where green living, parenthood, and interiors intersect

Saturday, February 19, 2011

From Ebay to Etsy

In my more materialistic yesteryears, I recall getting foolishly lost on ebay for hours. The genius who developed the "you might also like...." online shopping concept really knew what he/she was doing, as each click led me further into a virtual window shopping maze, gazing at item after item that, sure enough, I did indeed "also like." Sometimes I was on a genuine hunt for a new wardrobe necessity, other times I was just after another designer handbag at a fraction of the retail price (this always felt like such a victory). And often I just clicked around for entertainment, utterly fascinated by the strange goods that people actually sold - and bought, for that matter - in ebay land. Fortunately, while I had a long "watched items" list and occasionally caught the ebay auction fever resulting in some great bargains and invigorating victories, those years ended without too much regrettable investment. And I'm sure Salvation Army was thrilled to benefit from all my ebay follies that collected dust in my closet corners for years.

These days my virtual browsing habits are fed by Etsy, an online store, craft fair, art gallery and flea market rolled into one. Etsy was founded in 2005, the same year my son was born, and coincidentally the same year I kicked my ebay habit. I guess motherhood brings perspective and a Marc Jacobs handbag, even at $200, just starts to lose its luster. Etsy is guilt-free because my browsing and eventual purchases are supporting one of 1000's of crafters and artists, not some fashionista clearing out her closet for the next Spring Collection. And there are no auctions. I think a big part of my ebay habit was rooted in the thrill of the chase, strategizing, watching, waiting, attacking at just the right moment, with just the right bid. Etsy is just one big happy pool of awesomely creative people looking to sell the results of their talents for what always seems like such a reasonable price.

What's the point of my little confession here? Well....today, and every Saturday from now on, I will be posting treasures from my favorite Etsy shops, things I wish I had the talent to make myself or items I have proudly purchased (or wish I could). My first Etsy tribute goes out to Prince Design UK, a collection of beautiful handmade ceramics by Elizabeth Prince.

Images above:

1. Flock Ceramic Wall Art Set - 3 Flying Ducks (shown in teal, but available in several other colors)

2. Lacy Bird Bowls

3. Grace - Wall Sculpture in Porcelain

4. Caribbean Leaf Ceramic Dish (with recycled glass inlay)