E-commerce site Etsy has quickly emerged as a top marketplace for vintage and handmade goods. A global love of crafts led Etsy to sell more than $895 million in merchandise in 2012. The site sports 30 million members across 200 countries selling 18 million different items.
Earlier this year the company’s reputation took a hit with some users when they began letting sellers use larger scale manufacturers to produce goods. But Etsy seems to have bounced back from any negativity they experienced after the policy change and in September launched a new program to both expand Etsy's reach and help a faltering city grappling with skyrocketing unemployment: Rockford, IL.
This "craft entrepeneurship program" brings local etsy employees together with high school and college students as well as adult education participants and teaches them how to craft their skills, make products, build a business and earn money.
Breakout sat down with Etsy's CEO Chad Dickerson and Rockford's Mayor, Larry Morrissey