These activities were called crafts because originally many of them were professions under the guild system. Adolescents were apprenticed to a master craftsman, and refined their skills over a period of years in exchange for low wages. By the time their training was complete, they were well equipped to set up in trade for themselves, earning their living with the skill that could be traded directly within the community, often for goods and services.
"I love Etsy. I was able to make sales that I’m sure I never would have been able to make if I had attempted to, say, create my own website," Noss says.
Many crafts become very popular for brief periods of time (a few months, or a few years), spreading rapidly among the crafting population as everyone emulates the first examples, then their popularity wanes until a later resurgence.
Walker says a lot of the almost-political ideas that were crucial when Etsy started are "less crucial now to probably most of the sellers, but still very important to some of the sellers."