How Etsy Keeps its Big Sellers from Going Solo
In the decade since Etsy launched as a digital flea market for knitted headbands and handmade cards, it has evolved into the world’s fifth-largest online marketplace with 1.5 million active sellers and 21.7 million active buyers. Tuesday, the company announced that in the first half of 2015, its shops drove more than $1 billion in gross merchandise sales.
With such growth, some individual Etsy shops have become standalone brands in their own right. A 2014 survey of its sellers found that 76 percent of them consider their Etsy shop a business, and for almost a third, it is their sole occupation. Tielor McBride, who began his leather good shop TM1985 as a hobby in 2010, has since sold items at Banana Republic and Japanese retailer Journal Standard. Rebecca Schoneveld used her Etsy earnings to help establish a brick-and-mortar bridal boutique in Brooklyn