.

  • angelstuff

    angelstuff said 13 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this vision, Rob. I have a comment about he in-house payment system. Some of my most loyal buyers are people I know, and some of those people don't use Paypal or credit cards online. Therefore, they pay me by cash or cheque. I hope that when planning this kind of software, it will be possible for buyers to pay sellers directly if they are not paying via paypal - and that something other than online payment is an option.

  • reddhynes

    reddhynes said 13 years ago

    this is so inspiring and heart warming. thank you guys for building this community for artists of all kinds to get together and try and make a living. you guys are totally awesome!

  • PicturesofLily

    PicturesofLily said 13 years ago

    This article gives me new hope in the future of Etsy. Thanks for sharing. My question is about the order in which the plans for new/improved features are to take place. Are they listed in order of importance in the article? Will the in house payment system be something that is worked on before improving the search function?

  • butterflydesign

    butterflydesign said 13 years ago

    I always said the only way you could get me to stop selling on Etsy was to pry my cold dead fingers off my keyboard! I have to admit, when I saw some of the recent changes, I thought admin was gearing up to sell Etsy, this is WAY better! This information is great thank you.

  • adornstudios

    adornstudios said 13 years ago

    This was a great article! Thanks for the inspiration and motivation... a friend actually sent me the link to this article from Very cool. I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful community of artists and crafters. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

  • monsterbugblankets

    monsterbugblankets said 13 years ago

    Wow, Rob, thanks for sharing your vision for Etsy! It's encouraging and exciting to read this! Jennifer MonsterBug Blankets

  • knotsntangles

    knotsntangles said 13 years ago

    I can't say thank you enough Rob :) That was a great explanation of what's going on with this fantastic company. Good luck with the new investors and all the wonderful additions and changes you and your staff will be making. Love me some Etsy! ~Corin knotsntangles

  • withlovedesigns

    withlovedesigns said 13 years ago

    thanks for letting us know what's going on "behind the scenes". I think it helps us all feel like part of the company. I really hope it stays that way. Etsy isn't just the people who work for etsy, but the sellers on the site and we really, greatly appreciate the support of the etsy employees.

  • tworiverssoaps

    tworiverssoaps said 13 years ago

    Thanks for the article. The new changes are exciting and I'm really looking forward to the book club!

  • Sarahkat

    Sarahkat said 13 years ago

    The name "Walmart" keeps echoing in my brain. I had to go back and read this line a bunch more times -"there's no connection between Etsy and Walmart". I'm glad you're going to be writing more for the Storque. The one thing I miss from the old blog is more of your imput.

  • PersonalTreasures

    PersonalTreasures said 13 years ago

    Thanks - You have a huge vision. It boggles my mind to think about all that will be involved in expanded into other languages.

  • UnePetiteEtoile

    UnePetiteEtoile said 13 years ago

    Mazel tov! Excellent update, as well.

  • tlsexton0913

    tlsexton0913 said 13 years ago

    I have to say that I am excited about the possibilities for Etsy for future expansion as well as what that will mean for us. I also have to say that I am truly and deeply saddened that Etsy has in fashion associated itself with "Walmart". For those of us who have stopped shopping at Wal-mart this is a total shock that you would even consider associating with or comparing Etsy to that conglomerate. How sad. I guess we will wait and see how Etsy turns out before deciding if we choose to be a part of "Etsy-Walmart".

  • Morrigan

    Morrigan said 13 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your vision and please keep true to it. Etsy's uniqueness is why many of us are here.

  • castocreations

    castocreations said 13 years ago

    FABULOUS article. Truly. It's incredible to know what goes on behind the scenes. However I don't see anything here about advertising. Will Etsy begin working to advertise in more 'buyer' based environments? What about blog banners on major shopping or style blogs? I'm excited to see how Etsy grows. I feel like it's kind of "mine" too since I've been here since Nov. 05. =D It sure has changed since then. And I expect it will keep changing - hopefully for the better. :)

  • jelvehdesigns

    jelvehdesigns said 13 years ago

    lovin you and etsy, thanks for this place...

