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Etsy, the online marketplace self-described as “Your place to buy and sell all things handmade, vintage and supplies,” is the latest brand to suffer a full on image meltdown. And, like BP, Tiger Woods and Toyota before them, they’re also the latest brand to resolutely stick its head in the sand as a way of dealing with PR crisis and the resultant public outcry.
A friend alerted me late last week to the fact that Etsy was allowing a vendor to sell some very offensive greeting cards and shared Change.org’s petition requesting Etsy remove the cards–to date supported by almost 16,000 signatures. This friend has a daughter with Down Syndrome and was especially horrified by a card like the one in the image above.
Let me back up and say that I’ve been a huge Etsy fan and supporter for a long time now. I love dealing with craftsman and artisans and have patronized Etsy vendors for years, buying things like hair bows, laptop sleeves, jewelry, reusable snack bags and mesh produce bags and a myriad of other handmade things. And I’ve often preferred to go to Etsy for the things I’m looking for rather than eBay because the community they’ve created has always evoked a good feeling. A feeling of trust. I’ve felt that the people I’m buying from are people I might actually want to get to know and maybe even want to hang out with – and I certainly want to support them by buying their wares. For me, that kind of feeling is like shopping at the local specialty store versus at a big chain – and Etsy did it for me. Continue reading