Etsy market comes to Singapore

Singapore crafters (from far left) Vivien Tan, Salehah Zailani, Salinah Zailani and Siti Nuraisah Zailani are part of Etsy Craftivist SG, which is organising the Singapore edition of the Etsy Made Local market.
Singapore crafters (from far left) Vivien Tan, Salehah Zailani, Salinah Zailani and Siti Nuraisah Zailani are part of Etsy Craftivist SG, which is organising the Singapore edition of the Etsy Made Local market.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Besides checking out the works of crafters at Etsy Made Local, visitors can help create murals for charity

Lovers of handmade items can shop and meet Singapore crafters today and tomorrow at the Etsy Made Local market, at the outdoor plaza of Capitol Piazza in Stamford Road.

Forty Singapore-based crafters are setting up stalls at the market, which is organised by a local team of Etsy sellers called Etsy Craftivist SG.

Etsy, set up in the United States in 2005, is an online marketplace dedicated to craft and vintage items. The crafters at Etsy Made Local are all Etsy sellers.

This is the first Etsy Made Local market in Singapore. The event is also taking place in Malaysia and Hong Kong at the same time.

Products on sale at the Singapore market include clay jewellery, cotton cushion covers and paintings. Prices range from below $10 to a few hundred dollars.

  • BOOK IT / ETSY MADE LOCAL

  • WHERE: Outdoor Plaza, Level 1 Capitol Piazza, 13 Stamford Road

    WHEN: Today and tomorrow, noon to 9pm

    ADMISSION: Free

    INFO: www.facebook.com/EtsyCraftivistSg

Ms Salinah Zailani, 37, one of the founders of Etsy Craftivist SG, says: "We want to promote handmade products and bring the sellers and buyers together."

The buyers can also see the process of crafting, she says.

She also runs Simply For Love - a five-year-old company that makes bespoke felt items - with her sisters Salehah, 29, and Siti Nuraisah, 25.

She describes Etsy Craftivist SG, formed in June last year, as "a grassroots group for Etsy Singapore", which fosters the growth of the Etsy community here. It organises events and helps sellers with their queries, such as how the e-commerce platform works.

Previous events organised by the sisters include Etsy Craft Parties - also an event organised by Etsy internationally - which they hosted in different venues in the past four years. During these parties, people get together to work on different crafts such as collage-making and embroidery on paper.

This year's party, which was held in June at The Art Faculty by Pathlight School in Redhill, had close to 100 participants.

At Etsy Made Local, crafters will do live demonstrations of their craft. There will be a special flower arrangement demonstration by A Better Florist today from 1 to 4pm.

Visitors can also do good while crafting by participating in a communal activity where they learn to create a mural made of yarn pom poms. It costs $2 a pair of pom poms to cover material costs. The murals will be donated to a children's charity.

Etsy Craftivist SG hopes that the inaugural market here will help to promote the brand's presence among both buyers and sellers.

Ms Vivien Tan, 41, one of the group's core members, says: "Not many people know what Etsy is - that there's a platform that sells only handmade, unlike other e-commerce sites."

She also runs the Etsy store, The Cotton Shoppe, selling handmade quilts, gifts and accessories.

There are more than 1.6 million sellers on Etsy worldwide and Ms Tan says the number of Singapore sellers "is definitely growing".

She adds: "If we get people interested in crafting, they will be more supportive of handmade products. When they craft, they will know that the process is so tedious and they will be willing to pay more as buyers."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2016, with the headline 'Etsy market comes to Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe