I’ve been a massive fan of Etsy for years. In fact, I don’t think I’ve stopped shopping from its sellers since I discovered it, including half my wedding (read about my top finds here)! So I was really honoured to be asked to be a judge of this year’s Etsy Design Awards and I can’t wait to discover some new local makers and small businesses. As a fellow online business owner and supporter of Australian creatives (we’ve featured many Etsy store owners on the blog), it’s something close to my heart. I’m pretty much a disaster zone when it comes to making stuff, so I have huge admiration for these clever folk!
Now in its second year, submissions just opened and you can enter up until 13 July 2015. This year, the awards are also open to New Zealand sellers.
This year’s categories are:
- Art, Illustration & Papergoods
- Home & Lifestyle
- Fashion & Accessories
- New Talent
- Business As Unusual.
A winner will be selected from each category, along with a sixth Community’s Choice winner voted by the public. The Business As Unusual category rewards sellers that run their shop and create items in ways that are socially and environmentally responsible, a nod to the Etsy mission: ‘to reimagine ecommerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world’. The New Talent category aims to showcase creatives new to Etsy who have opened their shop in 2015.
Last year’s new talent winner Carl Holder (above) of Foreply, says: “Winning the award and the resulting media exposure generated masses of interest in my Etsy shop ‐ I went from a few dozen visits a day to literally thousands with interest and encouragement coming from all over the globe. It’s given me confidence to continue what I am doing and allowed me to venture into selling my pieces outside of Australia.”
Helen Souness, managing director, Etsy Australia and Asia, says: “We were so thrilled to see that the Etsy Design Awards, in their inaugural year in 2014, really helped the finalists and winners to grow their creative businesses on the Etsy platform. Perhaps as importantly it gave many emerging talents the confidence to know their work was world-class and that they really could make a living from pursuing their passion for making. We hope to discover many new talents in this year’s Awards and welcome new makers and designers onto Etsy.”
This year’s awards are in association with Inside Out magazine. Editor in chief Claire Bradley says: “These kinds of awards are a rare opportunity for smaller businesses to have their beautifully crafted products seen by a design‐focused audience. It’s exposure to the very people who treasure true craftsmanship and attention to detail and it’s an acknowledgment of what’s often been years of hard work and sacrifice. Personally, I’ll be looking for entries that raise the bar in terms of materials and finishing details. Quality execution is a must for me. And of course, style that moves past what we’re currently seeing in the market.”
Alongside Claire, Helen and I, Ewan McCoin, senior curator at the National Gallery, makes up the judging panel. We can’t wait to see the entries!