  • bellsakabin

    bellsakabin said 13 years ago

    30th January ...It's my Birthday ...and to read this wonderful Storque article ...cream on the cake! I have been impressed with Etsy from the moment I learned about it ...the community ...the forward thinking ...and yes the unorthodox too ;-) Recent discussion threads had given me some concern because I saw the changes in eBay ...and I had loved eBay too ...but could not follow my heart there and create my own business following my own ideas, ideals and inspiration ...Etsy gave me this! My faith has been rejuvenated heart swells with pride (corny but true) be able to promote the vision of a worldwide community full of hope and opportunity! Etsy - for the Visionary in all of us! Regards, Belinda :-)

  • MaisyBrownReproRetro

    MaisyBrownReproRetro said 13 years ago

    I love the notion that etsy as an entity is going through its own handmade process of becoming. How bloody exciting! Actually, that notion has completely ramped up how I feel about etsy - if I loved and was inspired by it already, well, quadruply so now! Thanks for a great article!

  • Annasjewelry

    Annasjewelry said 13 years ago

    I think this is wonderful news and I would like to congratulate you all... There is one thing, though, that scares me about this... you mentionned something about being traded publicly. I work in the corporate world during the day. The company I work for had a hostile takeover bid, then was bought out by friendlier fire and now there is a hostile bid for this company... be careful and don't leave yourself open to this kind of thing... I'm guessing you know the dangers already but being in the middle of hostile takeovers has made me worried for your lovely company...

  • riskybeads

    riskybeads said 13 years ago

    Rob, This is intriguing news. I'm very proud to be part of Etsy! I'm concerned as well about the impact of being publicly traded, about changing the payment system, and being tied to the purse strings of investors. This is such a bright, bold golden opportunity for Etsy to really break away from the pack and stay balanced for all involved.... Let's be enthusiastic and orange and unstoppable and show them how it's done...right! Lori

  • wonderfulstore

    wonderfulstore said 13 years ago

    Its both humbling and exciting to be part of this organization. Thanks for sharing your plans. I'm so grateful for your clearly stated values.

  • glasfaden

    glasfaden said 13 years ago

    Great vision - that gives me wings (or should I say fin? ;-))!! I'm proud and thankful to be part of Etsy. Thank you, Rob, admins and everyone on the background!! Looking forward to your next news.

  • Caprichos

    Caprichos said 13 years ago

    First of all, I want to say congratulations... I trust Etsy to become larger than life and catapult this handmade movement into the mainstream. Second, I want to offer my help if you guys need to translate the website into spanish, which I speak perfectly. Finally I have a question for rob... Are you guys going to do some advertising in new media, like Twitter, Podcasts, and outside blogs? I would love to hear a regular etsy podcast, and I have a few friends who produce them and get a lot of listeners... maybe that could help us spread the word? Thank you for this wonderful article... &hearts Daniela

  • allisonstrine

    allisonstrine said 13 years ago

    Wow! That is all I can say - wow!

  • mLee

    mLee said 13 years ago

    That is funny since I am rather obsessed with Leo Leonni! Nice pick on Swimmy. Thanks for the info. Good to stay informed.

  • vol25

    vol25 said 13 years ago

    I am also super thrilled to hear all the good news. I love etsy to death, and while change can be good... I trust Rob, that you will keep etsy on the same path you started her on. :) Proud to be a part of etsy, and congratulations on all your hard work! -jess

  • twolefthands

    twolefthands said 13 years ago

    I am in love with Etsy, the way it is, the way it will be...all very exciting to be part of the homemade movement that you have created for us. Everyday on Etsy is new and full of surprises and I am very grateful that you have made it possible for all of us to participate! I can't thank you enough! Congratulations on your continued success!

  • KisforCalligraphy

    KisforCalligraphy said 13 years ago

    Great article...and very exciting news! Intangibly and tangibly...this Etsian supports the change no matter how strange change can be! Thank you! Indelibly, katy

