Etsy News Blog

5 Etsy Sellers Partnering With Manufacturers

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Last week, we announced updated Guidelines that allow sellers to apply for approval to sell items made in collaboration with manufacturers. On Etsy, a manufacturer is simply any outside business a seller uses to produce their items. A factory with 20 employees can be a manufacturer, but so can a two-person sewing workshop.

Many Etsy sellers already use partnerships like these to create their goods. Our former policies on partial manufacturing assistance allowed these collaborations, but didn’t give sellers good ways to share that information publicly. With our new Guidelines, we are asking sellers to share this information with us and the Etsy community. So far, 250 Etsy sellers have applied for review. On average, their shops have been open two-and-a-half years. Here are five that exemplify particularly great partnerships.

Bailey Doesn’t Bark

Re Jin Lee has been selling her covetable ceramics and home goods on Etsy since 2008. Re Jin makes her ceramics on her own, but uses partnerships for the other items in her shop. Her tea towels are made by a group of artisans in India she connected with through Aid to Artisans, an organization dedicated to helping artisans around the world make a living, and her prints (originally done one-by-one on a Gocco printer) are created with a local printing house in New York City.

For more on Bailey Doesn’t Bark, visit their About page.

designerDad

Ozan Berke started designerDad in 2001, the year his daughter was born, and opened his Etsy shop in spring 2013. His love of typography and cartography is showcased in a collection of bold and colorful map posters, made with assistance from French Paper Company in Niles, Michigan and Monolith Press in Alameda, California, a print shop that uses eco-friendly inks.

Discover more of Ozan’s story on his shop’s About page.

Corkor

A passion for sustainability and a unique local material inspired Natalia’s innovative bags, wallets and cases made from cork. Cork is an earth-friendly material that’s abundant in Portugal, Natalia’s home base. By partnering with a group of local artisans in a small, family-owned company to make the larger bags in her line, Natalia is able to keep her quality high while creating local jobs — a win-win for all concerned. She opened her Etsy shop in 2012.

Learn more on Corkor’s About page.

TM1985

Tielor McBride was the very first Etsy seller approved to list items made with a manufacturer. He’s been selling his signature line of bags and accessories, TM1985, on Etsy since 2010. His designs come to life with help from a family-owned New Jersey company that specializes in leather and canvas goods.

Tielor shares more of his story on his About page.

Little Hero Capes

little-hero-capes-etsy

Little Hero Capes

Allison and her family.

Allison Faunce wants every little kid to discover their courageous inner superhero — that’s why she started selling capes on Etsy in 2007. She works with nearby Fall River Apparel in Fall River, Massachusetts, to turn fabric into a magical, empowering item perfect for creative play.

Read more about Allison’s shop on her About page.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more stories about sellers partnering with manufacturers in creative and innovative ways. Stay tuned!

Curious about manufacturing on Etsy? Learn more.

1 Featured Comment

  • evencleveland Admin

    Stephanie Madewell from evencleveland says: Featured

    Hello everyone, I want to take this opportunity to make perfectly clear that all of these sellers' businesses were in line with Etsy's old policies, and by applying for review and being approved, they are in line with the new policies. We understand that many of you have strong opinions about Etsy's new Guidelines, but calling out other sellers or making judgements about their businesses isn't okay. I am going to close the comments on this post. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the new Guidelines with Etsy, contact us at guidelines@etsy.com

    2 years ago

70 comments

  • sunflowerexpress

    Lisa from ShesSoCraftyGoods1 says:

    Still not handmade though.

    2 years ago

  • houseoftravis

    Travis from strangepainting says:

    This is small business, not handmade.

    2 years ago

  • organikx

    Bridget from organikx says:

    So now I see items that have full disclosure in the listings, but previously sold ones did not. So to further that thought, it's clear that previously the shops were not etsy legal? And etsy and the shop owners are admitting this? I'm so confused as to why this would be a good thing.

    2 years ago

  • LibellulaJewelry

    Susan from LibellulaJewelry says:

    I totally agree, Lisa.

