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Weekend Wonderfulness? April 30, 2011

Posted by J. in Genius, Other People's Genius.
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Weekend Whimsy?  Weekend Weedings?  Weekend Wows?

I’m on the fence about a name, but the idea is sound.  I am going to start featuring Etsy items that I think are fan-freaking-tastic in hopes that showcasing it here will drive some business to their shops.  I’ve been wading (Weekend Wading?) through Etsy in search of some truly lovely, unique, fun, fabulous, freaky and just generally blog-worthy items to share with you.

And I’ll tell you why.

Etsy is grating on my last goddamn nerve.  When I first joined Etsy, the site itself was less than a year old and its whole selling point–the entire reason for joining–was that it loudly and proudly proclaimed itself to be a handmade marketplace.  Handmade.  As in “things that someone made with their own two hands.”

Now, when you open a site to artists and craftspeople and offer it as a place where they can make money with stuff that they like to craft while watching TV, you’re going to get varying degrees of “good”.   Good quality, good materials, even good idea in the first place are fairly subjective.  There is some truly weird, wretched stuff on there.

Enter Regretsy.com.  I’ve mentioned how much I love this site.  If you can write something on the Internet that makes me laugh so hard that I choke and my husband has to come in from the other room and ask me if I’m okay and all I can do is point to the monitor and wipe my eyes, and you can do it day after day after day–dude, I’m a FAN.

April Winchell is the genius behind Regretsy.  She combs through Etsy looking for the gems to feature on her site, and while I can only imagine what tags she enters to find some of that stuff, at one point she realized that she was seeing a lot of multiples of things, as in hundreds of necklaces featuring the same brass octopus from Hobby Lobby.  Still, lack of originality, skill, and taste aside, she also noticed lots and lots of items claiming to be one-of-a-kind that were obviously not handmade, never mind OOAK.

One of my favorite reseller callouts ever. Click the picture to see the whole sordid affair.

So she started featuring them on Regretsy in the “Not Remotely Handmade” category.  Turns out that a bulk of the folks who read Regretsy are Etsy sellers too, and the venom in the comments section of those features was palpable.  I don’t know how or when it happened, but the fact that Etsy is chock full of resellers who are crowding out legitimate artists and craftspersons became intolerable.  So April opened the Regretsy forums as part of the Regretsy site, and it didn’t take much work at all for those of us who are Etsy members, handcrafters and lovers of one-of-a-kind pieces, and fans of general snarkiness to form an Etsy team.  We’re called “April’s Army” and while Etsy’s terms of service does not allow us to “call out” other Etsy members for reselling, the Regretsy forum encourages it.  So when we find resellers and copyright infringers, we can tell our AA posse and flag the shop so many times that it can’t be ignored.

But Regretsy isn’t just about snarkiness.   April has always been generous.  In addition to buying things to support shops that are doing good, she also keeps a small fund available to help out people who need it for whatever reason.  In fact, our team motto is a quote by April:

Cross stitch design by AA member "Prynsess"

The April’s Army Team on Etsy is supportive, which is what teams were designed for.  We help each other to get better as artists and crafters (lest we get featured on Regretsy!) and to build our Etsy businesses.  Which is all good.  Plus, the last week of every month we have an April’s Army shop on Etsy where members of the team donate an item or items to be sold through that shop with the proceeds going towards the Regretsy charitable fund.

Only 8 items left from the April sale!

Our first AA Shop opened on Monday 4/25 with over 100 listings.  As of Friday, there was only a dozen or so items left standing in the shop.  We got to give input on who we thought should benefit from the shop sales, and the Etsy seller For Jason was chosen.  Not only did our shop do well, but linking it back to her shop helped her sell out lots of her inventory as well.

Robin’s shop has been doing very well, and she still has lots of nice things in it.  Other AA members said her lip balms were out of this world, and because I hate pancreatic cancer with the fire that fuels a thousand suns and would love to see Jason kick it’s sorry ass, I have a couple on the way here.  I’ll let you know how they are!

So, while I do love to talk shit from time to time, I have always believed in doing good.  To that end, I bring you the first edition of Weekend Wonderfuls.  (Yes?  No?  Ugh.)  Here are a half-dozen handmade goodies from a few of my favorite Etsy sellers.  I invite you to click the links here and visit these shops, but also to take a cruise around Etsy and mark some shops of your own.  Mother’s Day is coming up…why not buy her something handmade?

Fun Laundry Glasses by MotherSeal

Chocolate Whoopie Pie Necklace by roscata

Purse in Carpet Bag Style Stripes by crookedsmilecreation

Cute Little Monster Felt Zippered Pouch by YouAreMySin

Saint Rectangle Magnet by mincingmockingbird

Mother is the Sweetest Word Bowl by antb

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Comments»

1. Batty - May 1, 2011

This is a great idea. I’ve seen a lot of reselling going on at etsy as well, and I’m mostly there for handmade stuff, with the occasional vintage piece thrown in.
Now, I’m thinking I need a whoopie pie necklace in my life.

2. Yorkie - May 1, 2011

Before Etsy came to life, I did a lot of craft faires, and the amount of reselling that went on there made me so sick and annoyed that I stopped doing them. I know the pain.

One day, I swear I will open an Etsy shop. Maybe in the next 6 months when my exile in the Alps is complete, and I can come in from the cold.

3. Ant - May 1, 2011

Ooh, thanks for posting my bowl!
And I agree, Regretsy is the cure for the common Etsy blues!


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