I originally heard about Etsy in 2010 through one of my friends who has a jewelry store (http://www.etsy.com/people/jHenSunshine). I bought a couple of her necklaces for a girlfriend for Christmas.
Although my first experience was great I forgot about Etsy until I saw, on Twitter, this bracelet that I got for my big boy (they have ones for egg, gluten, dairy, fish, etc. allergies, too)
October of last year I read an article from a gal who had an Etsy yarn store (handmade hats, scarves, etc) who was urging people to buy handmade for Christmas. She mentioned that every time a purchase is made it helps her be able to stay at home with her kids and put food on the table. Also, each of her items were created thoughtfully by her, and not in a factory where workers may not be treated well.
Her article made an impact on me. The majority of gifts I bought last Christmas were from Etsy. They were very well received.
It is mind blowing the diversity of things that are available on Etsy. If you saunter over and start going purchase crazy you can instead push the heart button on the item and it will save to your favorites. You can then revisit and purchase when you have enough loot or when it is for certain something you need.
Unbeknownst to me, until recently, I learned that you can buy blog templates on Etsy. A fellow blogger (@MerrillMartha) mentioned she was looking for a template. I jumped on the band wagon. I hearted a half dozen or so sites then slept on it for a couple weeks.
The urgency for more personalization reappeared last Friday and I purchased bloggy's new design from Pish Posh Design Studio (http://www.etsy.com/shop/PishPoshDesignStudio).
Trina, the graphic designer who created the template, is a dream come true. She had the updated site live within a couple hours (other sellers send instructions or request an additional fee). She also immediately changed the site, free of charge, when I came up with the new title a few days later! She has communicated with me throughout the process and is extremely competent. Trina is currently a college student in Kansas City. Seriously, don't you just love and admire her ingenuity to get tuition monies?! I can't wait to come up with more reasons to get her help in the future.
So the next time you need a gift, or something for yourself , instead of purchasing from big corporations, give Etsy a try. Directly support your fellow human. Long live the entrepreneurs!
Or, if you have a talent, why not start your own store? Spending time doing the things we love enhances our lives for the better. Why not feel the joy of creating something and then earn a little cash by making someone else happy!?
P.S. If this blog post results in an Etsy addiction, seek professional help. I am taking no liability in any financial duress caused. But, if you start a biz, I will gladly take 20%. Mwah!
P.P.S. Trina does Etsy store banners.
*Just a reminder that all opinions are my own and, as my mission states, I dont accept cash (or gifts) for sharing any information with you.