After my amazing time at the Martha Stewart Show last week, I had some time to fill before my plane back home. I was fortunate enough to have made contact with Laura at Etsy and she had time to give me a quick tour of the offices and labs, which are located in Brooklyn. I was DOUBLE lucky that my new crafty pal Haley from The Zen of Making was free to go with me!
I love the first paragraph of the Etsy Mission Statement on their blog- and I’m sharing it here, because so much of that informs the rest of my visit:
We are anthropologists of commerce. Weâ€™re curious about people and what they make, exchange and consume. By looking around at the stuff that matters to our lives, we believe we can understand more about what moves us as human beings.
So, knowing that, there is no way I should have been overwhelmed by the cacophony of art and design that simultaneously adorns and clutters the office spaces. See for yourself.
I was told that every piece of furniture and art was purchased from Etsy sellers. (That being said, I’m not sure why vintage desks are part of the handmade movement, but that’s a discussion for another day.)Â They have a ping pong table directly in front of the above mural so employees can take a break, and there are multiple mini-conference rooms decorated in different themes. EVERYTHING there feeds the creative spirit!
The offices house about 130 of the 160-odd employees, which consist of technical crew, support help, etc. But Etsy isn’t JUST an online experience. They have Etsy Labs, too- which is a space for real-life craft events. They host Craft Night on Mondays (so bummed I missed this), charity events, and meet-ups.Â When I was there, Kimm was hard at work, prepping hand-made (natch) swag for South By South West.
It was so cool to be there – and I’m really impressed by Etsy as a company, too. Folks bring their dogs to work, they have a catered “crafted” lunch weekly, and they haven’t raised prices for their sellers since it’s inception. That, with their community building and outreach makes them craft-tastic, in my book!