A little over three years ago, I joined the Etsy community. I only joined because one of my Flickr friends was selling a canvas and I wanted to buy it for my sister. In order to buy or sell on Etsy, you have to create an account.
Not only did I create an account, Etsy created a monster!! I can't tell you how many countless hours I spent looking at the dizzying array of items available for sale there. And when I realized that you could purchase vintage items and supplies, I was HOOKED.
Many, many of the supplies that I use for my ATCs come from Etsy. If you see any old tickets, invoices, metal thingies or bubblegum machine toys in my work, I got them on Etsy. The selection is so incredible that I can type in "vintage grocery store" and lo and behold, I can actually find old grocery store items or miniatures. It's like having your own special concierge picking out your favorite things (I know that Ebay has been doing it for longer, but there's just something different about Etsy).
Nearly everything that I bought my sister for Christmas this year, I found on Etsy. I found a wonderful little vase, some letterpress notecards, and a vintage mint-in-box dollhouse settee, much like one that she has in her own home. Before Etsy, there is NO WAY I would've found all of these awesome things, and certainly not in the same weekend!
About a year and a half after finding Etsy, I started making some items and selling them there. It was so thrilling to put up a canvas for sale and have it sell in the first week! I did more canvases for Etsy but then I was asked to sell them at a gallery in Manchester, England so I took them down, and didn't do much selling after that, until....
Until about three weeks ago, when I suddenly had far more time to make stuff! If you've been reading this blog then you know that I quit my job at our local newspaper to forge ahead in the arts field, with a little help from some friends. So on top of that work, it is now possible for me to focus on other aspects of my artwork, and that certainly includes my Etsy shop, Snizzers & Gwoo! I've already sold 3 pendants and I couldn't be more excited. And Etsy really wants you to succeed! They have a lot of tutorials and hints to make your shop as prosperous as you want it to be. It's a win-win for everyone! :D
On the (hilarious) flip side, there is a website dedicated to some of the, shall we say, more "interesting" items for sale on Etsy. Maybe you've heard of it? It's cleverly called Regretsy, and once you're on that site expect to spend a good hour there. I actually laughed out loud a couple of times because not only are you seeing the weirdest stuff, their snarky comments make the site perfection. I especially love the section called "Spelling Errors". It's hysterical.
If you haven't found your way to Etsy (or Regretsy!) yet, I highly suggest checking it out (or setting aside an afternoon!). You will be astounded at what you'll find.