Shop Etsy

Etsy Visits Sellers

Dec 4, 2014

by Bernadette Sweeney

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

We’ve said time and again that sellers are at the heart of Etsy. Every decision we make is centered on enabling them to start their businesses, responsibly scale and enjoy the art of their crafts. To that end, we are always aspiring to learn more about how our sellers run their businesses so we can improve their overall experiences. While we love hearing what’s on the minds of Etsy sellers through emails, convos, forum threads and About pages, nothing beats visiting a seller in person to witness her creative process in action and the challenges she faces on a daily basis.

With this in mind, we asked a number of our sellers for the opportunity to visit them in their studios or the spaces where they create, curate, package and ship their items. Many of them generously invited us in, where we received a warm welcome. Over the course of a few months, more than 250 Etsy Admin visited jewelers, milliners, ceramicists, painters, photographers, seamstresses, bakers, suppliers, and antiquers in dozens of locations, including New York City and the tri-state area; Toronto, Canada; Dublin, Ireland; Berlin, Germany; and Paris, France.

Etsy Admin visit Niki of NikiCollier in Dublin.

Etsy Admin visit Niki of NikiCollier (and her hats!) in Dublin.

We took so much from the valuable experience the sellers gave us and learned a lot about their processes of making and managing. Almost every seller we met told us they spend at least half of their day working on the “business side” of their shop, including responding to convos, packaging and shipping. The other half of their day is spent designing and making new items.

Actually seeing our sellers’ operations in real life — observing invoices pinned to bulletin boards or seeing a color-coded inventory management system — helped us better understand how sellers use Etsy to manage their shops. It’s the little things that count. Studying these details about our sellers’ diverse workflows help us improve the online tools we offer and the versatility of Etsy’s platform.

Etsy Admin visiting Meril Lesser of TwoFeathersNY in her Manhattan apartment with one of her pet birds.

Etsy Admin visit Meril Lesser of TwoFeathersNY in her Manhattan apartment with one of her pet birds.

We appreciated the chance to meet not only sellers, but also their children, spouses, and even pets. We know that our sellers, 88 percent of whom are women, value building businesses on their own terms, and this frequently means balancing entrepreneurism with family and community. We observed this dynamic in real life and many sellers told us how they use the supplemental income they earn on Etsy for household expenses, mortgage payments, discretionary spending as well as savings.

The chance to put a face to a shop was met with mutual enthusiasm. Etsy Admin Ray Flournoy, a product manager in Etsy’s San Francisco office, said of his visit, “It was great to meet an artist who was able to make her art her life, and I was proud that Etsy had a big part in making that possible.”

Alexandra Tavel of AlexandraTavel, told me: “I was so honored to be able to share my experience with members of the Etsy team. I feel like I am really contributing to making the site an even more amazing and beneficial tool for others by helping those at Etsy better understand the needs, struggles, and successes of their sellers.”

Lucy of LucyBlaire with Etsy Admin in her studio near Hudson, NY.

Lucy of LucyBlaire with Etsy Admin in her studio near Hudson, NY.

Brad Greenlee, an Etsy software engineer based in Seattle, said, “The most helpful for me was hearing what sellers’ pain points were in regards to Etsy, and listening to their suggestions on how we might make their jobs easier.”

Interested in having Etsy visit your studio? Send an email to sellerstudiovisits@etsy.com. You never know when we might be in your neighborhood!

Here is the full list of the Etsy shops that we visited. We are so grateful that all of these sellers opened their doors and their hearts to us. Thank you, everyone!

LusciousLeatherNYC, AlexandraFerguson, ShannonBroder, AllMineDesign, DimeStorEmporium,  AlexandraTavel, LuisFernando, TheParisPrintShop, ObviousState,  YvonneRaley, VaLaJewellery, OpelleCreative, Jenco8, EarthSeaWarrior, TwoFeathersNY, LieselLove, LuraJewelry, xChupi, WhimsyAndSpice, KnotAndBow, TappedBeer, JohnTUnger, LucyBlaireCreationsNadiraBag, TheIrishJeweller, NikiCollier, TevaGallery, RutherfordAndFairfaxIkaBags, AgJoyas, DustyRoseVintage, CarrieBilbo, BaileyDoesntBarkPetitFelts, PkBrownWoodworking, and BellingerBags.

89 comments

  • TwoFeathersNY

    TwoFeathersNY from TwoFeathersNY said 2 years ago

    Thanks again for taking the time to visit me!

  • LITdecor

    Vanessa Cline from LITdecor said 2 years ago

    Great article! It is great to see Etsy seeking out real life seller experiences!

