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Notes From Chad: 2013 Year in Review

Jan 28, 2014

by Chad Dickerson handmade and vintage goods

At today’s community Town Hall, we’ll be discussing one of our goals for this year: making it faster and easier for sellers to run an Etsy business. But before we look ahead, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2013.

In the past year, Etsy’s seller community — a million strong around the world — sold more than $1.35 billion worth of creative goods, the biggest year ever for the Etsy community.

Heading into our ninth year, Etsy continues to connect creative people across the world. A third of all transactions cross international borders. The order that went the farthest distance in 2013, a package of craft supplies, travelled more than 12,000 miles, from a seller in Singapore to a buyer in Ecuador!

One of the most impactful things we did last year was to help the greater public — from government officials to academic experts to media — understand what it means to run an Etsy business. In October, we released a report on our community’s economic impact. It showcased how Etsy sellers are different from traditional entrepreneurs in terms of their motivations, independence and autonomy. The Etsy seller isn’t focused solely on making a living, but instead building businesses on Etsy that reflect their unique priorities in life.

The Economist magazine recognized this potential in its January 4 2014 issue, writing, “Having embraced new technology and business models, Etsy and the rest of the maker movement may stand a better chance of supporting artisans [than prior movements in history].”

As the world took note, we continued to build on the pillars of our long-term strategy that I described last August. From debuting more language and payments options, to launching our wholesale platform in beta, to improving the mobile shopping experience, to partnering with West Elm, Nordstrom, and Whole Foods Market, in 2013 we shared Etsy with more people than ever before. New marketplace guidelines we debuted in October cleared up longstanding confusion and created more opportunities for businesses to scale and for sellers to share their stories.

You shared the Etsy magic as well! Last year, we introduced Favorite Lists, collections for organizing finds across the site, and Pages, collections for helping shoppers discover new items through the brands they love. More than 1.6 million lists of favorites were created by members and by partners last year, and they featured 13 million different products. The item added to the most lists was Gold Bumblebee Bobby Pins; runners-up included Antler Rings and Winged Scarves.

We also focused on the world outside our doors, harnessing the power of business to bring real opportunities for social and environmental progress. In 2013, we launched the Craft Entrepreneurship program in Rockford, IL and New York City, teaching underserved populations how to use their making skills to supplement their incomes. The program was recognized by former president Bill Clinton for its potential.

The most beautiful thing about Etsy’s growth is that it benefits millions of people around the world: sellers supporting themselves through doing something they love, and buyers cherishing one-of-a-kind objects that they can’t find anywhere else. Together, we’re connecting people through commerce, putting businesses to work to improve the world, and championing economic empowerment.


  • 108BeadingHearts

    Amy from DezineStudio said 2 years ago

    Very Exciting! Way to go Etsy, Sellers, and Customers. Thanks and gratefulness all around! cant wait to see what happens next!

  • mossycreekstudio

    Amy from MossyCreekStudio said 2 years ago

    Very Exciting! Cant wait to hear all about where we have been and where we are heading. Thanks Etsy, for all you do!

  • hellome

    April from hellome said 2 years ago

    Thanks for the Town Hall earlier. I haven't been to an Etsy e-vent since the days of the Virtual Labs. And while I missed the sling shots and paper airplanes it was still nice to see people in real time.

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose said 2 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I missed the town hall but I'm sure it will be available at some point to watch.

  • WomanShopsWorld

    Carter Seibels Singh from WomanShopsWorld said 2 years ago

    So nice to see all of the accomplishments of 2013 here in once place. What a year! Thanks to all of you at etsy for constantly striving to make this an incredible marketplace. I look forward to what 2014 will bring!

  • cinnew

    Cinne Worthington from CBanningAccessories said 2 years ago

    It has been a great first full year for me selling on Etsy. What an amazing experience it has been growing a small business in this community. I am very grateful for what the Etsy team has done and continues to do to improve how the site looks and functions. Thank you!

  • recycledwares

    Nerrissa W from RecycledWares said 2 years ago

    Thanks for being so transparent and giving us information that other selling venues normally wouldn't share. It's been a wonderful 2014 so far and I look forward to being a part of the Etsy community in years to come.

