At Artsmart in London, Shedman was interested to see Etsy promoting their online community of makers and sellers. One of their giveaways was the tea towel pictured above featuring a tree of sheds - an interesting image, suggesting growth, networking and the unique role of the shed for artists and craftspeople. At the bottom, the strapline: 'Stay handmade'.
Etsy describes itself as a global community 'with buyers and sellers coming from more than 150 countries. Etsy sellers number in the hundreds of thousands. Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice: Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.'
Their approach seems to be paying off. In May 2011, Etsy sold 2,006,810 items worth $40.0 million - a 75% increase on May 2010.
Shedman can't remember who said something like 'All a business needs is to make it and sell it', or that many successful businesses started off as a partnership between someone who could make the product and someone who could sell it. Etsy - and other sites like it - offer a way for makers to access their market globally through the partnership of an online salesperson.
|Global distibution of Etsies if they were all glowworm|
The number of Etsies who work in a shed must run into thousands, so in their honour Shedman has added an Etsy shed search to the sidebar.