Stock Market

Rendered #3 Etsy: DIY to IPO

An image from Etsy's prospectus, filed with the SEC
Miriam Gottfried, Wall Street Journal reporter
Grace Dobush, writer, crafter, former Etsy seller
Abby Glassenberg, blogger, crafter, Etsy seller
Susie Ghahremani, illustrator, Etsy seller

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On April 16, Etsy became a publicly traded company. This episode explores what that means for makers who use the site to sell their wares, and for Etsy's reputation.

Over the past decade, Etsy has honed its image as the place to go online to buy goods directly from the people who made them — from hand-knitted sweaters and custom furniture to more bizarre items like soap in the shape of a Thanksgiving turkey and jewelry made from dentures. But the company has also waded into some thorny issues, like how to define "handmade."

Etsy's policy changes and rapid growth have alienated some sellers, like Grace Dobush, who recently decided to shut down her store after many years on the site. But others like, Abby Glassenberg, say Etsy is a valuable tool for a crafty business-owner. Susie Ghahremani has been on Etsy from the very beginning and she says she'll stick with the site, but she's also re-launching her own online store because she's unsure about where Etsy is headed in the future and what that could mean for her business.

You'll hear from all three of these sellers on this episode, along with Wall Street Journal reporter Miriam Gottfried as well as writer/performer Jason Rouse, who served as the voice of Etsy. The words you hear from Etsy in this episode came from the Etsy prospectus, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March. (Etsy couldn't speak to me for this episode because they are in the mandated quiet period.)

You can also listen back to my 2011 interview with April Winchell about the now defunct Regretsy. And if you're wondering what April thinks about this whole IPO thing, she wrote about it for Motherboard.

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