If you’re looking for fresh, exciting, authentic Irish gift ideas that will impress your family and friends, you might want to consider Etsy, the peer-to-peer e-commerce site for handmade and vintage goods.
Etsy’s European headquarters is in Dublin, but there’s also Etsy Team Ireland – a group of the Ireland-based shop owners and craftspeople who sell on Etsy. The team represents and supports crafters, artisans and designers who are from Ireland, or living in Ireland, and who have 'up-and-running' Etsy shops. Their team’s ambition is to promote their wonderful, Irish-inspired creations, worldwide, and to extend a famous Irish welcome to all of their customers.
Etsy could be called ‘a crafty cross between Amazon, eBay, and your grandma’s basement.’ Founded in 2005, the Brooklyn-based company uses an e-commerce website to link the buying and selling of handmade, vintage and crafting supplies. As of December 2014, the company connected 1.4 million sellers with 19.8 million buyers.
As a result, it’s a genuine problem for the 1,500 Etsy Ireland Team members to connect with potential customers in the United States, so IrishCentral is pleased to share with you Etsy Team Ireland’s story as well as a look at some of their standout products – from hand-knit clothing to Celtic-inspired clocks to Irish artwork and far beyond.
Etsy offers a community platform that allows registered members to connect. As a member, you can join “Teams” to share information about running a business in a particular area, get advice from more experienced members, or simply network in a social way. Etsy Team Ireland was founded in 2009 by the current 'Captain' (Etsy gives that title), Sue Graham. She wanted to start a team for those with Irish links – either those in Ireland or Irish overseas - who have an 'up and running' Etsy shop. Since then, the team has grown, and recently, membership passed the 1,500 members mark.
Team member Claire Kamber, who moved to Ireland (via the UK, Australia and Canada!) in 2011 and opened her Etsy shop mIrishDublin in January this year, told IrishCentral there are two main problems Irish Etsy sellers encounter. One, “that Etsy is not really known in Ireland, so relatively few searches come from within [the country].” And two, “we 'get lost' amongst the massive numbers of listings on Etsy.”
The team’s new aim is to encourage those with Irish ancestry support their homeland and their kin. To check out the authentic Irish crafts they offer, go to www.etsy.com and enter ‘etsyirelandteam’ as your search term (all one word). “There are thousands of listings to choose from, and all of them have genuine links with Ireland,” Claire promised.
Here are a few of them:
Map of Ireland poster print from CartabanCards
Handmade Irish slippers from HuggleKnits
Personalized Irish Christmas card from mIrishDublin
Irish cottage ornaments from PuffinPatchwork
Celtic cross clock from CelticClockArt
Painting of a river valley in the Slieve Bloom Mountains from Sagascapes
Peacock silk square scarf from KiiDesiiign
Knit poncho from RebeccasWool
The Etsy Ireland blog can be found here
* Originally published in 2015.