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Celebrating Makers at the White House

Jun 12, 2015

by Althea Erickson

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

For the second year in a row, we are taking our message about creative entrepreneurship and empowerment to Washington, DC. Responding to the President’s call to action to create a Nation of Makers, and as part of a White House event kicking off the National Week of Making, Etsy is furthering our commitment to build a better economy — one that puts people at the center of commerce, promotes local, sustainable production, and empowers anyone to build a creative business on their own terms.

Policymakers are waking up to the value of the maker economy. When I meet with government officials around the world, I see a new awareness and concern about the needs and challenges of micro-businesses. Even Congress has a Congressional Maker Caucus, which is hosting it’s own Capitol Hill Maker Faire this week. Today we’re excited to stand with President Obama to celebrate the students, makers and entrepreneurs who are creating their own products, building their own businesses, and in the process, remaking the global economy.

At this morning’s kick-off event at the White House, we are sharing our commitment to expand our Craft Entrepreneurship program. Craft Entrepreneurship’s mission is to create pathways to entrepreneurship for creative people in underserved communities, working with cities to realize the vision of an inclusive, thriving Etsy Economy.

Our commitment: Etsy will expand our Craft Entrepreneurship program to 30 cities by June 2016. Craft Entrepreneurship is now in 19 cities across the United States and United Kingdom and more than 500 online shops have already been created as a result of the program. The five newest partner cities include: Cookeville, TN; Atlantic City, NJ; Cleveland, OH; Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Hazard, KY, which is in a Promise Zone recently designated by the Obama Administration.

In addition, we will organize regional roundtables among sellers and local government representatives, and use those as listening sessions to document best practices for other local leaders that want to foster greater entrepreneurship in their communities.

Have an idea for what your local government can do to support Etsy businesses? Share it in the comments below.

When we meet with policymakers, we reiterate the five actions we think they can take to capitalize on the promise of the maker movement to build a better economy. Read more in our report: A Call to Action: Five Proposals to Support the Emerging Maker Economy.

16 comments

  • hansonmissysue

    MissySue Hanson from bellesandghosts said 2 years ago

    Amazing!!!! ♥

  • eopland

    Elizabeth Howe from TheBlueRam said 2 years ago

    Very exciting to see craft entrepreneurs being recognized all the way to the top!

  • minipotterybyanita

    minipotterybyanita from potterybyAnita said 2 years ago

    Love the colors and excitement in the picture above! Yes, please keep spreading the word that there are hard-working, talented people in this country who need promotion! Thanks! ♥♥♥

  • burbanmom

    Erin from Revendeur said 2 years ago

    That's great news! We need to revamp our national economy and once again recognize the value of craftsmanship over cheap prices. Buying from independent craftspeople enables the lower and middle class to make a living wage, stay home with their kids, and keep traditional arts alive. It also is often gentler on our environment. Keep up the good work, Etsy!

  • xZOUix

    Zoui from XZOUIX said 2 years ago

    Woww, how about that! Thumbs up for all creative spirits that make Etsy such an awesome place, and thank you all for being such a great inspiration!

  • ElisabethSpace

    Elisabeth Percival from ElisabethSpace said 2 years ago

    Exciting! I hope the blend of artistic creativity and small businesses sees a sustainable boom in the near future.

  • wiresNpliers

    wiresNpliers from wiresNpliers said 2 years ago

    Woo Hoo!!! Hoping we get to hear about the Captiol Hill Maker Faire, how it goes, and what plans are "in the make" for the coming year! Interested to hear more about the "Promised Zone" referred to in the article above.

  • hazgr8life

    JoAnn McNulty from WhimseyNSucculents said 2 years ago

    Great, so beneficial to all ages to share their creative side.

  • RockyMountainMajesty

    RockyMountainMajesty from RockyMountainMajesty said 2 years ago

    Totally agree with Erin at Revendeur above. Well said! Thanks, Etsy, for being involved in national education.

  • STARHAVEN

    Carolly Hauksdottir from STARHAVEN said 2 years ago

    Excellent! Raising the profile of the maker community will help all of us who make things with our hands and minds, and greatly benefit the general public by introducing them to all sorts of craftwork: they don't have to be satisfied with ugly just because it is cheap, and they don't have to buy mass-produced items like everyone else. Quality lasts, but they won't know quality unless they are expose to it.

  • STARHAVEN

    Carolly Hauksdottir from STARHAVEN said 2 years ago

    We really need an edit button, even if it is for 30 seconds. "exposed"

  • FreshRetroGallery

    Elizabeth Knaus from FreshRetroGallery said 2 years ago

    The local gov could “mention” Etsy when opportunities arise. Some have not yet heard of us.

  • Rainstudio

    Ganell from RainStudio said 2 years ago

    I was a closet crafter for years and kept the things I made hidden away. This is a huge step in the right direction. Finally, we are being noticed as a sustainable community and we love what do? Yes, this community can bring something to the table. We have not yet begun to tap into the talent that is hidden out there or even future creative minds to come. This should help!

  • joliefemme

    Diana from joliefemme said 2 years ago

    We are working hard to be part of the economic recovery and it's great to have a voice politically.

  • APocketfulOfVintage

    APocketfulOfVintage from APocketfulOfVintage said 2 years ago

    Story by Althea Erickson Published on June 12, 2015 in Company News Policymakers are waking up to the value of the maker economy. When I meet with government officials around the world, I see a new awareness and concern about the needs and challenges of micro-businesses. *********************************************************************** As per your statement, quoted above, would you mind linking to other written articles, pertaining to meeting with ''government officials from around the world'', please? If no articles have been written, regarding such meetings, perhaps you could add a list of countries, the dates, and a synopsis of the message delivered when you have met with government officials from around the world? Also, are you promoting the environmental benefits etc. of those micro-businesses offering vintage? Thank you.

  • Luciascandlecottage

    Lucia Contreras from LuciasCandleCottage said 2 years ago

    I am very happy to hear , that as crafters and creators, we are finally being heard in Washington, It's so refreshing to know, that there is more interest out there, for us who make handmade products and those with lovely vintage products. I am very happy to be part of this large Etsy Family. Let Etsy SHINE. as it deserves. Thank you

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