Finding the ways to fill the time
Handmade is making a comeback. Perhaps in the cyclical manner of things, knitting and crochet just became cool again, or maybe, after decades of cheaply made, quickly discarded products, the inevitable backlash hit.
I first stumbled upon Etsy when looking for origami jewellery for my wedding and from there I was hooked. However, and I wonder if this happens a lot, Etsy became more of a springboard of inspiration, a showcase of beautiful handmade, ”I wonder if I could make that’ and ‘oh that’s what THAT’S called, let’s check tutorials on Youtube/Instructables” items.
What items I did buy tended to be either materials, like some lovely vintage glass beads, for making my own gear, or something like the ‘Tattoo socks’ to wear during the reception, something I could never make and only really bought because it was a special occasion.
After I spent months making origami kusudama flowers and embroidered felt flower wedding centrepieces I watched them walk off the tables as my cousins snapped them up after the ceremony was over. Despite my own thrifty (see cheapskate) example, I suddenly decided, “This is my calling! ” and opened my own Etsy shop.
I made a DIY lightbox (thank you Instructables) to give my products a professional finish, had friends posing happily draped in my necklaces. I was favourited, put into a few “Lists”, but nothing sold.
Etsy charges 20 cents per listing and a transaction fee of 3.5% on the item sold (not including shipping or taxes) and eventually, after sacrificing about $1.50 on fees, I decided to let the listings run out.
That’s it, I thought.
After returning to Japan however, I started getting a lot of positive comments about my origami necklaces. I got the itch to try again.
But not on Etsy this time. I found an article which lists 15 Great Alternatives to Etsy, which lists several which are completely and utterly free. I’ve decided to road test them and give a run down on each site’s user friendliness, what options and tools are available to free account holders and thoughts on the general community vibe.
Etsy Alternatives Roadtested