Posted in Indie Business

Business – Still Risky

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to write next following on from my recent posts dissecting the craft scene. There is so much swirling round in my head and reading the comments and emails and messages I’ve been getting after them is adding to that whirlpool.

But I had reason to revisit the post I wrote about Etsy and why I closed my shop down the other day and I felt it was a good time to post it again for new followers of the blog. I didn’t realise I wrote it almost two years ago – I’ve always been one for sniffing out a problem in the making, it seems.

Here it is here. It’s another lengthy read, but stick with it. I felt it was worth going back to this and the points I make (along with some other points – see what I mean about lots swirling round?) in light of next week’s Protesty event.

Protesty are  a group of people who believe in the handmade movement, which is the idea behind Etsy, and want to protect that. Like me two years ago, and countless others I’ve read about or spoken to, they’re concerned that it’s not about that any more. Resellers, vintage sellers and knock-offs have flooded the marketplace and to me, Etsy are incapable of  policing it to keep it true to its original aim. In protest, concerned Etsy sellers are closing their stores for 24 hours on May 10th. If I still had one, I’d be joining them.

Coincidentally, I also read about some changes over at Folksy today. I also closed my Folksy store after a few copies of my designs popped up, undercutting me massively. And my Dawanda store. And my Artfire store. The same problems I’ve been talking about (for two years) are what led to that. It’s exhausting. And depressing that the situation doesn’t seem to have improved with time, as at least once a week, I see yet another post about someone’s design being copied or infringed.

What are your views on Etsy and Protesty?



I’m Claire and I live near Glasgow, in Scotland. I have strong family ties to Cincinnati, too and regard it as my second home. If I had to describe myself in five words, it would be thus: Does. Not. Suffer. Fools. Gladly. I’ve been cross stitching pretty much all my life, but professionally since 2005, first as Miso Funky, then as The Bellwether and now under my own name. I'm known for my witty, sarcastic and occasionally profane typographic designs. My work has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 and on BBC television as well as numerous media outlets across the globe. At one point, I was kind of a big deal but I mostly just dabble in it these days when I have time. My website is a repositry of cross stitch charts, travel and food blogging and you'll find it at I also love to travel and eat, ideally travelling somewhere great to eat something brilliant. I'm fascinated by social history, particularly the Victorians and will absolutely beat you hands down in a quiz about the Tudors. Dogs are LIFE. I like being in water and have lots of ideas that will never see the light of day but would definitely be a winner on Dragon’s Den/Shark Tank. I love to give people gifts. I! also! overuse! exclamation! marks! sorry!

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