Etsy Strike & the Escape From Ill-Fitting Comfort Zones

April 15, 2022

My name is Kelli. I am a Fiber Artist, Dyer, and the Owner of Llady Llama Fiber Co. I have been an Etsy Seller since 2009. When a 25 year old version of myself wanted nothing more than to bring beautiful colors of yarn and spinning fiber to the crafting community. To inspire fiber artists in their own creative pursuits. And Etsy made that dream accessible to me.

That goal is still the core drive behind my work and I hope it always is, but a lot has changed in the nearly 13 years that have passed. A lot has become routine too. Habitual. I'm oh so very much like the proverbial frog in a pot of slowly heated water. Even as I moved forward with new ideas, product lines, milestones and development of my dyeing skills, Etsy was slowly turning up the knob on the gas burner under my little pot of water. Well this frog may have finally decided it's getting a little too uncomfortable.

Some of you may have heard about the Etsy Strike taking place April 11th-18th. Yes, it was sparked by the recent fee increase but for many participating Sellers it is really about the pattern of behavior that Etsy has shown over the last few years. The company went public in 2015 and that now means that they are beholden to their Shareholders, not their customers. They have the goal of becoming a true competitor to Amazon. This means that their goals are no longer in alignment with myself as a Seller and it has been felt. Maybe this latest development showcasing how little they care about truly supporting their Sellers is the push I needed to try and build myself a little ladder for this wee frog to hop up out of the hot water before I'm scalded.

So, this is the first rung of that ladder. It will take time and a lot of effort in front of my computer and not creating in the dye studio, but I think my 25 year old self would remind me of where this all started. With taking a chance on myself and moving outside of my comfort zone. The funny thing about comfort zones is often over time they can become...well...uncomfortable. Like a favorite childhood sweater that becomes too tight as you grow. Or a nice warm bath that you realize might actually be cooking you.

I won't be leaving Etsy immediately. I still need to build my web presence up enough to support that move and I'm sure I will stumble along the way, but this little frog is pretty resilient.