Etsy, the most popular online marketplace for handmade items, is collaborating with cities across the U.S. to make it easier for crafters to supplement their income through workshops and expert advice. Because of its thriving arts culture, St. Petersburg was recently selected as one of 10 cities to pilot the program this year.
The program started last March in Rockford IL and has since expanded to places like Newark NJ and Santa Cruz County, Dallas TX. The idea is to create an open source curriculum that can be used by other areas to run their own classes.
Unlike most economic development programs that provide tools to start businesses, Etsy’s goal is to provide supplemental income for people out of work during seasonal periods or perhaps to help a household boost itself over the poverty line.
Local classes will be hosted by the St. Petersburg Greenhouse
, a collaborative effort between the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce
and City of St. Petersburg
. Classes are free and available to crafters who have not sold on Etsy in the past.
Classes are taught by local craft sellers who have been successful using Etsy as an outlet. Topics include time management, branding, pricing, shipping and photography. Participants will be able to sell their first 20 items for free on Etsy. The first session begins August 4.
"Here in St. Petersburg, such a large part of our economy and what makes us go is in the arts," says Sean Kennedy, Greenhouse Manager and Economic Development Coordinator for the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. "We think it’s important to help artists be in the best position to succeed financially as well as develop their craft."
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Sean Kennedy, St. Petersburg Greenhouse