Etsy's New Market for Crafts Will Take You From Yarn to Bonnet

  • Etsy Studio lets craft suppliers sell directly to users
  • Marketplace also unveils dashboard to centralize seller tools

Etsy Inc., a website for craft and vintage items, introduced its first new marketplace in 11 years: Called Etsy Studio, it will guide users to find and buy all the materials needed to make the do-it-yourself projects they see on the site.

The online storefront aims to combine “inspiration and shopping in one place,” according to Brooklyn, New York-based Etsy, as it taps into the nearly $44 billion craft supply market in the U.S. The site will have about 8 million items at its launch in April, and offer instructions and tutorials so users can go from seeing a cute wool hat to buying the yarn, needles and directions for putting it together.

Studio is the latest attempt to compete with Amazon.com Inc., which launched its own Handmade store in 2015. Etsy also announced the latest initiative to improve sellers’ experiences, a new dashboard called Shop Manager that combines all of an artisan’s needs in one location, from open orders, to finances to messaging.

“It quickly answers their two critical questions, what do I need to do today and how is my business doing overall?” said Linda Kozlowski, chief operating officer, at an event at the company’s headquarters.

The company boasts 45 million items for sale from 1.7 million active sellers. But after first selling shares to the public in 2015, Etsy is still not profitable and in the third quarter reported slowing growth in the value of goods moving through the marketplace. It reported $2.39 billion in annual gross merchandise sales in 2015. The shares are up 86 percent over the past year.

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