  • MaryKathleenFlynn

    MaryKathleenFlynn said 13 years ago

    Hi Rob, Congratulations on today's announcement. In your post, you do a great job of explaining thoroughly and persuasively why Etsy needs $27 million to grow and to nurture and support the many businesses that rely on Etsy. But you don't say much about what the process has been like for you to bring in outside investors after years of keeping them at bay. After all, as you told us at Tech Confidential and The Deal in my video interview with you: just a few years ago, you were turning down venture capitalists -- and even reporting one venture firm to the FTC for violating its "Do not call" rules. So, how did you come to become comfortable with bringing the establishment into the Etsy fold in such a big way? As Fred Wilson described you to me, you are "a maverick out to change the world." Of course, you took some baby steps with Fred. You let him invest and get 1% of Etsy. Did Fred somehow give you faith in venture capitalists? If so, how? In your post, you explained that Jim Breyer is great at spotting "businesses that tap into underlying and disruptive change for the common good." But, beyond spotting talent and supporting you financially, in what ways are you hoping Jim will support Etsy? What can you learn from Jim Breyer? And in the long run, is it important to you, personally, to retain control of Etsy? And, if so, did you build safeguards into your deal to make sure that you do hold the reins? How long do you expect to be the head of Etsy? All the best, Mary Kathleen Flynn Senior Editor, The Deal & Tech Confidential

  • chickrocks

    chickrocks said 13 years ago

    Cheers to Etsy!

  • ttgart

    ttgart said 13 years ago

    Mary Kathleen Flynn- Excellent questions, thanks for asking them and I am looking forward to the reply.

  • interrobang

    interrobang said 13 years ago

    Mary, I truly hope your comment does not get deleted the way so many do.

  • Rivkasmom

    Rivkasmom said 13 years ago

    Will there be staff dedicated to keeping the resellers out of Etsy, or will they still be allowed to "fly under the radar" here? I'd like to see some fine tuning of this "vision" too keep Etsy HANDMADE. I'd also like to know when Supplies and Vintage will get a dedicated site of their own. Thanks!

  • RightAsRainCreations

    RightAsRainCreations said 13 years ago

    Personally, through lots of searching and trial & error, I have found Etsy to truly be the best place online for me to not only market my handmade creations, but also to shop for handmade creations and join a community of fellow creators. I really hope that the changes implemented by this huge outside investment only serve to strengthen and forward Etsy's dedication to "all things handmade." I also hope Etsy administrators can find a balance between having Etsy be an amazing place to shop AND an amazing place to sell. Listening to the basic needs of customers and sellers alike will hopefully help prioritize the thousands of improvements that have been suggested. :) Here's to Etsy's future - may it live long and prosper! (and I can't believe I just said that! LOL)

  • PinkfireDesigns

    PinkfireDesigns said 13 years ago

    Yay Etsy!

  • signaturesterling

    signaturesterling said 13 years ago

    Thrilled to get detailed information on the future of Etsy! Looking forward to growing with you. (and the Etsy Book Club sound awesome - can't wait!). Peace, Sue

  • licalee

    licalee said 13 years ago

    Interrobang (a bit of deja vu from yesterday) - My thoughts exactly.

  • imakecutestuff

    imakecutestuff said 13 years ago

    Thank you for your inspiring article! I'll be sure to share this with EtsyRain (your Seattle street team)...I know it will help encourage the team to keep going with our efforts to promote Etsy and EtsyRain! We Heart Etsy!!!

  • tabidesigns

    tabidesigns said 13 years ago

    good to see such vision, and common issues addressed :) will this mean more advertising for etsy too

  • guileless

    guileless said 13 years ago

    thank you for sharing this update. it's good to knwo what is going on with etsy, esp as so many of us have trusted so much effort on this site!

  • localcolorist

    localcolorist said 13 years ago

    I look forward to seeing an Etsy print advertising campaign in The New Yorker Magazine, read internationally by people who have discretionary money and love to buy handicrafts and The Smithsonian Magazine, also read internationally by people who have money and love to buy handicrafts. Print magazines are not dead in the water. People who have money love how sexy and pretty magazines are. Both magazines offer very affordable ad space relative to other top level magazines, such as Martha Stewart, etc. Congratulations for attracting working capital to shore up the software/hardware mechanics. A healthy splash of print advertising will cause a big surge in everyone making a lot more money, relative to sellers efforts in tandem with Etsy. Change is constant. Great news !

  • HomeMadeOriginals

    HomeMadeOriginals said 13 years ago

    Thanks so much for articulating your vision for Etsy and our future. It is so helpful to understand the rationale behind the decisions as well. Swimmy is a great story and so is Etsy!

