Discover more from The Hungry
Etsy's Blind Eye and What to Do About It
Handmade is Dead | Pop Culture Wins | Sopping Wet
We all make things, but the timeline on which we make those things varies from person to person. Some people are planners, and some people are seat-of-their-pants creators.
I’ll give you one guess which one I am.
This edition of The Hungry is in partnership with Skillshare.
In our main story, I’m going to ask you to do a lot of things you may not be comfortable doing and might be because you haven’t learned how to do them yet.
While researching Skillshare for another story, I realized there are hundreds of courses that would help creative people get better at the things they are reluctant to learn.
And if you sign up for Skillshare today, you can binge-watch as many of those courses free for the first 30 days.
Full disclosure: I also have a few Skillshare courses and plan on doing more. You’re more than welcome to watch every single minute of those.
The Death of Handmade
Since last week’s story debacle, I’ve been exchanging thoughts with my friend Lizzi of Forgotten Cotton about the current state of Etsy, and there are things I didn’t realize were happening, but when I heard them, I wasn’t surprised.
Etsy claims to be all about handmade goods, but the shops they promote the most are anything but handmade brands.
For instance, Caitlyn Minimalist, Etsy’s #1 seller, who you’ve likely heard about if you’ve gotten any correspondence from Etsy in the last few years. When you read this, they may have crossed the 2.4 million sales mark. That’s not dollars—just the actual sales.
Caitlyn Minimalist has been on Etsy since 2014, and doing simple math, that’s at least 800 pieces of jewelry A DAY! The only thing handmade about that is the tiny hands of the factory workers in the manufacturing facility in China (100% educated speculation on my part).
How about Busy Puzzle, a shop a young Ukrainian couple started out of their humble garage? Since 2018, the couple have made over 600,000 wooden toys and claim they work alone. That comes out to 328 toys made per day—yeah, I believe they're handmade... with a CNC machine.
Manufacturing has taken over on Etsy, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t win more modestly. Maybe you can get good enough where you’re the next shop I’m talking about, but how do you even get there?
Success leaves clues; if you pay attention to these bigger sellers, they will show you how they did it. I’ve done my homework on this so you don’t have to.
Not to pour salt in the wounds from the main article, but this graph shows you the top shops on Etsy and how many units they are pushing.
When your job is to design fake brands.
Shopify is dead-set on becoming the only brand to allow all forms of payment, and it continues with an Amazon partnership. Soon, you’ll be able to use your Prime account to buy anything you want from me (or other Shopify sellers).
It’s funny how some stories happen to come across my desk at the perfect time, like this article about how to pick a name for your Etsy shop.
Social media is dead, and group chats killed it. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know this is close to accurate for me. More people are sliding into my DMs now more than ever, and to be honest, I’m okay with that.
If I had known the way to get rich in the art world was to become a museum president, I would have taken different courses in college.
Tech Tip: Did you know you can use Gmail to send automatic messages to people who email you? I will use this to deliver some free stuff to subscribers soon, but I bet there are many more uses for the feature (like replying with a 🖕🖕 to any spam messages automatically).
Art Snack: Ken Womack
Perhaps there will be a time in history when making pop culture references in art is totally played out and passé, but for the moment, pop culture always wins, and Ken Womack is learning that less.
Ken has had a shift in focus on his Saatchi Art account, and it’s paying off. Looking at where he was to where he is now, it’s obvious which works resonate with buyers.