- When I decorated my first apartment in NYC, I struggled to find affordable, high-quality home furnishings.
- I ordered products from the e-commerce sites Amazon and Etsy and compared the experience.
- Despite the longer delivery times, Etsy quickly became my favorite for vintage and unique garments.
Growing up, my art teacher was a pro at finding unique objects to fill our white walls. The centerpiece of her dining room is a wooden board that her students threw paint-soaked cotton balls at.
So when it came to decorating my own apartment, I knew I wanted something other than Urban Outfitter’s posters and Ikea furniture, but I did not have the budget to go crazy. And unlike my mother, I lacked a serious do-it-yourself chutzpah.
The first month, I hunted for affordable home furnishings in the old-fashioned way – at flea markets and in thrift stores. I was amazed at how expensive the flea market was, with price tags for artwork from $ 100 to $ 500 each. Although prints from thrift stores were cheaper, I did not fall in love with anything I found.
This left me to the overwhelming abyss that is about art on the internet. I eventually googled “Georgia O’Keefe prints”, one of my favorite artists, and ended up on an Etsy seller site called ChristinaArtsDesigns.
Unlike other e-commerce sites like Amazon, Etsys design has a prominent place for the people behind their products. Under the “About” tab, I could see that Christina was a freelance graphic designer with a love of Japanese culture and anime. Her manufacturer, Printful, was based in North Carolina.
Compared to the mechanical design of Amazon, the humanized layout made me more confident in the quality of the Etsy products and the working conditions of those who manufactured it. I could also contact the store directly if I had any questions and get answers immediately.
ChristinaArtsDesigns had a total of 75 Georgia O’Keefe prints that came in nine different sizes, priced between $ 25 and $ 45 each. After reading dozens of five-star reviews that testified to the high-quality colors of the prints, I was sold.
Why Etsy is worth the wait
Etsy describes itself as “a global online marketplace where people meet to manufacture, sell, buy and collect unique items”, focusing on “creative” buyers and sellers. In June, Etsy announced its plans to buy the used fashion app Depop for $ 1.62 billion.
The company exceeded Wall Street’s estimates for its most recent quarter and continued to benefit from home renovations and the face mask boom during the pandemic.
“What it shows is that people have had to turn to Etsy over the past year, they choose to come back even more as we move forward, and we honestly think that’s remarkable,” CEO Josh Silverman told CNBC in November. .
The company charges salespeople 20 cents for each listed product and focuses on vintage and handmade items. Home & Living and Art & Collectibles are the site’s two most popular categories, according to Statista.
After my positive experience with the O’Keefe print, I went to Etsy for everything from lamps to brass cabinet knobs.
The only drawback was that delivery times varied from a few days to a few weeks. I ordered my prints on November 30 and received them on December 16, which seems like a lifetime if you are used to Amazon’s one-day shipping.
While I was eager for my order to arrive, I knew that wall art could create or break a space. If I were to stare at these every day, I would be able to mediate two-day shipping and comfort myself by supporting an independent store with small batches.
For comparison, I ordered the cheap desktop I am currently writing this article from on Amazon. I hurried to the purchase so that I could start working from home and immediately regretted it. Although it looks nice, it is shaky and not the right size for the space.
Despite Amazon’s market dominance, I found that the technology giant was seriously lacking in the home furnishing department – perhaps one of the few product categories left where shoppers are not willing to sacrifice convenience over quality.