As part of our little initiative, Project #ThanksEtsy, we set out to visit Etsy headquarters in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, on March 10th. Our plan was to meet a few Etsians, thank them in person for the impact they've had on our business, give out our handcrafted gifts, and be on our way.
What we thought was going to be short visit turned out to be a several hour affair. Elisha and I were given a tour the of the facility, met a ton of Etsy people, and grabbed a bite at their bi-weekly lunch (appropriately called Eatsy). The visit brought me back to the exciting times during my early career at a young internet start-up called Priceline.com, except the environment at Etsy is much cooler! There is a noticeable buzz at Etsy - not just because they are working hard and have a impending IPO - it's the electrifying feeling you get when great people come together with creative ideas and initiatives.
You're probably wondering what it's like at the crafty marketplace giant. Is the place as incredible as their website? After all, they have so many amazing vendors making everything from fine jewelry like us to wooden tables and beer holders. So the answer to your question is YES. Etsy is as cool as you thought it would be. Actually, it's cooler than you can imagine. It starts off with a seemingly uninteresting entrance, but all that ends when you pull open the heavy wooden doors. From there you're greeted with an eclectic entrance and front desk decorated with a cornucopia of all types of goodies from the crafty to the well-crafted.
For a space that houses over 500 employees, it surprisingly doesn't seem too big or overcrammed. We couldn't see any traditional cubicle spaces. Lots of open space with picnic table style desks where Etsians work together a la family-style dining. No phones on the desks (but there are some replica phone booths where people can make their calls) make the space surprisingly quiet.
To top it off, they have a zero carbon foot print initiative! Not only do you see recycling everywhere, but they also have indoor bike parking. Racks of glass "to-go" coffee cups are available to avoid needing paper cups when Etsians take a stroll to local coffee shops. Add to that up-cycling and the fact they all pitch in to pedal biodegradable waste to a local compost, and you'll start to realize that the people at Etsy aren't just cooler than you thought...They are nice, thoughtful, hardworking, dedicated, innovative, and a downright pleasant group people; and one that we happen to be particularly fond of. ;-)