  • simplysmithstudio

    simplysmithstudio said 13 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your vision.

  • BeaG

    BeaG said 13 years ago

    Clear and excellent vision! Thank you! I'm proud to be a part of Etsy. BeaG

  • hawaiibeads

    hawaiibeads said 13 years ago

    Aloha! Thank you for this article. I have been going through a 'business frame of mind' myself. How to grow, how to do better, how to sell more, where to sell more. My gut feeling is, stick with Etsy. After a great holiday season here, I too am investing in Etsy, and myself, by listing more, and relisting more. What I do like about Etsy, is that I have been improving my skills in order to sell more here. Lab classes here, and general information available in Storque are improving my store here everyday. So, thank you again, it makes me feel that I am investing wisely, by investing myself and my shop with Etsy.

  • awdesignsuk

    awdesignsuk said 13 years ago

    Etsy is still very young & I am so happy to be part of it. I only hope that being an International seller, ie outside the US, that I start to feel less out on a limb & ignored like I do now. Don't get me wrong Etsy is very warm & welcoming but everything is geared up for the US sellers more. Your article suggests this may start to change & I will be interested to see. An interesting read & thank you for keeping us up to date.

  • MsAnomaly

    MsAnomaly said 13 years ago

    you have the passion, dedication, integrity, and vision shared by all artisans. Etsy is your art! :)

  • HollyhockCreations

    HollyhockCreations said 13 years ago

    "I'd like to see some fine tuning of this "vision" too keep Etsy HANDMADE." Let us face it; Etsy's top sellers are suppliers and vintage was included to raise revenue. Simple business understanding shows that putting all your eggs is not a wise idea.

  • SpankMe

    SpankMe said 13 years ago

    it's ironic that money made from walmart investment is now probably funding etsy, intresting, very interesting, makes you think huh? the big bad fish inadvertently funding the little fish...

  • artopiary

    artopiary said 13 years ago

    The more I paint, the better I get. It is almost like it is in morph stage and one day I will know that it will not get any better than that, or will it? Even wine gets better with age! This site had been the greatest thing that has happened to me! I love meeting people around the world and then there is EtsyBABY! I hope to one day meet all of those behind the scenes, just so I can tell you myself what a great job you are doing!

  • pookeh

    pookeh said 13 years ago

    i will admit that just seeing the word "wal-mart" up there made me feel squeemish. this is all very exciting yet i have to admit, kinda scary. big time investors, board of directors, the company being open to public trading one day. i would be lying if i didn't say i am slightly worried that one day your original vision for the site will some day be lost in the sea of millions that is floating around back and forth. however, with that all said. i have faith in you. i trust your instinct and your heart. i know you will all steer us in the right direction. so all in all, i'm happy about this big news you had to tell us today. as for a question: you said, "We believe that the current economy, favoring megacorporations and supersizes, is unstable." i too am quite concerned about the economic situation in this country and the direction we are headed in. now that the bush reign is almost over and with the presidential election coming up, are there any candidates out there that you personally feel would able to help fix our economy (or at least help stop the bleeding)?

  • wunderbug

    wunderbug said 13 years ago

    I'm thrilled to be a part of Etsy, and have just had a look at the book you recommended, Deep Economy - I'm going to have to buy it. Another similar book that is more socially-focused and less economically-focused is In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore. I'd highly recommend it; it doesn't address the economic issues raised in Deep Economy but moreso the cultural frame of mind that I feel that Etsy's philosophy entails. Can't wait for the book club to start!

  • hanabi

    hanabi said 13 years ago

    Yeah, Swimmy.... Who says you guys get to be the eye?

  • thymbyldesigns

    thymbyldesigns said 13 years ago

    "But you don't say much about what the process has been like for you to bring in outside investors after years of keeping them at bay." If at all, they were kept at bay for about a year, no? A and B financing came in 2006 (June and November), C in 2007 (July) and D last week.

  • KCamilleri

    KCamilleri said 13 years ago

    Wow. That was inspiring and interesting. I hope you will be able to acheive your aims and keep your ideals. I'm happy to be a small part of a big picture. Thanks

  • KCamilleri

    KCamilleri said 13 years ago

    Actually, would I be able to buy shares in the company from Australia?

