Etsy, the online handmade and vintage shopping platform, has done amazing things to help people buy handmade, eco-friendly and local products. Artisans who are marketing their own products can easily set up online shops on the site, and on the buying end, Etsy has made it very easy to shop local by looking for products made and sold near you. Crafting and selling products alone from one’s home or (for the lucky ones) from a studio can be isolating, though, to some artisans. Which is why it’s great that Etsy Teams have started to develop, creating virtual collaborative studios for craftspeople of particular regions. Including, of course, the Middle East.
Etsy Teams allow artisans to communicate with each other, learn about other people’s work, promote each other, and even sell together and plan local bazaars. Local teams of Etsyians have emerged so far in Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the UAE – and hopefully more groups will emerge in the future.
Here’s a quick look at these virtual co-ops:
Hand dyed yarn from Dubai Knits, a HifromDubai member.
Active for almost a year, HifromDubai connects “the amazing Artisans we have in the UAE.” Team members must make their own items and be located in the UAE in order to join, and have even made efforts to meet outside of the virtual world (like, in person).
Rocking a whopping 95 members, Made in Israel is “for all Israeli designers and artists who wish to take part in a team that helps and promotes its members.” Members communicate with each other, share news about their work, and support each other. (Check out the handmade fabric doll at the top of this post made by Made in Israel member, Timo Handmade.)
Red bamboo coral earrings made by Papercrane Studios, an Etsian Jordanian Team member.
The smallest of the Middle Eastern Etsy teams, the Etsian Jordanian Team is still growing at 4 members. It hopes to “help small businesses to sell their handmade stuff by creating an event or bazaar” for the team.
Going strong at 31 members, this team is “a place to help connect Egyptian themed artists with other artisans for inspiration, wonder, and creativity.” The team is pretty active, with members using it to expand their networks, promote their work, and think together about products to be made in the future.
Read more about Etsy:
Etsy: The Ebay for Handmade Goods
9 Israeli Etsy Shops That Make Online Shopping Greener (and Funner)
Knit Your Own Sustainable ‘Sunnah’ Beard
Dria Peterson’s Handmade Creations, Born From a Genealogy of Vegetarianism and Recycling