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Craft Entrepreneurship Goes International

Jul 2, 2014

by Rachel Greenwald

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

The Craft Entrepreneurship program (Etsy’s classes for helping underemployed populations turn making skills into supplemental income) is continuing to grow with the addition of three new partnerships this summer, including our first international program! Our new partners in Albuquerque, NM, Oldham, UK, and St. Petersburg, FL will bring this micro-enterprise training to creative individuals in their communities eager to learn how to sell their handmade products online.

Albuquerque, NM

In New Mexico, we’ve partnered with the Women’s Economic Self Sufficiency Team Corps (WESST), a non-profit organization committed to growing New Mexico’s economy by cultivating entrepreneurship. Known for its vibrant Southwestern and Native American cultural traditions, Albuquerque is home to a thriving community of artists and craftspeople. WESST plans to use this program to provide Albuquerque’s underserved artisans with the tools they need to find new channels for their work online. For many of these creative entrepreneurs, “access to markets is a critical component for creating sustainable businesses” explains Julianna Silva, Albuquerque Regional Manager of WESST. “By working with Etsy, we’ll be able to help our clients learn another tool for starting and growing their business and enhancing the economic vitality of our community.”

Oldham, UK

In England, we’re partnering with Oldham Council and College to make classes available in this northern English town with a long history of textile production and craftsmanship. At one point a crucial center of cotton spinning and hat production, Oldham has seen many of its mills fall into decline. This manufacturing past remains an important part of the town’s culture however, and factory-related employment still retains a significant presence. Through our partnership in Oldham, the Craft Entrepreneurship training will be offered to adult students who are honing their skills in textile production at Oldham College. Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader explained, “We’re determined to support residents who want to … go for an opportunity that could be the start of something really positive, and we want to work together with [Etsy] to unleash that creative entrepreneurial spirit.” Etsy seller Nicola Rowlands of the nearby Etsy Manchester Team will be teaching participants in Oldham. “Running a small business is no small feat and requires determination, creativity … and a lot of trial and error,” she said. “I’m excited about getting involved and meeting the students. Passing on knowledge is a hugely satisfying thing to do.”

Craft Entrepreneurship students in Newark, NJ practice product photography.

Craft Entrepreneurship students in Newark, NJ practice product photography.

St. Petersburg, FL

The St. Pete Greenhouse, an organization that strives to make it easier to start and grow businesses in this coastal city, is seeking to provide programming that will help residents turn their craft talents into entrepreneurial endeavors. With its picturesque beaches and warm weather, St. Petersburg’s economy is heavily anchored in tourism. Sean Kennedy, Manager of the Greenhouse, wants to help local artists and makers generate income in other markets and jump-start their businesses. Julie Richarme, Captain of the Tampa Bay Etsy Crew, believes residents stand to benefit from the classes because “this area is a magnet for creative people, and St. Pete has always had a strong arts community. Everyone is so eager to help each other out, and people really value handmade down here.”

Over 150 people have completed the Craft Entrepreneurship program to date, including ambitious makers who graduated from a class offered through SBS in NYC last week. The stories from these talented makers are an inspiration and source of motivation to continue to share the program with more cities around the world. Originally from Malaysia, recent Craft Entrepreneurship grad and Brooklyn-based artist Yolim Khoo, explained that with his background in carpentry and metalwork, he’d always wanted to start selling his own products but was unsure about how to get started. Tracey Hamilton, a fiber artist in the Bronx, explains, “The classes enabled me to fine-tune my shop, and in May I achieved my first sale! It was a real boost to my artistic ego.”

As always, if you are an Etsy team or community organization interested in bringing these classes to residents in your town, drop us a line here. Thank you to those who have already reached out!

Catch Up on Past Craft Entrepreneurship Updates

37 comments

  • Rt9NJvintageFun

    candy donnelly from Rt9NJvintageFun said 2 years ago

    Wonderful opportunity, can't wait to see this incredible program in more Cities! Thank you Etsy!

  • hellosugarmouse

    hellosugarmouse from hellosugarmouse said 2 years ago

    Hurrah! So stoked to be involved in this :) If you have a crafty friend or family member who lives in Oldham and wants some support in getting set up on Etsy, please e-mail madeinoldham at oldham dot gov dot uk - Oldham's course kicks off 16th July and runs in the 6 weeks to 20th August. Thanks!

  • tp7985

    Truc Pham from monprecieux said 2 years ago

    would Etsy team come to CA? I would love to meet them <3

  • annbmay

    Ann Baldwin May from annbmayartquilts said 2 years ago

    Hi,I just signed up for one in Santa Cruz, CA. for August. I can't. wait.

  • deeneone

    deeneone from NadiasNiche said 2 years ago

    Ann Baldwin May--Could you post a little bit more information?

  • NyltakMarie

    Katlyn Walden from ClassyCountryLife said 2 years ago

    I apologize for being so behind... but... How do you sign up to attend one of these events?

  • hellosugarmouse

    hellosugarmouse from hellosugarmouse said 2 years ago

    Hi Katlyn, Check out http://craftentrepreneurship.com/ - If you live in one of the named areas, get in touch with the named partner organisation(s). Hope this helps!

