In contrast to yesterday's USA Today article on the career opportunity of YouTube videos, Alex William's New York Times article on using Etsy and E-bay for home craft businesses goes heavy on the costs of making a hobby your income.
“I have to wake up around 8, get coffee or tea, and knit for hours and hours and hours and hours,” said Ms. Gibran, who leveraged the exposure she got on the site to forge a deal with Urban Outfitters. “I’m like an old lady in a chair, catching up on podcasts, watching old Hitchcock shows. I will do it for 13 hours a day.” And even after all those hours knitting, she is constantly sketching new designs or trading e-mail messages with 50 or more customers a day.
“Etsy saved my life,” Ms. Gibran said. But, she added, “this is the hardest job I’ve ever had.”
It might not be fair to call this unemployment porn but after reading, say, this Washington Post article on unemployed people in the mid-west selling their wedding jewelry to eat, it's close enough to start a new subsection.
And Williams' story is uplifting in depicting how people in adverse situations can turn things around with hard work.
“In fashion school, they tell you you can do anything, they push you to be creative, but as soon as you get a job in a corporate environment, you’re only able to do certain things and it has to make money,” said Ms. Peterson, who said that she supplements her income on Etsy by selling wholesale to several boutiques. “With Etsy, I have my styles that make a lot of money, but I can also put work out there that I do just for creative reasons.”
This was a great placement by Etsy's communications team, which is fighting back against a negative article cited by Williams about how the site exploits unrealistic expectations. Somehow, by showing these businesses warts and all, the brand comes off stronger and more honest, a nice PR achievement.