    2 years ago

  • julietgo Admin

    Juliet Gorman says:

    Bridget, our previous policies (https://www.etsy.com/help/article/4690) allowed for partial production assistance from outside businesses. We knew this was a really confusing concept (how do you exactly define "partial"?) and so lots of sellers were not on the same page about what kind of assistance was allowed. That's one major reason we decided to launch the new guidelines.

    2 years ago

  • DiscoveryDenim

    DiscoveryDenim from LittleHeroCapes says:

    Hi Bridget! I am Allison of Little Hero Capes. I still make all my etsy sales by hand from start to finish. However, I work with retailers and that is how/why I started working with a local small business, Fall River Apparel. They are a small company of 5 seamstresses, and are just as dedicated to making super quality handmade products. It is a great opportunity knowing that I have them to work with, as I continue to grow Little Hero Capes here on Etsy and outside of this platform.

    2 years ago

  • staceysobelman

    Stacey Sobelman from SMARTdesignsbyStacey says:

    Still not handmade. Just call it small business. That's what it is.

    2 years ago

  • Loveybyisha

    Isha Webb from Loveybyisha says:

    Bravo! Its cool to see small handmade businesses growing and thriving and adapting to meet their growth as they succeed. Sustainable, Ethical, Made in the Usa products from cottage industry or small family owned manufacturers is ADMIRABLE and the future of America and key to repairing the economy.

    2 years ago

  • chantellerodriquez

    chantelle rodriquez says:

    Hmm. Still not handmade . Also I sense we are to be swayed by the implied " do good excuse" . I agree with Stacey . I support small business just be real, be honest. Not buying it .

    2 years ago

  • pomegranatefarm

    kathijane from findmeonzibbet says:

    Congratulations to these sellers for their success. Beautiful and creative products, and I am especially inspired by Allison of Little Hero Capes:) I hope Etsy will continue to feature sellers who use manufacturing assistance and take us a little further into some of the manufacturing processes. I'm sure many of us would like to look through the doors of some of the factories. Perhaps hear from some of those whose hands are used to create designer products.

    2 years ago

  • sunflowerexpress

    Lisa from ShesSoCraftyGoods1 says:

    I had the same thoughts as well.

    2 years ago

  • serena29

    Serena from SerenaSmithLampwork says:

    one of the beautiful things about the handmade ethos is that a buyer knows whose hands made the object they are buying. are these sellers including profiles of the actual person who made the product?

    2 years ago

  • Lilpunky

    Ann from PrettyVagrant says:

    How are the buyers going to know about the use of manufactures without looking at the about page? And agreed not handmade if they no longer use their hands in the creation of the final product that the customer receives.

    2 years ago

  • Lilpunky

    Ann from PrettyVagrant says:

    Those photos do seem misleading Serena. I wonder if they are from the past when the used to make their items themselves. Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the shops. My issue is the way Etsy is handling this for the shoppers. Not transparent to put this important information in a About Page that no one looks at....and a shopper should not have to play detective and click on more pages to find this information out.

    2 years ago

  • petersfry

    Shelly from Blueville says:

    We knew this was a really confusing concept (how do you exactly define "partial"?) and so lots of sellers were not on the same page about what kind of assistance was allowed. That's one major reason we decided to launch the new guidelines. =========== So instead of clarifying what "partial" exactly meant and keeping the handmade montra, just go ahead and open it all the way for factory made.

    2 years ago

  • eventsysara Admin

    Sara Cohen from eventsysara says:

    Hi Ann - For sellers that are approved to sell items made with outside manufacturers, that information will show up on both the About page and the listing page for those items. You can see an example of what it looks like on the listing page here: http://www.etsy.com/help/article/4717. Sellers may have some items they made in their shop and some made with help from partners. We definitely agree that we need to give shoppers more information about how items are made, not less, and we'll be working on bringing more transparency into the marketplace in the next year.

    2 years ago

  • cicrafts

    Ilene from CrochetByIlene says:

    What a shame. It used to be that when a handmade shop became so large as to need manufacturing help, they outgrew Etsy. It was stated more than one time by Etsy administration. They stated that it was inevitable that a successful business could reach a point where they were no longer considered handmade and no longer a fit for Etsy. Now, Etsy is turning the tables on us that stayed true to the true meaning of "handmade". I had to change my shop when my daughter moved out from under my roof as dictated to me by Etsy. We were a mother and daughter shop "cicrafts". Etsy told me that she could no longer be part of my shop because we were not creating in the same location. This was before "collectives" were allowed. Most of us were concerned about the slipperly slope that collectives were heading Etsy toward. Well, we are now down at the bottom of that slippery slope.

    2 years ago

  • TheBrokenDipper

    Heidi from TheBrokenDipper says:

    Such creative artists! With all of the technology and customers to serve worldwide, there would be no way some of these creators could keep up all by themselves.

    2 years ago

  • Lilpunky

    Ann from PrettyVagrant says:

    Sara, but as of now it is way at the bottom of each listing where the About Page info is....and it is a pale gray color. I put my suggestion in the forum thread of wording that needs to be in the "Overview" area of the listing. Send me a convo if you can't find it.

    2 years ago

  • Lilpunky

    Ann from PrettyVagrant says:

    Forgot to add.... Most mobile versions and apps do not show the about pages

    2 years ago

  • soap

    soap from soap says:

    I was a big fan of one of these shops. I'm with Stacey and Chantelle. It's a dilemma - should I buy manufactured sold locally where I at least will be contributing to the local economy or buy manufactured items, albeit designed by and "indie"? Thankfully, I can take the middle road in some cases as a lot of goods on Etsy is available in B&M stores here. I wish the stores the best of luck.

    2 years ago

  • soap

    soap from soap says:

    The saddest part of the new policy redefining "handmade" is I'm sure it casts a cloud of suspicion on items that are handmade personally by seller ie not outsourced for production just because Etsy allows manufactured products.

    2 years ago

  • traciking

    Harriet from SecondImpulse says:

    Oh this does make me sad. The loss of handmade on this site is catastrophic in my estimation. With everything lumped together how can the buyer possibly trust what is being sold as handmade? I don't care that it is in the "about" page or anywhere else, it is misleading. Do not forget there will be seller who will not own up to the fact that their products are manufactured and will not have any designation anywhere and will pass themselves off as truly handmade, because manufactured item do not fit and are not in any way truly handmade. The law says so and the definition says so.

    2 years ago

  • archaicdesign

    Susan from archaicdesign says:

    Having your product manufactured is not handmade and never will be in the real world. Sorry etsy, but you have no right to try and redefine the term, "handmade." It's not yours, it belongs to all the artists who actually create with their hands.

    2 years ago

  • buffalonerdproject

    Lisa from buffalonerdproject says:

    Too soon. Way too soon.

    2 years ago

  • rusticspirit

    Kenna Rustic from RusticSpiritLinens says:

    Either an item is "HANDmade" or it isn't. Much of what is being sold is manufactured which for sure is not the same as handmade by the creator. Rather you are using 5 sewers or a machine is no different..You are not making the items you sell The large established businesses are going to slowly edge out the smaller shops. It is beginning. It breaks my heart...we work so hard and may end up with a room full of product after all is said and done because we were not able to compete with the large organized manufacturing shops. Sour grapes here....for sure. We all work so hard and such long hours to make our products....many, like myself, count on etsy sales to buy groceries....looking to be a lean winter. Don't blame or find fault with the big shops....etsy opened the door for them and they just ran through it.

    2 years ago

  • UnexpectedTreasure

    UnexpectedTreasure from UnexpectedTreasure says:

    Kenna Rustic, this is quite possibly the best thing I've heard said since Etsy's huge announcement of the guideline changes: "Don't blame or find fault with the big shops....etsy opened the door for them and they just ran through it." It places the blame squarely where it belongs....on Etsy's shoulder. Our little shops mean nothing to them anymore. They no longer need us because we don't make them enough money and they need to pay back their investors. Etsy sold us down the river and it saddens me.

