Students shop for handcrafted knick-knacks

Snow White can now be spotted endorsing Mac computers. Using laptop decals, people have begun to embellish their Apple computers with graphics that interact with the logo.

When Amy Chase, Chapman junior, was on the search for a similar decal, she found the perfect one on Etsy.com, a site for buying and selling handmade goods. Chase said that the website has a diverse range of creations.

“I think Etsy is cool because you can buy stuff that is unique to each seller and I love looking at all the knick-knacks that people create,” said Chase.

Chase is one of more than 400,000 shoppers and buyers, from over 150 countries, that have Etsy accounts. The handmade products sold on the site are often one-of-a-kind and most are crafted with more detail and character than mass produced goods from a mall or chain store.

Etsy acts as a host for people to sell a large variety of goods that include jewelry, needlecraft, art and clothing. The site even has a Geekery category, which includes creations that the makers considered “nerdy,” like Twilight Saga pins, Iron Man backpacks and Chase’s laptop decal.

With an Etsy account, sellers can set their own prices for their goods, add keywords to their items such as “geekery” to categorize the items, post photos and pay only $0.20 per item posted.

Michaela O’Malley, junior at Riverside City College, plans to sell her shirts and jewelry on Etsy. According to O’Malley, one of the best things about the site is the confidence gained in knowing that someone likes her creations.

“Etsy is a wonderful and effective outlet for artists. It is a place where they can express anything they desire and try to sell it,” said O’Malley. “The possibility of knowing that someone paid you for your handmade creation is priceless.”

While many people enjoy the trinkets sold on Etsy, some people haven’t had such great experiences since buyers and sellers interact directly without set return policies or contracts.

Junior Simon Blockley bought an I’m with Coco t-shirt with Conan O’Brien printed on it. It was purchased in January, and still hasn’t arrived to him four months later.

“To put it in perspective, Conan was able to leave the Tonight Show, start a national tour and land a television deal at TBS before a shirt has be mailed from Long Beach to Orange,” said Blockley.

Other students have had better luck, such as sophomore Chapman student Lexi Vanni, who likes browsing through the diverse amount of goods.

“I think my favorite part of Etsy is that you can sort by what you’re looking for; normally I like to find jewelry,” she said. “You can also see featured artists to find new items, which is really cool.”

Etsy has generated a community for handmade goods between creator and buyer, though there are some setbacks in dealing directly with other people. Whether searching for jewelry, art pieces, needlecraft or something nerdy, this community enables users to support artists and buy one-of-a-kind products.

“It’s a great place to find handcrafted knick knacks,” said Vanni.