The front page change was a shock to many of us as it didn't just affect the look of the site but the entire way that we had interacted with it and each other. I didn't fully understand how emotionally invested I was in Etsy until then. I spent days in tears. My husband would come home from work and find me in front of the computer with tears streaming down my face. "Etsy?" he would ask. Yes, I would nod. It's hard to explain. But the shift was profound and I know many others who were similarly affected.
After the initial shock and the realization that this was a permanent change, many treasury teams disbanded. What was the point of them if hardly anyone was going to see the treasuries they made? Some stores left Etsy and set up shop elsewhere. Others held on, hoping that maybe the new version of Etsy would still hold worth and meaning. I guess I was one of them.
The closest analogy I can think of is the realization that your loved one has changed profoundly and that they may no longer be 'the one'. It's hard to make a complete break. You want to believe that the time and emotion you invested are still worth something. You distance yourself. You separate but you leave a change of clothes and a toothbrush at their place, well because maybe? So my Etsy shop has remained open.
One of the most positive things that happened to me last autumn was being invited to be part of a fabulous group of handmade artists and vintage shop owners called Tributary Goods. They created their own collaborative shop of products outside of Etsy and have provided support to each other as most of us began the process of setting up our own independent e-shops. We get each other. There's a lot of strength and a ton of humour.
Last month, Etsy rearranged the categories on their front page. Art is no longer a main category. If I was sticking around because I thought that maybe they still loved me, I guess this made things abundantly clear. There were no tears this time.
Today is the fourth anniversary of the day I opened my shop on Etsy. While my love for Etsy as a company is not there anymore, I know I learned a lot from them. Most of all, I feel huge gratitude to everyone who has bought art from me online since October of 2011. I'm also thankful for the friends I have made there among fellow shop owners. So many amazingly creative people.
I still have some products in my Etsy shop but I am not renewing them when they expire. I am only listing my new paintings and prints on Shopify now. Slowly but very surely, I am moving towards creative control and independence, and concentrating on positive change. Blue skies and possibilities. Do you know what? It feels really good.
|"I feel huge gratitude to everyone who has bought art from me online."|
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Update -- I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has read this post--over 500 people at this point! Thanks to all who took the time to comment whether on my blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or privately. It's good to know that I am not alone and that we've shared similar emotions about the changes on Etsy and that many of us are on the same journey to find independence, stability and artistic integrity elsewhere. Thanks for your support. A big hug to you all. ~ Kathleen