Etsy wants to bring “joy” to the process of shopping for craft supplies with its new online marketplace, Etsy Studio.
The company is stepping into the $43 billion craft supply industry with the new website, launching in April. It will be dedicated to selling craft supplies to both experts and amateurs, offering around eight million products for sale — from beads and hand-dyed fabric to weaving looms.
“When we look at the craft supplies marketplace, we really believe that anyone can make and we just need to bring out the joy of making,” Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson told “CBS This Morning” Thursday. “So when we designed Etsy Studio... we really baked joy into it.”
Etsy Studio hopes to distinguish itself from competitors, like Michaels and Jo-Ann, by making shopping for craft supplies easier online. The site will also offer easy-to-follow project tutorials to help “anyone to do a short weekend project, or even something longer,” Dickerson said.
Dickerson himself said he’s currently learning how to quilt from a tutorial.
Since its launch in 2005, Etsy has had tremendous success, growing to more than 27 million buyers and 1.7 sellers around the world.
“What made you believe this could work as a website?” asked CBS News’ Anthony Mason.
“What we really saw in 2005 was that this community that you see when you see offline craft heirs, you see people buying and selling from each other, spending time with each other, admiring each other’s crafts – that you can bring that experience online and that local feel of standing across the table from someone, you could replicate online and connect people from across the world,” Dickerson said.
Like its parent company, Etsy Studio will also reach globally.
“The great thing about buying in Etsy Studio... is that you’ll be buying from a small business somewhere around the world. So you’ll be supporting an individual,” Dickerson said. “And our seller base is largely women — about 87 percent are women.”
Dickerson said Etsy Studio will also only allow the selling and buying of original merchandise.
“How do you rebut some of the criticism that with Etsy selling these mass manufactured products, that that will take sort of this homespun image away from Etsy?” co-host Norah O’Donnell asked.
“Yeah, so we don’t allow mass manufactured products on Etsy. We do allow people to use third parties to do things like jewelry casting, which is a very expensive, difficult, even dangerous part of jewelry making. So everything on Etsy has to be created by the creators themselves,” Dickerson said.
For those who ponder the meaning of the company’s unique name, Dickerson said it can “really means whatever you want it to be.”
“We have a tradition in the company... when anyone asks, we make up a different answer,” Dickerson said. “So the best answer that we have is, there’s a section of Fellini’s film, ‘8 1/2,’ where one of the characters says, ‘etsi,’ and it sounded really good. And that’s where Etsy came from.”