    2 years ago

  • thepaperbazaar

    Dee from ThePaperBazaar says:

    I just opened my shop one month ago, looks like I joined at the "wrong" time. Im just beginning to understand what everyone is up in arms about. I did research some other shops selling similar products as me, and thought, there is NO WAY I could sell my stuff for that price and make money, they are pretty much giving it away. Now I understand that this must be mass produced and re-sold. I even lowered all my prices to compete and then after thinking about it I got upset and raised my prices right back up. I still feel and hope that there are buyers who truly do seek out HANDMADE, will do their research and be loyal.

    2 years ago

  • rhondahollingshead

    Rhonda Hollingshead from ILOVEMYDOGCOLLARS says:

    I am a new shop owner and this is all very disheartening. So tell me Juliet does this mean that my little shop has no chance of showing up higher in the searches ? This is all very confusing for someone just starting out. I have had many people tell me to move over to Zibbet where the focus is on the small, handmade sellers, please tell me what you are doing to make sure we are not lost in the shuffle ( or in Etsy's wallet ), I think it is great that a store like Little Hero Capes is given an opportunity to expand, but that should NOT make them easier to find on searches and give them an upper hand over the rest of us out here struggling to be found. We need reassurance, not BS, but real answers on how you are still behind the small store.

    2 years ago

  • Betty0000

    Marina from TeaPunkery says:

    I agree with Dee. I'm a maker and a buyer and have no issues with small businesses growing, it's great they do. Etsy is a platform for such individuals and when your "Mom and Pop" business achieves explosive growth then it should be noted in a "Premium" account that Etsy can set up for such business and so buyers can be aware that they are buying from a such a shop. As for the resell issue, buyer beware of factory made resells.

    2 years ago

  • ToadsLilyPondJewelry

    Chandreyee Johnson from ToadsLilyPondJewelry says:

    I guess I agree with Marina to a point. I feel like we shouldn't be hindered by our own limitations. Growth as a small business is important to expansion and greater success. If you are constantly stuck only working on things with your hands alone, what happens when you get sick? What happens when your business suddenly starts rising and you are so behind with orders that you eventually start giving your customers a negative experience? That's not fair to they who want the product you are offering. I believe that Etsy, while geared at artisians, let's think about this for a moment. How many supplies shops are there here on Etsy where the sellers have not actually made a single thing in their shop? PLENTY. And the same with vintage shops. The sellers of supplies and vintage (esp vintage) typically or majorly are not making their product (Don't hit me, I know there are also plenty of shops out there that make their own supplies to sell). My point though, is that Etsy has long since enabled the small business owner rather than just the handcrafter. I have only been with Etsy for a little over a year but I have known about it for several. It's the place where small business thrives. So with that, if some one is doing well enough to actually be able to contract out and get help making and selling their product, why are we not as a community of idealists and dreamers supporting them wholeheartedly? I don't know about the lot of you, but I know that one day, I hope to have a name like Tiffany's. (Okay, maybe I'm dreaming big, but aren't dreams and aspiration combined with determination and hard work what success is made of?) My bottom line? I support the change in the community and I definitely support the sellers who are doing well enough to have advanced their business so far forward that they are ready to take the next big step in the world of small business.

    2 years ago

  • ToadsLilyPondJewelry

    Chandreyee Johnson from ToadsLilyPondJewelry says:

    Okay, let me rephrase my agreeableness to that. It's that I agree that small businesses should be able to grow. Period.

    2 years ago

  • xromablue

    Christine from xroma says:

    Well said Margaux. I always thought Etsy as a "shelter" for talented people who like to make things with their hands, who spend their time, effort, spirit, ideas to make unique things, that carry a special aura as HANDMADE.

    2 years ago

  • firenflux1

    Emily Adams and Dana Paredes from firenfluxhandmade says:

    congratulations to these shops on their success. That said, still not handmade. We need a designed by me category they can list in instead. They're still creative and have great ideas but I agree about page and bottom of listing is not sufficient. I feel like there should be a click through warning when someone purchases something like this. warning, not actually handmade.

