Creative and Artsy on Etsy

ALAN LE/New University

Have you ever thrown a party and had left over bottle caps, perhaps after New Years? Maybe you have gone for a jog around the park and seen some goose feathers on the concrete. One wouldn’t usually pay attention to these inanimate and seemingly useless objects — but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Many people around the world use these findings to create jewelry or to accessorize clothing and sell it on a website known as Etsy.com.

Etsy was founded by Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire, Haim Schoppik and Jared Tarbell in 2005. The e-commerce website contains a variety of handmade and vintage items including jewelry, clothing articles, accessories, toys, music, utensils and a lot more. Not only is Etsy a simple and unique way to maintain a small retail business through selling items, but it is also a convenient way to purchase items that are not usually found in regular retail stores. You can find an item for practically anything, whether it be countries, seasons, cultures, music, pets, Harry Potter, Twilight or a combination of all of these.

Zuha Khan, a freshman at UC Davis, discovered the website while she was looking for vintage articles of clothing. Khan pursued jewelry making as a passion and discovered soon enough that she could share her artful creations with people around the world, and thus started selling her jewelry on Etsy.

“The Etsy community is dedicated to people who enjoy the do it yourself (DIY) ethic very much and appreciate the value of handmade craft and/or vintage items,” Khan said. “It makes it feel more wholesome than eBay … I love finding something completely unique on the site. In terms of selling items, it’s amazing noticing where some of my buyers are from. I’ve had buyers from England, Canada, and various parts of the United States.”

Aside from the DIY satisfaction and uniqueness of the website, Etsy is also a great place for people to connect through art and allow them to discover the similarities in their ideas and creations. For example, I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, and I also enjoy playing the guitar. I wanted to create a piece of jewelry that somehow connected these two passions of mine, and decided that I wanted to make a guitar necklace and engrave something Harry Potter related onto it. Soon enough, I realized that someone had already come up with this idea, and it was nice to find common interests between myself and this person who lives across the country from me. Often, once a buyer finds something unique that they would like to purchase, they can refer to the same seller’s profile to find other items to their liking.

You can sign up to start selling on Etsy for free, however it costs 20 cents to list an item for up to four months. Once you sell an item, you will pay a 3.5 percent transaction fee, but Etsy makes it simple to pay these bills. Not only is Etsy a safe and productive way to express your passion, art and creations, it is also a place to develop a hobby for collecting specific items.