Although Etsy is a hotbed for craft disasters ranging from recycled coffee creamer bird feeders to portrait paintings of Dr. Phil, the online craft marketplace currently holds a valuation of $3.5 billion – thanks to an IPO that the company successfully completed six months ago.
Up until now, the company has been fairly strict about the products on its platform being handmade rather than mass produced, but since it has become a particularly hot marketplace for certain items, the creators have had no choice but to resort to some way of mass producing their goods.
In an effort to help ease this transition for creators, the company – which started as a small operation out of a Brooklyn loft – has just launched a beta program for connecting creators (sellers) with manufacturers, Etsy Manufacturing. As anybody who has sourced manufacturers knows, finding one that works for your needs is easier said than done.
To help make the process as seamless as possible, the new platform will feature readily-available information for streamlining the ordering process including pricing information, facility locations and services they offer. In order to ensure that all of the manufacturers on their platform or reliable and legitimate, Etsy will review the applications of manufacturers on a case-by-case basis and demand that they be transparent about their manufacturing processes and business practices – whether it’s a full-scale facility or a one-man shop. Ultimately, the platform can now be just as lucrative for manufacturers as it is for creators.
“At Etsy, we strive to empower our sellers to start, grow and enjoy their creative businesses on their own terms. Over the years, we’ve heard from many sellers that they need help scaling to meet growing demand or to explore new product lines. While not every Etsy seller wants or needs outside manufacturing help, those who do want to build meaningful relationships with production partners who share their values.
We want to help our sellers forge responsible partnerships with manufacturers. It’s all part of our vision for an Etsy Economy, where creative entrepreneurs find meaningful work and both global and local markets for their goods, and where thoughtful consumers discover and buy unique goods and build relationships with the people who sell them.”
The new program joins other initiatives that Etsy has setup for its creators within the last year in an effort to help convert one-offs into product lines and sellers into established small businesses. Among others, these include a new crowdfunding platform, streamlined shipping options and even an opportunity to connect sellers to traditional retail channels with Etsy Wholesale.
Needless to say, it’s never been easier for evening and weekend creators to get their side projects out into the world as legitimate products. Find out more – including how to sign up for beta access – over at Etsy Manufacturing.