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa said 13 years ago

    interrobang, We don't delete Storque comments unless they are likely to offend authors or are calling-out other members or are out of line and inappropriate. The Storque operates like any other blog or editorial publication in that way. Mary's comment was totally called for (Rob asked people for questions that he could address in a follow-up). These are questions that the other admin want him to respond too as well ;) Since the launch of the Storque in September, we've only deleted a handful of comments and we've now made it clear to all Storque admin to convo the commenter to explain why. So I think you're comment here is actually misinformed.

  • rayela

    rayela said 13 years ago

    Rob, how about moving towards being member owned instead of a publicly traded company? I think that would really be interesting.

  • Luminosities

    Luminosities said 13 years ago

    Thanks, Rob, for a well-written, informative and inspirational article. It was uplifting for many of us and renewed our commitment to and joy in being a part of Etsy. It will be very exciting to see how Etsy continues to grow in the future! I'd love to see Mary Kathleen Flynn's questions addressed in a follow up article. Etsy - today the Internet, tomorrow the world! hehe

  • apartmentcat

    apartmentcat said 13 years ago

    I'm so excited! I'm extremely happy that I made the move to open my shop on Etsy, even though it's more of a confidence-building than money-making exercise. I can't wait to see what the future holds. Scam the man! KT

  • justynhegreberg

    justynhegreberg said 13 years ago

    i would like to say that i am a little disturbed by the idea of jim breyer and etsy. i have recently read about his work with facebook, walmart and NVCA. some of which can be found in an article from the guardian: this dusturbs me.

  • justynhegreberg

    justynhegreberg said 13 years ago

    the storque article also states that jim's role in walmart was as a part of accel investing in however, when i looked him up i found the involvement with but he is on the board of directors of walmart stores inc. as the chairman of the strategic planning and finance committee. is he still involved in this way?

  • binkiebaskets

    binkiebaskets said 13 years ago

    Glad to be a new member of Etsy and hear how great it is now and how much better it's going to be in the near future! Thanks!

  • simonewalsh

    simonewalsh said 13 years ago

    "We don't delete Storque comments unless they are likely to offend authors or are calling-out other members or are out of line and inappropriate. The Storque operates like any other blog or editorial publication in that way ... Since the launch of the Storque in September, we've only deleted a handful of comments and we've now made it clear to all Storque admin to convo the commenter to explain why ..." I know this isn't the main issue of this topic, but I have to reply to say that in my own experience and that of a number of people I've spoken to, that's not true - at least up until the recent past. I've had at least one comment deleted which may have been critical, but was constructively and politely so, provided suggestions/information, related specifically to the article (including addressing misinformation in the article which is still there), did not call anyone out and surely could not have been construed as offensive to the author by any reasonable standards, even if it wasn't the cheering that the author would perhaps have preferred. Nobody convo'd me to tell me why my comment was removed either.

  • quirke

    quirke said 13 years ago

    Justynhegreberg, If you look at Jim's profile on Accel, it does indeed say he is on Walmart's Board of Directors as Lead/Presiding Independent Director, and Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Finance Committee. So the individual who oversees Walmart's long-range planning and financial matters has invested a considerable chunk of cash in Etsy. In return for, as one might reasonably imagine, a considerable amount of control and influence? So my question to Rob is, what role will Accel/Jim Breyer play in Etsy's decision-making and strategizing, and does this large investment make you more accountable to the investors than to your customers? How much control of Etsy has been relinquished in return for funding? Looking forward to the Town Hall.

  • interrobang

    interrobang said 13 years ago

    Vanessa, I don't think I said anything that wasn't true. I said I hope her comment doesn't get deleted (true!) and that many comments do (also true). There have been a number of constructive and intelligent comments deleted in the past. Questions about privacy have been deleted, along with remarks about functionality and censorship. I can post screenshots if you like? Just to be clear, I am most certainly not misinformed.

  • magicjelly

    magicjelly said 13 years ago

    I look forward to seeing site improvements, in particular, a category overhaul, advanced search, marketing, the drafting of policy & customer service. I hope this happens soon, now you have the resources. I'd really like to see media appearances directed towards drawing in buyers, not just recruiting sellers too. And an infrastructure that truly supports original & one of a kind items, as the people making them find it difficult to be seen in a sea of high-volume sellers of commercial items & reproductions. After all, it's supposed to be a site to buy all things handmade. I'm very optimistic about Etsy's future - can't wait to see what happens next!

