Etsy Company Overview: A Detailed History & Profile

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Etsy Company Overview: Introduction

Etsy has become an extremely popular handmade marketplace that has expanded worldwide.  Even through increased competition from other marketplaces, such as Handmade on Amazon, Etsy has continued to prosper.  This company has humble beginnings and has worked hard to gain its current spot on top.  I decided to create this detailed Etsy Company Overview to help members of this community learn more about Etsy’s story.

Discover the Best Selling Etsy Categories on my related website.

A Brief Disclaimer

I do NOT own any shares in Etsy or any other handmade website.  I previously owned shares in Etsy, but I made sure to sell everything before starting this website.  I wanted to make sure that all of the members of MHH could trust all of the information I present, and I want you to know that my posts are independent and unbiased.  Learn why I suggest opening a shop on Etsy.  If you have any questions regarding my intentions, you can visit the About page, or you can contact me directly.

Etsy Company Overview: The Ultimate Guide

etsy company overview guide

This is the detailed guide that includes the complete Etsy story.  Hopefully this will help you learn more about this unique company, whether you are just starting out or you already own a successful handmade shop.

Etsy Company History

Etsy was launched on June 18, 2005 by Iospace Inc., a company owned by Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire, and Haim Schoppik.  The founders wanted to create an online community where crafters and artists could sell their handmade and vintage products.  The original website took 2.5 months to construct, and a majority of the work was completed in a Brooklyn apartment.  Robert Kalin is credited with naming the site Etsy because he wanted a nonsense word in order to build the brand from scratch.  He was watching an Italian movie, 8 ½, and he wrote down some of the words he heard.  He happened to transcribe the word etsi on his paper.  This turned out to be an error; it should’ve been “eh, si” which means “oh, yes.”

robert kalin etsy history
Robert Kalin, one of the original Etsy founders. He is credited with naming the company.


Etsy Rapid Growth

The site began to grow rapidly in the first year, and the one-millionth sale was recorded in July 2007.  Rob Kalin was the company’s CEO until July 2008, when he was fired & replaced by Maria Thomas.  Some longtime Etsy workers left within the next month, including founders Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik.  Chad Dickerson became CEO in July 2011.


Etsy went public on April 16, 2015 with a $1.8 billion valuation.  Dickerson resigned his CEO position in May 2017, and he was replaced by board member Josh Silverman.  The company remains headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.

Etsy Useful Stats


etsy useful stats


I really enjoy the image above because it is a good snapshot of some useful stats concerning Etsy’s history & profile.

Etsy Culture

As companies grow rapidly, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the original culture.  Etsy appears to have gone through great lengths to ensure that this doesn’t happen.  One of the company’s core values appears to be providing excellent service at a reasonable price.  This is evident when you review my post detailing Etsy Fees.  The company’s leaders have placed certain practices and customs into place to help keep the amazing culture that has enables their rapid growth.  It all begins with the employees that they hire, and they have a unique interviewing process.  They emphasize hiring strong individuals that are selfless and think of others.  They truly value and empathize with their customers and employees, and they do a great job of making sure their shop owners are supported.  This is especially important now that Amazon has launched a handmade division and competition for handmade marketplaces remains fierce.  You can learn more about Etsy’s culture from someone who previously worked at the company (Note: Link will take you to outside website).

Learning and Evolving

Etsy has a strong reliance on technology.  As a result, it is important for companies like Etsy to evolve and adapt to the changing internet landscape.  I listen to all of the quarterly press conferences. I know that Etsy values learning and adapting because of the amount of money they have spent towards research & development. This is one of the main areas of focus during these quarterly earnings press conferences.  Etsy also encourages and listens to feedback from employees.  This is an area where many companies fall short, and Etsy excels.  This has helped them keep their spot at the top of handmade marketplaces.

Press Conferences

Etsy is a publicly traded company, so they have to make certain information available to the public.  They provide much more information than private companies.  Many people think that quarterly press conferences are only for people who own stock in the company.  For those of you that are interested in learning more about this amazing company, I suggest listening to these press conferences. They are free and you can stream them from your phone.  I personally listen to every press conference, and it can help handmade shop gain valuable insights to the direction and trends of the handmade goods industry.

A good example of insights that I have gained deals with the current trend towards mobile devices.  Fewer people are going online via desktops, and phones are becoming increasingly important.  I knew about this trend well in advance because I have been listening to these conference calls for years (they have discussed this trend for years).  It also lets me know what Etsy is doing to stay on top of this trend.  I can follow their lead to help embrace this trend and increase mobile sales on my handmade shop.  It doesn’t matter whether or not I operate a shop on Etsy.

You can see a complete calendar of events (past and upcoming) on this Etsy Investor Website.

Etsy Company Overview: Conclusion

Etsy is the leader of handmade marketplaces, but it is a company with humble beginnings.  As the handmade industry has grown, the company has faced increasing competition.  Etsy has done a great job of maintaining their same culture even while they have adapted to a constantly changing internet landscape.  Now you’re ready to discover How to Open An Etsy Shop!

Keep Growing!


Etsy Company Overview: Comments

Do you have any questions or comments related to this Etsy Company Overview?  Please help this community grow by sharing your personal questions, knowledge, and experiences.

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