Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cool Tool: Etsy's "Shop Local"

Etsy rolled out its new Shop Local tool right before the holidays -- when, presumably, we were all scrambling for last-minute gifts that we could actually pick up in person instead of waiting for the overloaded and backlogged mail service to deliver them.

It's a great idea: Not only can you discover and support the talent right in your own backyard, but you may also be able to save on shipping charges and prevent all that packing material from ending up in landfills.

When I gave Shop Local a test drive recently, I was delighted to discover more than 100 Etsy sellers in Oakland alone, offering more than a thousand items -- including this sweet Basement Mice collage print, $18, by RISD alum Karen Ondracek.

By expanding my search parameters a bit to include neighboring Berkeley, up popped this pretty letterpress calendar ($30) from ©&@.

San Francisco? Why, it's blogger sfgirlbybay's custom-colored Keep Calm and Carry On posters ($25 each).

But here's the thing: You can also use the tool to browse wares from vendors who are decidedly not local.

Say you're into Scandinavian design. Simply type in "Sweden" (or "Finland," or "Denmark") and see what turns up:

Ms. Ursula Buttcrack Character ($56), from Gothenburg's Smosch

Now let's try the Netherlands:

Handfelted Pebbles ($24 for eight), from Geleen's Reya Veltman

Italy: I'd Rather Be Happy With You Again print ($13), by The Good Machinery

Argentina: Patterned Birds print ($15), by Pequinio Craft

South Africa: Pink Stamens blockprinted fabric ($20 for about a yard), by Cape Town's jezze

Japan: Sakura Woman ACEO, $10 from Gallery Juana

Australia: Hey Little Birdy print ($12), by Perth's Little Red Bicycle

See how fun (and potentially addictive) it is?

My only complaint -- and I have a similar quibble with Etsy's Shop by Color tool and general search form -- is that you can't further narrow the results by category or keyword. So if I'm looking for local ceramists, it'd be nice not to have to wade through all the jewelry designers who are based in my neck of the woods. (Are you listening, Etsy wizards?)

But still, it's a really nifty little feature. Give Shop Local a whirl -- whether to keep it local or to drastically expand your shopping horizons -- right here.


Reya Veltman said...

I love the good machinery's artwork, and smosch's cuddlies are just the cutest!
Thank you so much for including me as well :)

sfgirlbybay said...

Hey girl! Thank you for the link - so nice of you! :)

Emily said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I wish that I had known about that feature before Christmas but it will now forever change how I shop for gifts.

Karen said...

Hooray for shop local! It's one of the best features on etsy, I think.

Thanks for including my little mice!

casasugar said...

Thanks for including Karen! She and I have been buds since junior high back in Wisonsin, and she is indeed an aMAzing artist. Her collages blow you away in person.

munieca said...

Thanks so much for including Patterned birds!! Wha a great finds are here!

Gallery Juana said...

thanks for including my ACEO. I love rocks and the felt rocks are so cute.

Sabina said...

I found you via housemartin. Wonderful blog! I desperately need the keep calm and carry on poster!!

Sabina ~ barefoot in the orchard


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