    2 years ago

  • Corkor

    Natalia from Corkor says:

    Hi, I am Natalia from Corkor (one of the above featured shops) and I would like to tell you that the one on the picture is me, the sewing machine is my baby and we are very close to each other, but I work from home and do not have enough space to do much larger items and I love them, so, at a fair, nearby from where we live, me and Vitor (husband and partner) found this family which make bags, purses and handbags in their home garage and during an animated conversation, we asked them if they would like to work with cork (our favorite material and where our passion come from) and they said yes, so, we started working with them, we design the bags, provide the molds, make all instructions and they HANDmake, exactly the way I would do if that was me to make them. However, this was not allowed on Etsy, that was fine to us, we were selling them at our website and kept selling the products me and Vitor were making here on Etsy, but now, once the rules have changed, I am very happy that I can sell our full collection on Etsy, and even knowing that it is made by a third part small family company we have the same filling about it, the same work, the same high quality finishing and this make us very proud of our sustainable growth. Thanks to all of you that take the time to know me better, to take a look into my About page and you are all very welcome to make questions. ETSY, thanks for the opportunity.

    2 years ago

  • rhilouise

    Rhi Louise from PuffyTheSlayer says:

    OK, so I'm trying to get my head around this, Etsy used to be a handmade space, small artisans who make things, if by selling on this site your goods have become so popular and in demand that you are unable to keep up without help surely that means your business has graduated from a handmade operation, to a small co-operative and if your shop continues to grow, and you need to outsource to a factory, that is amazing for you but it is deffinatley not handmade. regardless of where your business began so Etsy bosses why don't you open a sister site, keep Etsy hand made, and collectives, and open a second site, or at the very least a separate section for the companies who have been so successful with your help

    2 years ago

  • soap

    soap from soap says:

    Chandreyee, Vintage, Handmade and Supplies are separate top level categories, so a buyer / browser can avoid those by searching one top level category or by subtracting the terms "vintage" or "supplies." No such demarcation here for the consumer. That is the issue. I don't have a problem with businesses growing. I just think Etsy's definition of "handmade" simply is FUBAR.

    2 years ago

  • CharmedByKaren

    Karen Himelfarb from CharmedByKaren says:

    Mass manufacturing is mass manufacturing and should be CLEARLY presented as such. No matter how lovely the products, the photos, the people involved, mass production is NOT handmade.

    2 years ago

  • DiscoveryDenim

    DiscoveryDenim from LittleHeroCapes says:

    One thing I would like to say (in reply) to my local town of Fall River. You are right, it is a city that has been depressed for many years. It was once a bustling town of mills, but a fire that spread to many of the mills and timed with jobs leaving for overseas caused the economy here to crash. This is why it is even means so much more that I am able to work with local seamstresses, who are so talented and love creating, just as much as I do. I cannot stress how much love is poured into my business and integrity. I started here on Etsy (back in its Beta days). It is the home to my business. I have grown it slowly and steadily, with a lot of all nighters. If I had to leave, because it was too hard to do everything myself, and that came at the sacrifice of serving Etsy customers, then I would. However, I think Etsy is a visionary for what handmade is and always has been. It exists at a heart, soul level. Working with a local business to help me with production, doesn't mean I plan on flooding out other shops, or EVER moving my process overseas. It doesn't mean I will start slacking on the quality, or lower my price to prevent any competition. It means the opposite of all of that. Handmade also means that I have a personal relationship with each and every woman who helps in the creation of my capes. (They set their wages, not me). The owner of Fall River Apparel, was close to having to close his doors for lack of work when I first met him. It makes my heart happy to hear the bustling a sewing machines and talented hands and happy faces when I walk into FRA. It could of otherwise ended up being another empty vacant building in Fall River. Maybe Etsy is not changing what handmade means, but what manufacturing looks like?

    2 years ago

  • PrairiePrimitives

    Tana Taylor from PrairiePrimitives says:

    I agree with Susan from archaicdesign. This is exactly what I've been thinking since the announcement was made. Etsy does not have the right (legal or otherwise) to redefine ANY word, most especially not the word that has made Etsy what it is today ... or at least what it was prior to October 1, 2013.

    2 years ago

  • sleepingfoxstitchery

    Cathy Stitchy Fox from SleepingFoxStitchery says:

    Christine from xroma says: Well said Margaux. I always thought Etsy as a "shelter" for talented people who like to make things with their hands, who spend their time, effort, spirit, ideas to make unique things, that carry a special aura as HANDMADE. --- This. This is why we feel betrayed. The items presented above are lovely and I'm sure the makers are also good people, and they're doing what's right for them. I have no beef with them. But Etsy, you let us down. You let the individual artisan handmakers down.