  • Will4040

    William Edward Rodriguez III from WillzArtShop said 2 years ago

    Hope things get better, just opened my shop up last week and have plenty of views but only one buyer so far. hopefully my perseverance will pay off. 2014 and beyond.

  • MFGifts

    Marilyn Frank from MFGifts said 2 years ago

    Thank you for your report. It is really going to help me to head into a different direction of being more creative with my items, which I was afraid to do. I have always stayed conservative and cautious. I also like the updates you do to keep us on top. Thank you for that. Marilyn

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX said 2 years ago

    yeahh, nice to read this! :::-)

  • Epheriell

    Jess Van Den from Epheriell said 2 years ago

    Thanks so much, Chad, and the Etsy team around the world - 2013 was definitely the best year yet for my Etsy shop, and it's great to hear how much of an impact Etsy is making around the world and in people's lives!

  • amberRturner

    Amber R. Turner from amberRturner said 2 years ago

    I think that Etsy is pretty much a viewing site. Many people look at my art and add it to their Treasurys but few actually purchase the work. I have tried to keep it priced low and provide fast service but still very little business after 2 years. But then, this is part of our culture, not buying art.

  • MiaMontgomery

    Mia from MiaMontgomery said 2 years ago

    I love the story about the well-traveled craft supplies :). Sending your wares off to faraway lands -- I never quite get over the thrill, never will. Nothing beats the scale and reach of this audience, particularly for artisan goods, and it's been an amazing experience, thus far. Here's to another year of creative fulfillment :).

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery said 2 years ago

    So happy I found etsy, over 6 years ago!! Plan to stick around for many more♥ Have sold all over the world, and to every kind of person and group. Love making and knowing my making is enriching lives.

  • kattaime

    Elizabeth from AtolyeMetiista said 2 years ago

    Thanks for giving us an update. I'm hoping to do better in 2014, though I know that I have a lot of work to do to improve my shop and my listings in order to get things moving. Those statistics of sales certainly make me hopeful, even if I know there are tons of other sellers on here, too! I loved the "longest distance" statistic, too! It's cool to think of how far one person's products could go to get to a buyer, and to imagine that someone across the world might soon be enjoying something you have produced.

  • rctees

    toni from RCTees said 2 years ago

    Celebrating 5 years as an Etsy seller with growth every year...I have made and achieved many goals and I couldn't have done it without you!! Here's to an even bigger and better 2014!

  • Skywalkerfutes

    Charles from SkywalkerFlutes said 2 years ago

    I couldn't be prouder to be part of this fantastic opportunity you have given us. Rather than retiring Skywalker Flutes, I have been able to give it new life through etsy. thank you. C.

  • chillicsd

    Carol from FromTheHomeLand said 2 years ago

    Very exciting, I watched the Community Meeting today, very informative. I am learning a lot and there's a lot more to learn. I wish I would have know about this years ago. Thank you

  • FreshRetroGallery

    Elizabeth Knaus from FreshRetroGallery said 2 years ago

    Cheers! May God bless us with a prosperous New Year. Amen

  • coloradoreader

    Susan Bloomer from ChampsCorner said 2 years ago

    I just watched the townhall meeting and found it very interesting. I work a full time job and a part time job. I am trying to grow my Etsy business in between. I really appreciate all of the information, help and support. Thank you

  • hopscotch22

    Marelle from HopscotchCouture said 2 years ago

    Thank you for all you do. Marelle

  • crochetcluster

    Diane from CrochetCluster said 2 years ago

    Just watched the town hall. I'm excited by all the changes coming down the pike. Thank you Etsy Team - without you I wouldn't be where I am today (creatively speaking). Diane

  • creativelycc3

    Carrie Cronkite from CCsSoapinaPouch said 2 years ago

    Thank you Chad! I love Etsy, this is a wonderful place to be. I love selling here and I love meeting so many talented artists here also. So happy my sister encouraged me to open an Etsy store! Praying for another great year!

