Perestroika Etsy Style

Mikhail Gorbachev defined Perestroika, in part, as:

“Perestroika means overcoming the stagnation process, breaking down the braking mechanism, creating a dependable and effective mechanism for acceleration of social and economic progress and giving it greater dynamism.” Source: Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika (New York: Harper Collins, 1987).

Certainly, if you buy and/or sell on Etsy, you know there is no stagnation and the brakes are off. And I, for one, have found it a dependable and effective mechanism for social and economic progress.

Etsy is not just a venue to buy and sell; it’s a lifestyle, maybe even a compulsion, if you let it. The shopkeepers on Etsy are limited to selling handcrafted items, supplies to create handcrafted items or vintage goods (defined as 20 years or older). The assortment of goods is outstanding and the creativity of the artisans who sell their creations on Etsy is amazing.

Each Etsy shopkeeper sets up their unique shop. They provide as much information as they care to share in their profile, create or select a picture banner and organize the shop into sections if they so choose.

It takes some time to get acclimated, to learn the ins and outs. There are new terms to learn, terms like “circle”, “treasury list”, “hearted”, “favorite”, “admire”, “front page”, “convo”. I remember the first person who “hearted” my shop (Old Cottage). I was so excited! I didn’t know what a “treasury list” was for the first couple of weeks and then I received a “convo” advising me that one of my items had been included in a treasury. More excitement.

One of the unique features on Etsy is the amazingly gorgeous photos each shopkeeper posts to display items for sale. A good photo will, of course, help to sell an item, but on Etsy it’s more. A good photo is coveted. You can “favorite” items and the photos of all the items you favorite are saved in a listing. You can then use these wonderful photos to create a treasury list.

Any Etsy member can curate a treasury which a listing of 16 photos of items for sale on Etsy. You should not include any of your own items, only items of other shopkeepers. It’s a way to help promote sales for others and yet also get your shop in front of the eyes of others. Usually there is some connected theme to these items and to create a successful treasury, the photos should be outstanding. Once you create your treasury, you can then post it live on Etsy for all to see. Fellow Etsians can then view the list, click on individual items included in the treasury, and comment on the list. They can also “admire” the list. All of these activities are tracked and counted. The popularity or “hotness” of a treasury could possibly catapult to the coveted Etsy front page.

I create treasury lists because I enjoy the creative process, the viewing and selecting and piecing together of 16 photos into a beautiful cohesive work of art. I also use the treasury as a way to support other Etsians who have commented, admired or favorited one of my items or lists. It’s my way of thanking them. I created the following treasury “Pendants” for just that purpose. And this treasury did find it’s way to the number one spot of the front page. It had just over 300 views when I went to bed the night I created it and had over 1100 views when I awoke the next morning. Exactly why this happened, I don’t know. But there were a few shopkeepers who were featured who obviously promoted this list to the hilt. Today it has well over 8000 views!

There are many Etsy “teams” that you could join…such as vintage teams, treasury teams, teams according to your craft or location, age, hobbies, pets…you name it and there’s probably a team for it. And there’s a tremendous amount of community in some of these teams. Some teams are almost like family…you greet your fellow team mates in the morning, let them know what’s going on with you during the day and log out at night.

If there is an Etsy shop that you admire and would like to follow their activities, their favorites, their treasuries, then you can put these shops in your “circle” and you get to follow what’s going on with them.

And one of the things I enjoy most is communicating with wonderful people from around the world. I get to visit their shops, see their amazing creations, feature their items in my treasuries and have my items featured in theirs. We are a community and we are all working together for a common good: the success of our fellow Etsians as well as our own.

Perestroika Etsy style…I love it!

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