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.