Some people may find it strange to see Etsy courting manufacturers, given its strong brand as a marketplace for handmade items, with even vintage and supplies taking a back seat in terms of branding. But this week, Etsy invited manufacturers in Pittsburgh to a special event on March 8th to learn more about the Etsy Manufacturing program, a new marketplace that connects manufacturers with Etsy designers.
Attendees can get advice on how to grow their manufacturing business on Etsy and can meet designers and manufacturers who are already working together in the program.
Etsy also said in its invitation that there would be a “Special announcement of opportunities for technical assistance funding for manufacturers and designers” from Bridgeway Capital and SMC Business Councils.
Speaking at the event will be Deb Lam, Chief Innovation and Performance Officer, City of Pittsburgh; Bob Hurley, Director, Allegheny County Department of Economic Development; Emily Smith, The Etsy Manufacturing Team; Jessica Sinclair and Millard Humphreys – University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE)
Etsy is selective about its who it lets into the program, and sellers who partner with an outside manufacturer must submit an application to Etsy and get its approval before listing items made with that manufacturer. Nevertheless, the Etsy Manufacturing program launched in the fall is still a radical one.
Clarification: Etsy spokesperson Nikki Summer clarified that Etsy is not announcing any funding program.
“We are holding the event in Pittsburgh with local partners. The event is designed to introduce Pittsburgh-area manufacturers to Etsy Manufacturing and help local Etsy designers meet those manufacturers if they are looking to work with outside manufacturing partners in accordance with our guidelines.
“The funding program was not conceived by Etsy, nor does Etsy have any official part of that program. Bridgeway Capital and SMC Business Councils are leading that program, which is specific to the Pittsburgh area, and will be making the announcement.”
You can find the event invitation on the EventBrite website, which states the event has been sold out.