  • tripathismriti

    Smriti from DesiFabrics said 2 years ago

    Etsy is doing a great work by allowing students to visit campus every year :) Congratulations team!

  • julietmatthews

    Juliet Matthews from FabulousLittleGifts said 2 years ago

    What a lovely idea to bring Etsy to (real) life. Let me know when Etsy is visiting Gloucestershire, UK and my (4-legged) sleeping business partner and I will be pleased to welcome you!

  • sarantos

    sarantos from SARANTOS said 2 years ago

    Great article! If you want to visit me, give me a few months to clear a path and clean. :)

  • thevintagemistress

    Elizabeth from TheVintageMistress said 2 years ago

    I would love to have the Etsy team visit my home studio in sunny Florida..maybe this winter when things get chilly in the north!!

  • chachalouise

    Cha Cha Louise from chachalouise said 2 years ago

    Yes. Would love for Etsy to come visit us in our historic mill on the Blackstone River in Lincoln RI.

  • KARozWoodworking

    KARozWoodworking from Rozemake said 2 years ago

    I would welcome a visit. Bring a dust pan?

  • MegsZsen

    Meg Zsenyuk from MegzArt said 2 years ago

    Such a great idea! It would be interesting to see the different environments of each unique seller!

  • Patzbag

    Patricia McDonald from Patzbag said 2 years ago

    I am moving my studio and residence to a new place for more efficiency. Wouldn't you love to come to Maine in the summer?????

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX said 2 years ago

    great article! oh boy, i hope to have a real art & fashion atelier one day :::-)

  • Bagitconscious

    Lizzy from Bagitconscious said 2 years ago

    Yes, would absolutely love it if Etsy team visits my home based workshop in Clearwater, Florida. Winter and spring are the best times of the year to visit warm and sunny Florida and to get away from the cold and chilly North. I'm already waiting for you to come :)

  • FreshFromtheFlame

    FreshFromtheFlame from FreshFromtheFlame said 2 years ago

    It is good to see Etsy staying connected with its makers. After all Etsy was designed for the maker in all of us. Good job Etsy.

  • wearlovenow

    Becca Koopmans from wearlovenow said 2 years ago

    Fabulous way for Etsy to feel the pulse behind many of the site's home businesses! Love that you all discovered such insights from the visits.

  • jennylu

    Wendi and Jenny Unrein from JennyLU said 2 years ago

    We live in Topeka Kansas and would love a visit!! What we have is unique in many ways and we are working hard at putting special needs in the spot light! Trust me Jenny is infectious as is JennyLU!! Merry Christmas!!!

  • DabbleWithDawn

    Dawn from LeroyLime said 2 years ago

    so cool! What an awesome Etsy idea!

  • BereniceDesigns

    BereniceDesigns from BereniceDesigns said 2 years ago

    Awesome article! Thanks for sharing!

  • opendoorstudio

    Martha Layton Smith from opendoorstudio said 2 years ago

    Delightful! Love the personal tours into some amazing spaces! Hoping to have mine "tour worthy" in the years to come! Love all the inspiration I find in reading about the studios!

  • donnakallner

    Donna Kallner from DonnaKallnerFiberArt said 2 years ago

    Sellers working from more rural areas face some different challenges (broadband access, for one). I'd love to have you visit my studio in rural northern Wisconsin. I'll pick you up at the airport!

  • 92weavemealone

    Tina Ellis from ToiStudioFiberArts said 2 years ago

    Sitting in your office and working in your (Etsy) environment is totally different than being in a creative studio space. This was an excellent idea for you to "put the shoe on the other foot" and see how creative minds think, entrepreneurs multi-task and small, home-based businesses "make do". ( I am not saying you are not creative, it's just a different way of working and I do both.). It's quite fun to "peek" into someone's personal studio!! Love these kinds of behind-the-scenes articles.

  • NewMorningGlass

    Mary Kernan from NewMorningGlass said 2 years ago

    Great idea! Come visit our glassblowing studio! See how we make our doorknobs! Winter is best!

  • michelecastillo2

    Michele from FiberArtCrochet said 2 years ago

    What a wonderful idea. So glad to see Etsy visit shop owners. Brings a personal touch to the online shops.

  • blackbirdbag

    Kristina Beganovic from blackbirdbag said 2 years ago

    Next time Etsy will be in Europe, you're more than welcome to visit Ljubljana and my work place.

  • riverstonepottery

    Hope Fregerio from RiverStonePottery said 2 years ago

    Thank you for REACHING OUT to your people! We sellers definitely appreciate it!