  • JaniceArtShip

    Janice MacLeod from JaniceArtShip said 2 years ago

    Go maker movement!

  • meriliin

    Merilin Põld from MerilinsRetro said 2 years ago

    So nice to share this info with us! Thank you!

  • custombybernolli

    Berna from CustombyBernolli said 2 years ago

    I love this community! Keep up the great work! Thank you for everything!

  • limitz

    Limor Haim-Matityahoo from Limitz said 2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! Shalom and cheers from the lsraeli Etsy community:-)

  • blessedvintage

    Hope from blessedvintage said 2 years ago

    Thanks for your information what a wonderful world is etsy blessings

  • mtngrlz

    Serena Hallowell from SerenaHallowellArt said 2 years ago

    Exciting to be a part of this global artisan collective. It inspires me to keep delving further into my own art because we get to share with so many.

  • amylburns

    Amy L Burns from amylburns said 2 years ago

    YAY! The changes made last year impacted my business positively. I'm pleased with 2013 and looking forward to 2014. Great work Etsy!

  • akeparker

    Aneliese from aParkerStudios said 2 years ago

    What Etsy did for me was break down the "barriers to entry." I wanted to work for myself doing what I love and big box stores, publishing houses and greeting card companies felt like fortresses where no one answers the door. Etsy went directly to the people. So rewarding. Thank you!!

  • TreeChild1

    Angela Smith from TreeChild1 said 2 years ago

    Thank you, Etsy, for giving us the tools and support we need to grow our businesses. Without you we might be working a 9 to 5, so thank you!

  • GlassPanes

    Nancy Fancy Pants from GlassPanes said 2 years ago

    This is the first year I have been able to focus all my time and efforts to my Etsy business. This article gets me raring to go. Thanks Etsy.

  • joseflong

    Josef Long from ugliducklings said 2 years ago

    Thanks for the great information, it is nice we have a great tool to get more products out to different locations....faster, easier, and fun !!!!!

  • ComplexLaser

    EngravingForYou from EngravingForYou said 2 years ago

    Thank you Etsy for providing a relatively easy avenue for us entrepreneurs. Congratulations on your best year so far in 2013!

  • fallinlovegems

    Elie Lavigne from fallinlovegems said 2 years ago

    Thank you kindly to provide such a amazing place, etsy changed my live for the best

  • LisandraM

    Lisandra Mathews from StringDearieStudio said 2 years ago

    I've been longing to open my Etsy shop for years and I finally did last summer. So far it's been very satisfying and I'm so glad to hear that Etsy community shows not signs of slowing down. Looking forward to 2014!

  • RusticLogDecor

    Randy and Linda Rasmussen from RusticLogDecor said 2 years ago

    I love reading the numbers, watching Etsy get stronger and bigger. Thank you for providing the tools and and always looking for ways to make Etsy better.

  • subversivedomestics

    Nikki from ShopOrangeBlossoms said 2 years ago

    I look forward to sharing my accessories with even more people this year!

  • opendoorstudio

    Martha Layton Smith from opendoorstudio said 2 years ago

    great things can happen when we come together as a community! thank you for allowing us the platform to do just that!

  • clarekapin
  • LadyInPurple

    Jennifer Tyson from LadyInPurpleJewelry said 2 years ago

    It's amazing to read those stats! I enjoy watching the live Town Hall and hope they continue. Here's to a great 2014 for the Etsy community!

  • vinylclockwork

    Scott from vinylclockwork said 2 years ago

    Great stuff looking forward to whats to come

  • nikipaniki

    Niki Torres from CuriousMystic said 2 years ago

    Wonderful update. Can't wait to see what Etsy has in store for us in 2014.

  • PookieandJack

    Suzanne and Melissa from PookieandJack said 2 years ago

    Fantastic information! It is such a pleasure being part of Etsy..Thank you for all your hard work to help us reach our goals!

  • ctcolorado

    Collette Turner from WiredAndStrungOut said 2 years ago

    Thanks Etsy. With all that is going on economically in the world. it is refreshing to have a venue like Etsy to be able to do business with REAL people and not some big corporation.

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