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Going Public!

In the summer of 2005, the site Etsy was launched as an online marketplace of handmade and vintage products, including art, knick­-knacks, and of course jewelry.  According to its CEO, this Amazon­-esque website values the small businesses, the micro-­producers, and the crafts-­makers over the mass­-producing manufacturing companies.

Well, those standards have certainly paid off; at the end of last year Etsy had a 54 million registered members (which doesn’t include the countless unregistered users) and upwards of 29 million items listed for sale. Until now, if you wanted to get in on the action you were out of luck.

Until very recently, Etsy was a private company. But as of earlier this month, the company has finally gone public, releasing privately held shares for public sale. At an estimated $100 million, Etsy’s IPO (initial public offering) is one of the largest for an online company in over a decade. Does that suggest the promise of even greater strides for this civilians’ e­market? Only time will tell.


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