  • fatimatrastos

    Fatima Bastos from Letrasdecorativas said 2 years ago

    YESSSSS Come to Madrid (Spain) Whenever you want !!!!!. I'd love to have you visit my studio !!!!! You are very welcome!!!!

  • NancyLCable

    NANCY CABLE from TriangleQuilting said 2 years ago

    What a fantastic way to connect Etsy sellers! I 'd love to see more studios in action. I love being an Etsy seller! Come visit my quilting studio in Rolla, Missouri!

  • beadloverskorner

    Gari Anne from beadloverskorner said 2 years ago

    How awesome! I am sure it was a great learning experience for everyone!

  • HilltopHandspun

    Lucy Rogers from HilltopHandspun said 2 years ago

    This is a great idea. Would love to have you come to Maine!!

  • miniink

    Davina from fluidinkletterpress said 2 years ago

    Well you haven't been anywhere until you visit the most isolated city in the world! (literally!) Perth Western Australia!!

  • thebeadgirl

    lisa lehmann from thebeadgirl said 2 years ago

    this is so much fun. my studio and ME would love to welcome you - to dogs are friendly. and the coffee is hot! xo

  • iheartfink

    kristen from iheartfink said 2 years ago

    This really is great! The coolest job in the world ~ artist studio tours. Amazing. I'm in CWE St Louis. I would love an Etsy studio visit!

  • smerveille

    Sam Merveille from MerLovDesign said 2 years ago

    How about a trip to central valley CA? Ladies and gents, we are ready for you! ;-)

  • makenziealvarez

    Makenzie Alvarez from HanksAndNeedles said 2 years ago

    Truly wonderful! I hope one day to have this amazing experience. Happy Holidays Everyone!

  • isewcute

    June from isewcute said 2 years ago

    You're welcome to visit me here in southwestern Ohio! Be warned that you may end up with glitter on you, but I'll make every effort to keep it out of the refreshments!

  • seemomster

    Melanie See from seemomster said 2 years ago

    If you are coming to NC...feel free to stop by! Just give me...at least 24 hours notice. (My studio gets scary sometimes...)

  • UrbananaShop

    Urbanana.me from UrbananaShop said 2 years ago

    This is amazing! Is really nice to see that Etsy worries about sellers. :)

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 2 years ago

    Thanks again taking time to visit to me , i hope next time will our new home , new working space :))

  • treewiz

    Gary "Wiz" Burns from TreeWizWoodCarvings said 2 years ago

    If you are on the west coast, I would love to see you guys here in Southern Oregon! I have been carving full time since 1978 and the last 5 years on etsy have been the best. I am very grateful to be able to stay at home and sell everything that I make. Thank you etsy!! wiz <(B^)

  • BELLACOSAART

    Deana Mattos Diefenbach from BellaCosaArt said 2 years ago

    If you are ever in Montana or want to be. I have a humble home studio for my fledging art business.

  • BeSomethingNew

    Jill from BeSomethingNew said 2 years ago

    If you ever want to visit California, I would love to have you visit my studio!

  • SallyManke

    Sally Manke from SallyManke said 2 years ago

    Love to have the Etsy Team visit my home studio on the shore of Lake Michigan...bring X-Country skis this time of year or a swimsuit for a summer visit!

  • aquaticsculpture

    mark chuck from MarkChuck said 2 years ago

    Great Idea ! Would love a visit my in Northeast Pennsylvania Studio. My doors are always opened ! But you might want to wait until the Spring.

  • brittagutling

    Britta Gutling from StudioBritta said 2 years ago

    My Studio is small. But it's mine and I love creating new things in there as often as I can. If you ever happen to be up north in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, I would be very happy to welcome you to my Studio.

  • lalunnaturals

    Lalun Naturals from LalunNaturals said 2 years ago

    So great to see this follow up. I'd love pics from the visits to see how other sellers organize their studio/workshops. And of course, my invitation still stands!

  • MountainMasche

    Barbara Schuetz from MountainMasche said 2 years ago

    I have always loved shows on "How it's made/done". There are so many crafts and activities I don't know about and always enjoy witnessing the creative process. Thanks to Etsy for being the great platform it is and giving us sellers the chance to connect with the world! I would love to host an Etsy rep if Vancouver, BC will ever be on the list of cities to visit!

  • classicalkaren

    Karen Dyche from ClassicalKaren said 2 years ago

    How exciting!!! Would love to have you visit!!! I would ned a little advance notice, also! I'm glad to read that other artists have to "clean up" their studios before a visit, too!

