Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Etsy just published a report revealing more about the sellers and the small business owners behind Etsy’s maker economy. As the Wall Street Journal notes, whoever sold you that pizza pennant or custom wooden cake topper is most likely female, a college graduate, and someone who pulls in most of her household income from other sources. Of the 4,000 US Etsy sellers contacted for an online survey, a whopping 86% were female, 56% are college educated, and 37% of Etsy sellers are under 35.
For almost half, or 45% of survey participants, Etsy is the first place they’ve ever sold their goods. With that stat, Etsy is calling itself "an on-ramp to entrepreneurship." But most Esty sellers consider this to be more than a hobby: 76% say their Etsy shop is a business and 90% said they would like to grow their creative business in the future. Eight out of 10 reinvest a portion of their earnings back into their Etsy businesses. The vast majority relied on their own savings to start their Etsy shops, and 88% run their shops alone, with 95% of the businesses run from sellers’ homes.
Of those surveyed, only 30% of sellers consider their Etsy business their sole occupation. On average, sellers say that their creative business both on and off Etsy contributes 15% of their yearly household income. Etsy sellers’ median household incomes are around $56,180, which is slightly above that of the general population. "The workforce is shifting away from full-time employment, and more and more people are combining income from multiple sources," Etsy’s global policy director Althea Erickson told WSJ. "Supplemental income really matters."