    2 years ago

  • PrairiePrimitives

    Tana Taylor from PrairiePrimitives says:

    I think Marina has a good idea about those who use manufacturers having a different type of account. However, I don't like the word "Premium" being used for this type of account. Premium [as modifier] relating to or denoting a commodity of superior quality and therefore a higher price. (Source: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/premium) Manufactured goods are often NOT superior to handmade and, on a site such as Etsy, they should not appear that way. My suggestion would be to charge sellers who use manufacturers a higher fee (which is what I think Marina was implying), and also to make it CRYSTAL CLEAR on the item page, perhaps with a banner below the product's image, which states "This item was made with the assistance of a manufacturer."

    2 years ago

  • peaseblossomstudio

    Caroline from AnchorRoad says:

    "Maybe Etsy is not changing what handmade means, but what manufacturing looks like?" ------ Allison, this is an excellent point and I see what you are saying. But as a small maker, I worry about being found in all the manufactured items. Even if items are mass manufactured locally and ethically, the new guidelines still put smaller shops at a disadvantage.

    2 years ago

  • SusieBOriginals

    Susie B from SusieBOriginals says:

    No disrespect intended, but... "partial" could have been defined any way Etsy wanted it to be defined. Same as was done with the word "handmade".

    2 years ago

  • LoveLaurie

    Laurie from LoveLaurie says:

    I think it's wonderful that these handmade shops were able to use etsy to grow into small business. My sincere congratulations on your success. Your shops are lovely. That said, I still believe in etsy original premise that once a handmade artisan has reached a level of success that they are "too big" to make their items themselves, (basically when they move from handmade to a small business) it is time for them to move on from etsy. This makes room for the next handmade artisan so that they too can be given the same chance for exposure on etsy and the same opportunity for growth if that is what they aspire to. Sadly, this fundamental change in policy from etsys original mission (and let's not pretend this is anything other than exactly that), now allows small businesses and manufacturers to inevitably dominate etsy and virtually eliminate the potential for handmade artists to sell their wares on etsy in any meaningful/profitable way. The etsy that was a site for items handmade by the shop owner, the place where buyers could form connections with the original artist, is officially no longer. For those of us who still believe in the founder of etsy's original vision and premise, this is a very sad day indeed.

    2 years ago

  • LoveLaurie

    Laurie from LoveLaurie says:

    " Handmade also means that I have a personal relationship with each and every woman who helps in the creation of my capes." This is were I differ in opinion with you. My understanding of the original founder of etsy's definition of handmade is that the buyer have a direct connection with the people actually making the items. By allowing shop owners to hire others to actually make the items, this is no longer the case.

    2 years ago

  • myheavenlydesigns

    Sabina from myheavenlydesigns says:

    Shame on you Etsy!

    2 years ago

  • VeronicaRStudio

    Veronica from VeronicaRussekJoyas says:

    I agree with all the others who say it is not handmade... I'm happy for these shops that are aboe to grow their businesses, but having product manufactured is NOT HANDMADE. Period. Shame on you, Etsy, for selling your soul... Shame on you.

    2 years ago

  • SecretLentil

    Helen Carter SecretLentil from SecretLentil says:

    Right. Manufacturing is not handmade. And redesigning almost every aspect of how customers find things here as you've done this year (relevancy, "See other items," expired listings, etc) so that it favors manufactured pieces OVER handmade is sabotage. You aren't widening the playing field Etsy, no matter how you package it here. You are sabotaging your customers who make things, by hand, one at a time.

    2 years ago

  • birose

    Rose from BigIslandRoseDesigns says:

    So I googled Fall River Apparel Inc. From their site it does not look like a small group of local seamstresses making capes it looks like a full blown manufacturing company with the latest technology including specialized sewing machines, etc Not handmade in my opinion but assembly line manufacturing. I worked in a similar facility in San Francisco in the 60's. Definitely not handmade..