  • alexandratavel

    Alexandra Tavel from TwoOfWandsShop said 2 years ago

    I was so honored to have the Etsy team come visit my studio and to be featured in this post! It was a really valuable experience on my end and added yet another reason to the list of what makes Etsy such a supportive and unique company. It really is amazing to see how much they care about their sellers and really listen to what we have to say. Thank you so much Bernadette and everyone else who came over to see my little operation! :) Happy Holidays! xo

  • BaibaVigule

    Baiba Vigule from GalleryOfRose said 2 years ago

    This is a great idea! The post inspired and helped me. I thought that I can't manage my time that I spend so much time at computer, but these words calmed me down: "Almost every seller we met told us they spend at least half of their day working on the “business side” of their shop, including responding to convos, packaging and shipping. The other half of their day is spent designing and making new items." Thank you!

  • PKBrownWoodworking

    Kaj Brown from PKBrownWoodworking said 2 years ago

    It was great having the Hudson team stop by my dust bowl and home. A low key informal discussion session took place. Questions were asked from all sides with feedback in return. They were given the tour of the place, from the wood shop, to our home, our gardens and our turkeys and chickens. Thank you Etsy for supporting this meet and greet. A special thanks to the Hudson, NY team for making this a pleasant and relaxed time. Happy and safe holidays to all Kaj

  • vergaminic

    Carli Vergamini from CraveByCRV said 2 years ago

    Couldn't resist... had to send an invite. Love this series and how it sheds light on the struggles (and victories!) that every shop endures. I love taking a peek at other people's creative spaces and would love to share mine with the Etsy world!

  • bylaura

    Laura from bylaura said 2 years ago

    I'm new to an Etsy shop and would love to attend. Hope you'll be in or around the New Orleans area. Great idea!

  • zynpats

    zeynep Ateş from GALLERYATES said 2 years ago

    Perfect Idea !Your visit to Istanbul and my little workshop will honor me. You would be a great experience to take advantage of your valuable information.

  • viking993

    Anne Lindsay from SimplyVK said 2 years ago

    Need some rain or a dip in the lake? I live on a little lake just outside of Seattle. My studio is screaming, "ETSY COME ON BY!" Please come visit, the studio screams are really distracting!

  • astakundelyte

    Asta Kundelyte from artbyasta said 2 years ago

    Hope you will come to Estonia one day :)! Greetings!

  • golpottery

    Sally Durkee from golpottery said 2 years ago

    Great idea to visit our studios. Call me.

  • hawaiibeads

    Cece from hawaiibeads said 2 years ago

    I have just one word for you....Hawaii!

  • rozebohun

    Roze Bohun from RozeScarfStudio said 2 years ago

    Lets hope you can make your way all the way, way down south to Melbourne Australia. We will be waiting... with open studios and warm, friendly hospitality.

  • umeone

    Linda Sapp Long from umeone said 2 years ago

    Note to self...Goal; to have Etsy visit my Studio! Thank you, this will give me the motivation to get my space Etsy Visit worthy!

  • Caracarmina

    Norma Andreu from Caracarmina said 2 years ago

    Awesome!!!! and "mi casa es su casa" guys! ;) (Montreal is lovely in Winter!) :)

  • AzaleaTrail

    Meg Perry from AzaleaTrail said 2 years ago

    Put me on your list. I would love to have you visit Smyrna GA & my studio. And you won't have to shovel snow!

  • blinkingeyes

    Kimberly Bunting from BlinkingEyes said 2 years ago

    Come visit my workspace and have a cup of tea in sunny Los Angeles!

  • WILDLYWALD

    Joanne Wald from WildlyWald said 2 years ago

    Your "studio visit" concept is exciting to all of us who are proud of our art and our work. "What's next on Etsy" would be my first question to Etsy staffers.

  • iakurniasih

    Ia Kurniasih from SimpleCurveDesign said 2 years ago

    great article..!

  • Ebrown2503

    Eleanore from FiberBeads said 2 years ago

    Come to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Corn, Beans and a fun downtown, featuring the University of Illinois. In the fall you can take a day trip to Amish country and the Pumpkin Farm in Arthur. I know you'd LOVE the I.D.E.A. Store and all it represents for handmade creativity!

  • PrimativePots

    Tracey Crockett from PrimitivePots said 2 years ago

    Love this!

  • BlacknickSculpture

    Brian Blacknick from BlacknickSculpture said 2 years ago

    Interesting idea!

  • anordicrose

    virginie lykins from anordicrose said 2 years ago

    That is the reason why I love ETSY and support it wholeheartedly.... they actually care about the persons who sell on their platform ! I was very lucky to meet many etsy admin earlier this year during the Berlin captain summit and was very impressed with their sincerity and dedication not just to ETSY as a site, but to the individual sellers who make etsy what it is- the worlds largest marketplace for handmade !

  • Eastburnoriginals

    Jaymi Hampton from Eastburnoriginals said 2 years ago

    Come visit the NORGA Team in the North Georgia area and we will all show you a good time.

  • subversivedomestics

    Nikki from ShopOrangeBlossoms said 2 years ago

    Please come and visit my work room in Florida! I'd love to share with with Etsy!

  • 3horse1dog

    Jeb Prazak from JebArt said 2 years ago

    How very wonderful to take the time and make the effort to visit etsy sellers. There is so much to be learned from one another. I adore being a part of it all and getting a 'congratulations you've sold bla bla" announcement in my emails just makes my life so much better. To be able to show my works to the entire globe is beyond anything all of my elderly years can fathom....kudos to etsy and please put me on your places to visit when in Wisconsin.

  • AgJoyas

    Fernanda Y Jérôme from AgJc said 2 years ago

    Thank you so much for take the time to visiting us and your huge support to independent designers and makers!

  • krumfelt2

    Kathy Rumfelt from ClassicChicjewelry said 2 years ago

    Hello, Thank you! ....you are welcome to join my studio and I value you with your dusting advise. I wanted the holiday's to settle and back into making my store a little more dust proof. :-) Come join me in Statham, Ga...Happy New Year!

  • PepiZ

    Petranka Zdravkova from PepiZ said 2 years ago

    lovely end interesting idea

  • LuluandGandore

    LuluandGandore from LuluandGandore said 2 years ago

    That is so great! Come see all my vintage in PA!

  • CedarMoon

    Kate Higgins from CedarMoon said 2 years ago

    You are welcome to visit the Flamingo Incognito flock anytime at my studio in the woods of Puget Sound...with advanced notice so I can clear a path. I've had uninvited raccoons visit inside at night (door left open), 3 year olds visit in the daytime, the local garden club and the 65mph wind gust remnants of a Pacific typhoon visit. It blew my outside spray-paint tent into a pretzel. The party the raccoons had inside my studio were the most interesting and time consuming experience. You would be a welcome change, Kate ...who doesn't look like a flamingo with a mustache...yet

  • MysticalRaindrops

    Jeannie from MysticalRaindrops said 2 years ago

    I like these kinds of articles. :)

  • SOLUNAcr

    Juan Flores from FIBRASORGANICAS said 2 years ago

    Come to Costa Rica..!!

  • anafrez

    Anafrez Notions from AnafrezNotions said 2 years ago

    Put me on your list.www.etsy.com/shop/AnafrezNotions

  • hchildress12

    Holly and John from ZCreateDesign said 2 years ago

    This is awesome! Come visit us, Etsy! You're welcome any time! :-D

  • sarahewatts

    Sarah Watts from craftsandthecity said 2 years ago

    This is so fantastic! I love having the opportunity to see how others make the most of their space! Come visit me in my downtown Chicago high rise!! Believe me, I'm making the most of my little space!

  • bennaandhanna

    benna and hanna from bennaandhanna said 2 years ago

    one of my dreams!

  • franklinamanda

    Amanda Franklin-Brown from CoveCalligraphy said 2 years ago

    Would be lovely to get a visit in the UK too :)

  • marienegretti

    Jeannette Barcelona from JeannetteVintage said 2 years ago

    Would be awesome to eat some tapas and show you our vintage studio if you ever come to Spain! Barcelona is lovely and sunny anytime !

  • softoceans

    Clara Joy from ShopClaraJoy said 2 years ago

    Great way to connect. Thanks Etsy.

  • bellta

    Pennapa Shotlersuk from Belltastudio said 2 years ago

    Very nice!! :)

  • AgelessThings

    AgelessThings from VintageAgelessThings said 2 years ago

    Little late to the party here, but if you come my way I'll need a day or two to tidy up!

  • boloties

    UNEMPLOYED Custom Orders Wanted USA Made Superhero Cufflinks Wedding Jewelry from boloties said 2 years ago

    I loved this article, Please keep visiting the Etsy sellers and posting their creative nooks and crafts. So interesting! Hope to see you in Kansas City, Mo soon!

  • padamfugai3601

    Edith Piaf from EstudoThemes said 2 years ago

    Great article! If you want to visit me, give me a few months to clear a path and clean. :)

  • devinpuisi

    Devin Puisi said 2 years ago

    Awesome :)

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