  • andymathis

    andymathis said 13 years ago

    Interesting about Walmart. Sherry posted questions for the town hall meeting in the forums. It's too long to retype.

  • sherrytruitt

    sherrytruitt said 13 years ago

    I posted the following questions in the fora, and was told to ask here instead: I conduct my business with ethics and civility and it is in that vein I ask the following: 1. Since you have public stated your aversion to Walmart and what it stands for, is that not in diametric opposition to etsy taking large capital infusion from a member who sits on the board ? 2. What will become of etsy once the lenders or partners purport changes? Accel Partners is known for taking small firms, shoring them up and selling them to giant corporations. For example adCEN aquired by Microsoft, and Collabra, by Netscape. There are many others. 3. Since over 25% of ety's revenue is currently garnered from commercial supplies and vintage, will the new investors, shareholders, etc expect that to continue? After all, Walmart is first and foremost about low, low prices. So, what kind of infrustructure can be put into place to ensure the handmade revolution can continue? 4. Will capital infusion quickly change those site functons that to not operate with consistency? Can we correspond with customer service via live chat? 5. How do you envision etsy in the corporate marketplace? Will we stand apart or succumb? Thanks in advance.

  • sherrytruitt

    sherrytruitt said 13 years ago

    Thanks, Andy. I wasn't bright enough to think of that.

  • SpankMe

    SpankMe said 13 years ago

    "The price of greatness is responsibility." Sir Winston Churchill

  • SpankMe

    SpankMe said 13 years ago

    "The price of greatness is responsibility."- Sir Winston Churchill

  • dingo

    dingo said 13 years ago

    Since Etsy is a company that holds the license to a great deal of copyrighted material uploaded by its customers, I certainly hope that it has shown the proper respect for copyright and the law and obtained subsidiary rights from the copyright holder of "Swimmy" to reproduce its artwork in video and publicly perform it. I saw or heard no notice of any license in the video itself, or the article.

  • melbamc

    melbamc said 13 years ago

    This should be required reading for anyone who joins Etsy. How inspiring! I feel so...valued and important. We are part of something amazing. We are becoming the change we want to see in the world... Thank you!

  • electrikolor

    electrikolor said 13 years ago

    I do hope the infusion of money comes with strong guidance, as I believe that is the part that is sorely lacking. For every "idea" or "visionary" person, there needs to be someone on the other side posing the "realistic" expectations to balance the equation. I hope that Etsy takes the time to address the concerns of your "seller" customers, and does the things that might help entice those who've become disenchanted back to a better place. I'll be watching, but expect that the new bucket of VC will be spent all too quickly on things that won't benefit your sellers.

  • citizenfox

    citizenfox said 13 years ago

    I used to read Swimmy to my students when I was a teacher. So cool to see it used here. Thanks for the article. I'm excited to be a part of Etsy and to watch it grow.

  • Cuppeecake

    Cuppeecake said 13 years ago

    I think this has already been mentioned in other ways; but human rights, fair business practice and green thought in business is a huge part of why I craft and plan on growing my small business one day. Etsy, as it is, speaks to all of those needs and for this reason I have started my journey as a small business here. However, I am unclear about how a company can share board members and NOT be connected? Insight on this would be appreciated.

  • Cuppeecake

    Cuppeecake said 13 years ago

    I think this has already been mentioned in other ways; but human rights, fair business practice and green thought in business is a huge part of why I craft and plan on growing my small business one day. Etsy, as it is, speaks to all of those needs and for this reason I have started my journey as a small business here. However, I am unclear about how a company can share board members and NOT be connected? Insight on this would be appreciated.

  • smashgirl

    smashgirl said 13 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your vision. It's exciting to be a part of Etsy! Swimmy is one of my favorite childhood stories, and listening to you read it made me want to go get my blankie:)

  • sewbettie

    sewbettie said 13 years ago

    Congrats! I can't wait to be able to buy stock in Etsy -- with money I have made on Etsy. How cool would that be?

