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Guide to Locals on Etsy

When I’m out window shopping or taking in the market, I tend to linger a bit longer at stores and booths that are selling local goods. Whether we’re talking produce, pottery or some other fantastical find, it’s great to uncover treasures created by fellow Kingstonians. Even if you’re not buying! As more products are seemingly made in a far off land, it’s sometimes difficult to sniff out where the locals are doing business.  This is becoming increasingly true when it comes to locating Kingston-based artisans online.  While I am sure many of our readers are familiar with Etsy, the online mecca for all things handmade, you may be unaware of Etsy’s search feature which allows buyers to browse shops maintained by Kingstonians.

While there are presently only a few shop owners and artisans claiming to call Kingston home, it’s my hope that by drawing attention to those who are selling their goods via sites such as Etsy, more people will be inspired to buy and sell locally.  Presently, there are six Kingstonians with shops established on Etsy, as follows:

MoonlightAndFire: eclectic, handmade jewellery created from natural gemstones, pearls, silver, copper, Czech fire polished glass, etc.

MoonlightAndFire, Kingston, Ontario

taurmailyn: images of fantastical beings such as fairies and mermaids.
taurmailyn, Kingston, Ontario

Cutie Patootees: adorable hats and other knits (organic cotton, pima cotton, baby bamboo, pure wool, etc.) for kids,  available in customizable colours. (store presently closed due to baby #3)
Cutie Patootees, Kingston, Ontario

Daffidolls: a variety of cloth art dolls, from simple characters and creatures to more extravagant figures.
Daffidolls, Kingston, Ontario

Studio 628: handmade home decor items made from vintage linens, and luxurious fabrics with chic trims, buttons and detailing.
Studio 628, Kingston, Ontario

Mignonne: a handmade collection of jewellery enriched with color, designed to be wearable, fun, distinctive and beautiful.
Mignonne, Kingston, Ontario

Etsy is every-changing in the sense that sellers come and go just like physical, offline shops.  From attending events such as the Fat Goose Craft Fair, and public market, I know that the Limestone City has a lot of talented people who, for one reason or another, aren’t selling their goods on Etsy.  Where are they, or perhaps you, hiding?  Please drop off a comment or two and let us know where you find, or perhaps sell, local, crafty treasures?  Help us spread the word about where to find Kingston’s artisans online.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

9 thoughts on “Guide to Locals on Etsy

  • April 14, 2011 at 1:40 pm
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    I think the makers of the Bratz line of dolls might like to have a little word with taurmailyn, but then again suing a 12 year old is never a popular bet.

  • May 1, 2011 at 8:59 pm
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    Miranda Scott: http://www.houseonhudson.ca

    I make gold and sterling silver jewellery, and I and several other local jewellers can be found at Metalworks (www.metalworkskingston.com) at 352 King Street, at the corner of King and Princess!

    I don't sell on Etsy, because I don't agree with how they treat their sellers, but that's a long story.

      • June 7, 2011 at 10:36 am
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        Agreeing with @houseonhudson – for an even more hilarious take on why Etsy stinks, read regretsy.com. I really admire the people who are able to make Etsy work for them but like Miranda, I took my craft business to its own web home after a few months of Etsy selling.

  • May 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm
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    Oops, the link to the Metalworks website should have been http://www.metalworkskingston.ca

    Alright, I'll try to keep it short and sweet:

    The first are foremost problem with Etsy is that there are a LOT of crafters there, especially in the jewellery category. These sellers dedicate a lot of time to what is called 'relisting', which is basically re-paying the .20 cent listing fee for your item to appear at the top of the category searches, which maxes out now at 800 items I believe. Due to the massive amount of people doing this with multiple items per day (not to mention the listing of totally new items) you barely get any views at all. That seemingly low .20 cent fee adds up really quickly, and I'm betting a lot of sellers are losing more money than they are making in sales this way.

    The second problem are the re-sellers. Etsy has it in their policy that you can't sell anything that hasn't been handmade by you, however this hasn't stopped people from buying mass produced junk on Alibaba and Ebay and passing it off as handmade, or "vintage" for dirt cheap prices. Etsy knows this happens, these stores get flagged constantly, and yet the admin do nothing to stop it, because I figure these guys are making them good money. Calling out these sellers anywhere on the site can result in you being silenced in the forums, or banned at the worst.

    There are many, many other reasons (still no customer service line to call after all these years, Admin playing favorites with certain sellers, severe delays in helping sellers/customers solve transaction issues, Admin silencing/removing sellers for questioning their policies and decisions, etc.)

    For more details I would highly reccommend reading http://etsybitch.blogspot.com/

    As an selling alternative, I would like to reccommend Cargoh.com (They're Canadian and need more support!) and Artfire.com. Both are run much better.

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