    2 years ago

  • noteworthyjewelry

    Redhead from NoteworthyJewelry says:

    Very sad to witness the downfall of handmade on Etsy.

    2 years ago

  • CoquetteBath

    Cari from CoquetteBath says:

    there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a small business. I think most of us what to be in that category someday. Employing a few folks to help us make our product and reach our dream. But when/if that happens, no longer will my products be entirely handmade as they are now. Sure, other hands will make them, along with various bits of machinery, and the quality may improve (at least the label quality, I don't always stick 'em straight). what torques everyone here, I think, is the insistence that these small biz are the very same thing as a single person shop. And no, they are not. There are economies of scale. There are other issues, too. I can design all day long. I'm very very good at it. I can get contract manufacturing involved. Easily. But that's not how I feel. Deep down I want to be the one making. But please let's not try to put a spin on this. Handmade is made by hand. I believe even the FTC has specific rules on that. There is no court who wold find that a company outsourcing its manufacturing, or a significant part of it, is a handmade business. So designate them as 'small business' and then have entirely 'sole maker/handmade' if you wish. But these two arenas are not the same. Never have been. Never will be.

    2 years ago

  • beckseuroboutique

    Bella from CleanEarthSoaps says:

    If all Etsy sellers who use manufacturers do it the way these sellers do, I don't have a problem with it. I think it's great to mobilise small local enterprises for your business. My concern is about sellers who will use huge low quality manufacturers in low pay countries.

    2 years ago

  • sleepingfoxstitchery

    Cathy Stitchy Fox from SleepingFoxStitchery says:

    Beautiful and sad comment, dgordon.

    2 years ago

  • VeronicaRStudio

    Veronica from VeronicaRussekJoyas says:

    I agree completely, Dgordon.... I love shopping on Etsy and finding unique HANDMADE items, sadly, these are becoming harder to come by. I guess I will take my shopping elsewhere now.

    2 years ago

  • rusticspirit

    Kenna Rustic from RusticSpiritLinens says:

    We can all vent and express our disappointment with etsy ignoring the small business shops......but the reality is nothing is going to change. In order to compete with the manufacturing shops on site one needs to have money. To have money you must have sales and to have sales you need to have exposure and that is where etsy shut the door on the small shops.

    2 years ago

  • LittleSidekick

    Christina Marrs from LittleSidekick says:

    I congratulate these sellers on their growth and success, but I would love to see Etsy put their money where their mouth is regarding "transparency". If Etsy insists on changing the definition of the meaning of "handmade", then give us separate categories for "single maker" and "collaborative" items, or whatever you want to call them. Lumping us all together is in no way transparent.

    2 years ago

  • MABjewelry

    MABby from MABjewelry says:

    How bout that.

    2 years ago

  • DarkRide

    Caroline from DarkRide says:

    'Maybe Etsy is not changing what handmade means, but what manufacturing looks like?' Etsy has definitely changed what handmade means. They've also changed the meaning of transparency from something that can be seen through to something that isn't there at all. What I resent most about their attempt to change what manufacturing looks like is that it rides on the coattails of what Etsy was. The 'spirit of handmade' is now being used to maintain an image, the Etsy brand. It's marketing at its most dishonest.

    2 years ago

  • waterlilyjewels

    Lil from WaterLilyArtDesigns says:

    If Etsy insists on changing the definition of the meaning of "handmade", then give us separate categories for "single maker" and "collaborative" items, or whatever you want to call them. Lumping us all together is in no way transparent. _____________________________________ Since the changes, I've started offering things like pillows and iPhone cases, printed with my art by a third party. Sure, I created the artwork, but I'm not printing the items, nor am I shipping them (since I can now drop-ship from the printer, which made this financially feasible). I have to confess, it feels very icky to me to have to list these items as "handmade". I'd gladly put things like this - the items that we are supposed to be applying for as manufactured in the first place - into a separate section, as LSK mentioned above.

    2 years ago

  • LaurieRyan

    Laurie from LaurieRyan says:

    this is so sad, I miss the Etsy I knew when I first joined when it was handmade, vintage and supplies. sad time for us here

    2 years ago

  • WrappedandSnapped

    Jennifer from WrappedandSnapped says:

    I was so excited when I came to Etsy over 2 years ago. Now, I am just aggravated and disappointed.

