September 22, 2018
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Handcrafted Design

Evansville vendors bring individualized character to Etsy
Mahala Glassworks

Etsy — just what does the name of the popular online commerce retailer of vintage items, arts, and supplies mean? For a number of years, the founder of the Brooklyn-based company responded obliquely about the company’s name; however, in 2010, Rob Kalin told Reader’s Digest “I wanted a nonsense word because I wanted to build the brand from scratch. I was watching Fellini’s 8 ½ and writing down what I was hearing. In Italian, you say ‘etsi’ a lot. It means ‘oh, yes.’ And in Latin, it means ‘and if.’”

Crafty consumers know it as a one-stop shop to buy and sell items ranging from jewelry and clothing to furniture and house décor. As the do-it-yourself movement has become more prominent, local crafters and antique collectors have found a platform to share their products.

Abby Vaal of Evansville discovered she could market her glass sun catchers made from depression-era antique plates and saucers purchased at local antiques shops in Evansville, Newburgh, and New Harmony, Indiana. Vaal, 31, also gathers wine bottles from friends, family, or local restaurants.

All items in her shop, Mahala Glass Works, are created using the copper foil method, which allows glass to adhere together. Items in her shop range from $40 to $120. Vaal also makes custom personalized glassware.

Tia and Richard Martin of Evansville originally started selling jewelry and purses on Etsy in 2007. At the end of 2011, the pair launched their wall art shop, Stoic Design, which sells canvases. By early 2013, Tia was able to quit her marketing job.

“Once I became a seller and realized that I could reach people all over the world through the selling platform Etsy provided, it opened up a whole new world for me,” says Tia, 30. “Etsy has made it possible for me to work for myself.”

Fellow Evansville resident Audrey Andress, 53, found her audience on Etsy selling a range of vintage or 20 years or older items. Andress finds her items at thrift shops, Goodwill, and rummage sales. Prices range from $8 to $60.

“I like finding things that have withstood the test of time and that need new homes to be appreciated again,” says Andress, who has operated Aud’s Delights Vintage since February.

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