How Etsy bet on talented New Yorkers against fast fashion and won

In an era of cheap, soulless fast fashion and drop-shipping, Brooklyn-based Etsy is doubling down on the idea that customers want unique, bespoke products created by actual humans.Earlier this week the company announced new rules that aim to increase transparency about where items come from, keep junk off the platform and ensure that everything on there is made by real humans.It’s a bold move at a time when e-commerce giants such as Walmart and Amazon are competing to slash prices and offer faster shipping, while Chinese companies such as Temu and Shein are on the rise.

“We’re really looking to further differentiate as opposed to … competing,” said Etsy’s chief marketing officer and chief operating officer Raina Moskowitz.Savvy customers increasingly see a value in Etsy’s distinct offerings, even if they have to wait three to seven business days to get them in the mail.In 2023, some 92 million buyers shelled out $13.2 billion on the platform, taking the company’s annual revenue to a record $2.7 billion.“The more people experience these mass-produced, commoditized shopping experiences, the more people are going to crave something different,” Moskowitz told The Post from the company’s Dumbo headquarters.

She sat in a walnut wood chair by Macedonian designer Katerina Trpkovska that was decorated with a pillow emblazoned with the phrase “Please leave by 9” from New Hampshire-based Shawna Moore.Etsy was launched by three friends — Rob Kalin, Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik — out of a Brooklyn apartment in 2005.

Their goal was to create a website where craftsman like themselves could sell their unique goods.By 2007, it had sold a million products.

When it went public in 2015, it was valued at $1.8 billion — the largest venture capital backed IPO to ever come out of New York City.In 2016, it moved into its current headquarters, a 200,000-square-foot space filled with light, plants salvaged woods and furniture from Etsy sellers.Today,...

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Publisher: New York Post

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