    2 years ago

  • sleepingfoxstitchery

    Cathy Stitchy Fox from SleepingFoxStitchery says:

    Lil from WaterLilyArtDesigns says: Lumping us all together is in no way transparent. -- Excellent point. If we are expected to be transparent, why can't we ask for the same from Etsy?

    2 years ago

  • Jennizart

    Jennifer from Jennizart says:

    Things that puzzle me: How *transparent* is a artisan/artist/shop that does not actually NAME their manufacturer? Also - a point to ponder for everyone: The top three "family owned" corporations (2004 data) are/were Walmart, Ford, and Samsung.

    2 years ago

  • sunyblu

    Suny Blu from SunyIslandBlu says:

    I think if you are big enough to be able to out source any part of your business then you are big enough to have your own website, drawing in your own traffic. I think it is wonderful when a handmade business succeeds and can take it to the next level. But by staying here you aren't giving others the same shot. They are drowning. They can't be found because they are still making their items by hand and won't ever be given the chance to grow and see the same success because they will never be seen. They just can't compete. It is not a matter of anyone being afraid of competition. It's being afraid their livelihood will be taken away because it is an unfair playing field. This has turned into a PR nightmare. If this must be the new Etsy then a separate category needs to be made or find way for there to be said loud and clear that this person outsources. I also think that they should have to pay more for being here. If they can afford to outsource and they still want to use Etsy for their website they need to pay more for it. Etsy was special once. Instead of finding ways to build upon that, they set it on fire. The world loved Etsy because it was not an Amazon or an Ebay. That love affair is sadly ending and it's looking to be a nasty divorce. Soon Etsy will go the way of MySpace. It's still there, but who really uses it or even thinks of it anymore?

    2 years ago

  • dgordon

    dgordon from dgordon says:

    There's no way Etsy would... or even should.. give up the money they will make from small business's getting bigger. Etsy IS a business too. BUT... a splitting off would be great. Let them make their money, as ANY business should... Have TWO sites. Handmade and let the purity of it stay pure, giving HANDMADE artists an equal chance to be seen and sell.... and a separate site to accommodate those who want to and do send their designs out to be made elsewhere. Etsy1 and Etsy2 :)

    2 years ago

  • Nycalways

    Barbara from HCsleepwearbybeej says:

    Agree! HANDMADE term is getting lost.

    2 years ago

  • ByLandSkyandSea

    Dana A from TrinityCrossing says:

    This will probably seem trivial, but I keep reading how shops need to use third party manufacturers because of lack of space..... I can sew a quilt in one room of my house. My father in law works on his race car in his small, one car garage. I've seen furniture makers work out of their garages. But you're telling me you can't make larger items, large BAGS in your own home? Makes no sense. If you have reached the level of success where you need to start hiring people to help out because you are swamped with orders and you don't want your customer service to suffer, then congratulations! And I mean that. But you are no longer handmade, you are a small business and can afford to move off Etsy, start your own website and use that hard earned money to start promoting else where. Give the next person in line the chance to do the same.

    2 years ago

  • JDWolfePottery

    JD Wolfe from JDWolfePottery says:

    I'm pretty excited about the new guidelines on Etsy. I think if handled correctly, it could really change local economies and that is what I am most interested in. I do hope Etsy continues to figure out how to support all levels of these small businesses, from the sole artist making things from scratch, to the small business creating jobs. There has to be an effective way of making this work, and I still believe in Etsy.

    2 years ago

  • evencleveland Admin

    Stephanie Madewell from evencleveland says: Featured

    Hello everyone, I want to take this opportunity to make perfectly clear that all of these sellers' businesses were in line with Etsy's old policies, and by applying for review and being approved, they are in line with the new policies. We understand that many of you have strong opinions about Etsy's new Guidelines, but calling out other sellers or making judgements about their businesses isn't okay. I am going to close the comments on this post. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the new Guidelines with Etsy, contact us at guidelines@etsy.com

    2 years ago

  • This discussion has wrapped up!