  • inspiringanchors

    Megan Braswell from inspiringanchors said 2 years ago

    I love this! My dream career path is to establish a successful Etsy shop and use it as a stepping stone down the road to eventually teach others how to do the same so that we as a culture can do what we love and support the handmade community.

  • CalligraphicArtisan

    Jude Billings from CalligraphicArtisan said 2 years ago

    Any plans for meetings in Kansas City or Midwest?

  • subversivedomestics

    Nikki from ShopOrangeBlossoms said 2 years ago

    Thanks for bringing this to Tampa Bay!

  • adoreandtreasure

    Elizabeth D from AdoreAndTreasure said 2 years ago

    Great opportunities for so many talented artisans to get noticed! Thank you Etsy!

  • scavengerannie

    Annie McGee from scavengerannie said 2 years ago

    Fantastic to see a program like this set up in my home town of Oldham :)

  • artclaysilverstudio

    Elaine Martin from Ginkgolondon said 2 years ago

    Great idea. Look forward to seeing this come to more areas in England.

  • Richarme

    Julie Richarme from Richarme said 2 years ago

    This is going to be such a great thing for St. Pete and the artistic community in the entire Tampa Bay area.

  • amymarx

    Amy Marx from AmyMarx said 2 years ago

    This and many other etsy blogs are written with the presumption that having an etsy shop means you can make a living from these online sales. It just isn't the case for the vast majority of etsy sellers. Please consider writing blogs from a reality based standpoint rather than a wish-based standpoint

  • DevineDesignsJewelry

    Cindy from DevineDesignsJewelry said 2 years ago

    Looking forward to this program coming to my area!

  • uniquenique

    Monique from uniquenique said 2 years ago

    Glad to see the community getting involved - teaching and training helps everyone

  • GreenStreetMosaics

    GreenStreetMosaics Constantino from GreenStreetMosaics said 2 years ago

    This is so exciting. Yay for Saint Petersburg, FL and the whole Tampa Bay community!

  • chabrsz3

    Patricia and Family from LadyBugCreations14 said 2 years ago

    Any chance of this coming to southern Georgia?

  • vinylclockwork

    Scott from vinylclockwork said 2 years ago

    Looks fun

  • TanaAnns

    Tana Stephens from TanaAnns said 2 years ago

    Thank you Rachel!

  • beardoil

    Beard Oil from BeardOil said 2 years ago

    This is great news! Thanks for sharing, Rachel!!

  • IronwoodCandles

    Ironwood Candles from IronwoodCandles said 2 years ago

    Thanks for the awesome information!

  • deodorantshop

    Deodorant Shop from deodorantshop said 2 years ago

    This is exciting!! =D

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 2 years ago

    This is such a great program. As a craft seller, it was pretty amazing to me that I could turn a childhood hobby into income. So many people are creating every day and may not realize that there is a market for it, and they can take that product and use it to better their lives. It's really great that Etsy is helping people in a concrete way by giving them the tools they need for success.

  • CarolynMoonDesigns

    CarolynMoonDesigns from OurCottagebytheSea said 2 years ago

    I did not see an answer to the question where do I sign up. I am in Cape Coral FL part of the year and would like to attend St Pete's classes.

  • AgelessThings

    AgelessThings from VintageAgelessThings said 2 years ago

    St Pete, wish it wasn't just for shops with no sales!

  • keelywheely

    Keely Malady from ModernMalady said 2 years ago

    How did I miss hearing about this earlier? What a great initiative! I love how Etsy stays true to its open source, for the maker by the maker roots! I've written a post about this on my blog about Australian small businesses, so hopefully we get out own pilot program soon! :)

  • rockamecook

    rockamecook from rockamecook said 2 years ago

    I was so hoping that you would come to Portland Maine--we have all the infrastructure just waiting. I'm with you Meghan Braswell, I've been longing to help beginning Etsy sellers for whom this training can mean the difference between just getting by and improving their lives.

  • Puppetboys

    Sewing Plus from PuppetShop4me said 2 years ago

    I believe that everyone has the potential to be a successful entrepreneur if given the opportunities.

  • Namaz

    Nazima Banka from nazimabanka said 2 years ago

    Brilliant idea

  • rsw112

    Galka Ukrainian from EcoGG said 2 years ago

    Я не могу достигнуть желаемого результата,что делать?

  • awtmaroc

    AWT Maroc from kilimarts said 2 years ago

    I just wanna say in complete honesty that I have visited a large of handmade items of leather fabric and feel choked of the price selling items its really bad while increasing more than 200% on there normal price its really bad that small client trust this seller I. May be its there business but I feel very bad and I wanna say to everybody to look directly with the manufacturer and get there lovely handmade items at a low price and maybe better than what they are offering . Sorry for this message but hate that Thanks

  • ScoMax

    ScoMax from ScoMax said 2 years ago

    I love the "hand-made" & crafts sellers/ stores, but I keep feeling like Etsy is forgetting about us Vintage seller/ stores.. just my opinion

  • veronicawrig62

    Veronica from ShereensSolitude said 2 years ago

    Please bring this to Atlanta, GA

  • PEEKZ

    Patricia Reynolds from PEEKZARTSHOP said 2 years ago

    I just found myself ! hehe !

  • sohelraj

    Sohel Raj from sohelraj said 1 year ago

    my all friend hellp me.

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