  • sewbettie

    sewbettie said 13 years ago

    p.s. there are ebay sellers who have made millions - here's to hoping for etsy millionaries in the next 2.5 years!

  • EarthBabyDesigns

    EarthBabyDesigns said 13 years ago

    Perfect. (And the resident preschooler requests this video frequently).

  • mandinka

    mandinka said 13 years ago

    Wow. I'm incredibly inspired and excited about OUR Etsy future together. Just Wow.

  • tortillagirl

    tortillagirl said 13 years ago

    Wow, wow, wow. Years from now I'll be able to tell my grandchildren, "I remember when..." Thanks to Etsy and its future investors for allowing independent designers like myself who believe in TRUE handmade reach other markets by having a secure place to sell online. I'm truly thankful and very happy to be a part of it. Congrats to everyone at Etsy!

  • SkyBox

    SkyBox said 13 years ago

    I love Etsy.

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 13 years ago

    I had wondered how etsy started! - and what great vision and responsibility. I am thankful to be a part of all this -with all these little etsian fish swimming around - I shall be making a small swimmer to join the shoal. (I mainly sell rabbit oriented goods in my shop - so I will have to include an air tank and goggles for the tiddler).

  • pollyputsthekettleon

    pollyputsthekettleon said 13 years ago

    I realise this piece of news is not so new any more but wow. Just wow. I wish more etsyians took the time to read even just this little piece. It might make all their whines and complaints fade away.

  • choconaut

    choconaut said 13 years ago

    Aw <3 I love Swimmy!

  • LushPunk

    LushPunk said 12 years ago

    I've always thought that Etsy (well, hoped!) that Etsy would become as well-known as ebay. *straps herself in for the ride* ;D

  • deezigns66

    deezigns66 said 12 years ago

    I know I've come to the party late, however I was just watching "cashin In" on Saturday morning fox news - ( I know my husband will be impressed for sure) anyway..they give you tips on stock well long story short..they still say good time to buy EBAY stocks are cheap right now and a good way to build up your portfolio, by no means do I buy or sell stock. so that got me thinking..wonder if Etsy is public. sure enough found this article very inspiring. I've been with etsy about a year or so now with high hopes of people hearing more about it to become a household word like ebay. sure enough more and more I see and read about Etsy in magazines and morning talk gets me so excited that I'm a part of it. Thank you for the article and keeping us informed and most of all for creating ETSY!

  • GenerationsTieDye

    GenerationsTieDye said 12 years ago

    It's been a long time since I read this article, and I'd forgotten a lot of the proposals. Is there any chance we can have an updated version of this? I for one would love to know where we are in the process on many of the things in the list so we can anticipate where Etsy is taking us and where we can take Etsy.

  • jackie0717

    jackie0717 said 11 years ago

    I've been keeping an eye on etsy from a distance when I first came across this site referenced in Dwell. Last week my professor mentioned etsy, and she's not the hippest. Etsy is sincerely becoming a household name. I just joined today.

  • vakadi

    vakadi said 11 years ago

    Great iDEa SupeR

  • Fishstikks

    Fishstikks said 11 years ago

    An excellent and very informative article and I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and goals with us! Thanks also for the great storybook read. Swimmy was great!

  • WingsDove

    WingsDove said 11 years ago

    Fast forward 2 years from the article date. My concern about investors is the possible shift into pleasing investors over all other concerns. This shift has happened to so many other companies as they have grown and the impact on the "smaller" person is never good. I hope Etsy does better in this regard.

  • underoakstudios

    underoakstudios said 11 years ago

    Sooooo??? Lets update this sucker.

  • handmaderomance

    handmaderomance said 11 years ago

    yeah id love to see this updated too, especially now etsy has past the 5 year mark. what are the investors up to? are there more investors or the same? what does the future hold for etsy? have the reasons for having investors been met or changed in the past couple of years?

  • McIsaacArt

    McIsaacArt said 10 years ago

    Love the old comments and recognise many names, though today 2011 looks a little sad at the moment.

  • Weeds

    Weeds said 10 years ago

    I'd be interested in knowing the future of Etsy as well.

  • urbanprairiegirl

    urbanprairiegirl said 9 years ago

    so now what do we think?

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