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Etsy sellers form guild to promote the interests of online sellers

Following the Etsy sellers strike in April, organizers created the guild to promote the interests of online sellers of handmade and unique craft goods.

PORTLAND, Ore. — On Labor Day, the organizers of the Etsy strike launched Indie Sellers Guild (ISG), an international non-profit created to promote the interests of independent artists and creators selling their work online. 

The Etsy Strike was only the beginning” said Kristi Cassidy, ISG President, in a press release. “Since then our sellers and supporters have continued working to build solidarity and leverage our numbers to advocate for ourselves collectively. We are a grassroots nonprofit, created by indie sellers, for indie sellers.”

One of those indie sellers — Thredd Tenenbaum. They are the artist behind Pill Joy and create specialty pill organizers. 

"Seventy percent of people take pills, so why are 100 percent of pill organizers offensively ugly and boring?" they said, "We have enough reminders of why we don't feel good. This is my way of being in the world...it's like I see you, I know that you're a person. You're a wonderful person. You have a personality, and you deserve a pill organizer that reflects that."

In addition to selling the pill organizers at the Portland Saturday Market, Tenenbaum sells online — making use of the popular website Etsy. 

Recently many creators found the e-commerce platform made some unfair changes amid record sales — like upping seller fees and failing to stop resellers. 

Tenenbaum said these issues have made it more difficult for them to sell and profit. 

"For me, like as a disabled maker, like I'm in a very small margin of what I'm trying to do... and Etsy has so much potential, but they have gotten so massive and so monolithic, it's really difficult for all of us small makers to advocate for ourselves."

The launch of ISG, they said, will bring a collective voice for all craft sellers online. 

"We need a voice, and we have a really big, booming voice when we speak together. We're not making unreasonable demands. We just want to be fairly compensated."

KGW reached out to Esty's media team for a comment but we have not heard back. 

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