Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I spend a good deal of my day in the Etsy forums. I admit that it is generally when I should be focusing on my day-job, but it is a nice way to break up the monotony of the entry-level work that I have to do because we're so short staffed.

Etsy announced yesterday that the current CEO is leaving and a previous one is coming back to the position. In all honesty, it doesn't mean much to me, insofar as I've had an account for about two years and have been selling for even less time than that. I know that any change this company makes will affect me, as I am a customer, maybe even saying a client is more accurate, of said company. But I didn't think too much about it since it was announced. I've only known Etsy under one CEO, and I didn't even know who that was until the announcement that she was leaving (this should say something, actually).

Maybe in a bit of coincidence, the day-job also recently announced a change in CEO. This affects me greatly, as this man is also the company founder, my father has worked for him since I was twelve years old, and I know for a fact that his "retirement" was not a choice move. What this means is that, when he bounces back, and he will, I will be there to support him. My loyalty is not blindly with the company, it is with the former CEO, because I know that he cares about his people and I know that the interim CEO cares about money.

The financial recession hit this company hard. Federal interest rates have a direct relation to our bottom line. We laid off people. When that wasn't enough, all remaining employees took a percentage pay cut. We know that it was either that, or more lay-offs, and the CEO told us directly that he was not willing to do that. I know that he cares about his people.

What does this have to do with Etsy changes?

Well, the new CEO, Rob, announced that he wanted to bring Etsy out of the retail focus and back towards the people. It makes sense: sellers on Etsy are not one big retail corporation; we are all individual, independent artists, designers, crafters, and people with an eye for quality in things that have passed their initial popularity. Etsy should be about people. It is a wonder that it can be anything but.

Today, Rob posted a thread for all the Etsy Admins to come in and say a few words. The forums exploded, but not like they did when Etsy forced the orange gift guide button upon us, but with calm smiles and heartfelt joy. Here, here, and here, and there may be more I missed. Everyone is happy, giddy, smiling. There was a connection to people in the forums today, beyond what happens in the day-to-day.

Even though I don't have memories of a younger Etsy to go on, there was something different about today. I love seeing Admin in the forums, even when they just come in to close a thread. It's like seeing my boss do actual work instead of just dictating. But today, they descended on the forums, gave us quotes to think about, made jokes, and responded to the threads we started talking about their presence.

Today was a good day to be in the forums. If this is the new direction that Etsy is going in, I'm happy to be along for this ride.

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