Holding On To Sellers: Etsy has gotten so big, it’s hard to know what motivates each seller. "I was a government worker yearning for a more creative outlet," says Heather Noss. Four years ago, Noss quit her day job and opened a shop on Etsy, where she sells handmade stationery.
Factories And Homemakers: But that also means that Etsy sellers will be in some shopping malls. "It goes back to the ideology — isn’t Etsy supposed to be a response to the mall? Aren’t we tearing down the mall?" Walker says. "I think that the new thinking is, instead of fighting traditional retail, we should figure out ways to infiltrate traditional retail on our own terms."
"Let’s say I’m a buyer and I’m looking for a wedding gown. One gown is $78 because it’s from a factory in China, but the woman has a cute little name, like Joanie Sews, and so you think it’s a person. And the other gown is $600 because it really is one woman trying to make this thing for you for your wedding," Winchell says. "Which one are you going to buy? So it sets up unfair competition between factories and homemakers."
Collective terms for handicrafts include artisanry, handicrafting, crafting, and handicraftsmanship. The term arts and crafts is also applied, especially in the United States and mostly to hobbyists’ and children’s output rather than items crafted for daily use, but this distinction is not formal, and the term is easily confused with the Arts and Crafts design movement, which is in fact as practical as it is aesthetic.