Etsy News Blog

Notes From Chad: 2013 Year in Review 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 says:

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

    2 years ago

  • mossycreekstudio

    Amy from MossyCreekStudio says:

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

    2 years ago

  • hellome

    April from hellome says:

    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.

    2 years ago

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose says:

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

    2 years ago

  • WomanShopsWorld

    Carter Seibels Singh from WomanShopsWorld says:

    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!

    2 years ago

  • cinnew

    Cinne Worthington from CBanningAccessories says:

    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!

    2 years ago

  • recycledwares

    Nerrissa W from RecycledWares says:

    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.

    2 years ago

  • Will4040

    William Edward Rodriguez III from WillzArtShop says:

    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.

    2 years ago

  • MFGifts

    Marilyn Frank from MFGifts says:

    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

    2 years ago

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX says:

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

    2 years ago

  • Epheriell

    Jess Van Den from Epheriell says:

    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!

    2 years ago

  • amberRturner

    Amber R. Turner from amberRturner says:

    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.

    2 years ago

  • MiaMontgomery

    Mia from MiaMontgomery says:

    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 :).

    2 years ago

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery says:

    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.

    2 years ago

  • kattaime

    Elizabeth from AtolyeMetiista says:

    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.

    2 years ago

  • rctees

    toni from RCTees says:

    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!

    2 years ago

  • Skywalkerfutes

    Charles from SkywalkerFlutes says:

    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.

    2 years ago

  • chillicsd

    Carol from FromTheHomeLand says:

    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

    2 years ago

  • FreshRetroGallery

    Elizabeth Knaus from FreshRetroGallery says:

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

    2 years ago

  • coloradoreader

    Susan Bloomer from ChampsCorner says:

    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

    2 years ago

  • hopscotch22

    Marelle from HopscotchCouture says:

    Thank you for all you do. Marelle

    2 years ago

  • crochetcluster

    Diane from CrochetCluster says:

    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

    2 years ago

  • creativelycc3

    Carrie Cronkite from CCsSoapinaPouch says:

    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!

    2 years ago

  • JaniceArtShip

    Janice MacLeod from JaniceArtShip says:

    Go maker movement!

    2 years ago

  • meriliin

    Merilin Põld from MerilinsRetro says:

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

    2 years ago

  • custombybernolli

    Berna from CustombyBernolli says:

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

    2 years ago

  • limitz

    Limor Haim-Matityahoo from Limitz says:

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

    2 years ago

  • blessedvintage

    Hope from blessedvintage says:

    Thanks for your information what a wonderful world is etsy blessings

    2 years ago

  • mtngrlz

    Serena Hallowell from SerenaHallowellArt says:

    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.

    2 years ago

  • amylburns

    Amy L Burns from amylburns says:

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

    2 years ago

  • akeparker

    Aneliese from aParkerStudios says:

    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!!

    2 years ago

  • TreeChild1

    Angela Smith from TreeChild1 says:

    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!

    2 years ago

  • GlassPanes

    Nancy Fancy Pants from GlassPanes says:

    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.

    2 years ago

  • joseflong

    Josef Long from ugliducklings says:

    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 !!!!!

    2 years ago

  • ComplexLaser

    EngravingForYou from EngravingForYou says:

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

    2 years ago

  • fallinlovegems

    Elie Lavigne from fallinlovegems says:

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

    2 years ago

  • LisandraM

    Lisandra Mathews from StringDearieStudio says:

    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!

    2 years ago

  • RusticLogDecor

    Randy and Linda Rasmussen from RusticLogDecor says:

    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.

    2 years ago

  • subversivedomestics

    Nikki from ShopOrangeBlossoms says:

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

    2 years ago

  • opendoorstudio

    Martha Layton Smith from opendoorstudio says:

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

    2 years ago

  • clarekapin
  • LadyInPurple

    Jennifer Tyson from LadyInPurpleJewelry says:

    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!

    2 years ago

  • vinylclockwork

    Scott from vinylclockwork says:

    Great stuff looking forward to whats to come

    2 years ago

  • nikipaniki

    Niki Torres from CuriousMystic says:

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

    2 years ago

  • PookieandJack

    Suzanne and Melissa from PookieandJack says:

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

    2 years ago

  • ctcolorado

    Collette Turner from WiredAndStrungOut says:

    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.

    2 years ago