Friday, February 23, 2007

The Meaning of Etsy

Apologies for missing yesterday's entry. My husband and I took what was supposed to be a short trip to visit some family and have a celebratory anniversary dinner. However, we were both too tired to drive home so it turned into an overnight trip with (gah!) no internet access.

Also because of this little trip, I was unable to post anything in the shop both yesterday and today. I will be posting several things in the shop tomorrow to make up for the lapse. ^_^

Today I checked out the official etsy blog ( and discovered that they had a link up to an interview on CBS at the physical Etsy Labs. For those of you who may not know, Etsy opened up a "lab" space a few months ago. It is a physical manifestation of the spirit of etsy. A large studio space with large equipment (such as presses, sewing machines, and button makers) that people can come in and use. They charge a small fee for membership and also offer courses (taught by artisans on etsy, of course) on a wide variety of subjects. If I lived in New York I might have a new home.

Anyway, CBS interviewed Rob (one of the founders of Etsy) at the Etsy Labs. You can check out the video right over here. During the course of the interview, Rob claims that "etsy" means "and if" in Latin and that the idea was "And if this works..." playing off the possibilities that etsy would open up.

Now, the truth behind this is dubious. After all, the admin once claimed in promotional material that Etsy was the name of a 17th century soap maker and they wanted to return to a time when crafts were valued. In a thread on the etsy forums they claimed that it came from a scene in Fellini's 8 1/2, a relatively obscure movie.

In the blog post, Rob claims to have made up this meaning in a sleep deprived stupor. However, a visit to shows that "et si" translates as "and if you wish".

There may be a multitude of meanings behind etsy--or none. Perhaps that 17th century soap maker took their name from the Latin. Perhaps admin just found the letters aesthetically pleasing.

I think I'll stick with the Latin idea though. Perhaps because "and if you wish" recalls the line "As you wish" from Princess Bride. Perhaps because it reflects the magic and innocence of wishing on stars as a child. Perhaps because it reminds me that with dedication and hope, dreams can come true. Or maybe a little bit of all of them.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, yes, we may never know the true meaning of Etsy... I do like the "as you wish" thing, though :) I'm also looking forward to the day I can make the trip up to Etsylabs. Sounds like a fun place!


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