There has been much talk on the Etsy forums about what it takes to be featured on the front page. Why are some sellers featured repeatedly while the great majority is not represented? Why is Etsy featuring only certain artists?
This leaves many talented artisans asking themselves: Am I not one of the cool kids?
Etsy is clearly trying to brand market a particular image: sleek, ethereal, and simplistic in design but not without a backstory. Etsy wants to step away from the “Hippie Chic” image it once had and develop into a more modern (and presumably more affluent) brand. Etsy wants to be a “Hipster”
Hippie/Hipster. Similar words but very different meanings. One strongly associated with the strong aroma of patchouli oil and the coarse texture of hemp. (And the economic detachment that comes from communal living) The other, Hipster, is the trendy term that every affluent, trendy, metropolitan up and comer wants to embody.
As in, “I reject mainstream. My yoga guru says I am way above that. My jeans are much too tight and my sneakers are much too conspicuous, and I don’t really need these nerdy glasses. But they validate me”
Hipsters are the cool kids now. They are well educated and affluent. If you are a hipster (or want to look like one) Etsy wants YOU!
That, coupled with it partnership with West Elm are strong economic motivators to “force” the Etsy uniform on sellers.
How can they force it, you ask? Well, since as a seller you don’t have to pledge to get into Etsy (only a credit card is needed) the only leverage they have is to heavily promote those that fall into the desired image.
Etsy wants you to be .But above all; Etsy wants photos shot against a white or wheat background. Please feature a Hipster modeling your article if you will. Stay away from colors. They are distracting, and much too…shall we say, overt and borderline vulgar, for the front page.
Remember, Etsy’s target lives in shades of white. Lives FOR shades of white. Life is their canvas. You are their Gesso. Now comply.