STYLE & BEAUTY
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Etsy Gives Fashion Hobbyists Full-Time Jobs

Since its launch in 2005, Etsy has given crafty do-it-yourselfers a place to sell their handmade items...and some users have turned their hobbies into full-time jobs, making hundreds of thousands of dollars in a year, the New York Times reports. But this brand of e-success does have its downside:

"Working from home, people think it's so easy and great," said Caroline Colom Vasquez, of Austin, Tex., who last year made $120,000 in sales from her Etsy shop, Paloma's Nest, which specializes in ceramic and wood collectables for weddings and other special occasions. But "there's nobody there to tell you to take a break, or take a vacation."

Vasquez expects to make $250,000 this year, but she also had to hire three staff members to meet customers' demands.

Yokoo Gibran, another Etsy user, earned more than $140,000 in a year and has forged a knitwear deal with Urban Outfitters.

"I have to wake up around 8, get coffee or tea, and knit for hours and hours and hours and hours," said Ms. Gibran. "I'm like an old lady in a chair, catching up on podcasts, watching old Hitchcock shows. I will do it for 13 hours a day."

It's unclear how many people consider Etsy their full-time career, however, over the last year the amount of registered users doubles to 3.75 million. Of course, not all of the account-holders are skilled artisans, noted by Regretsy, a blog devoted to charting the less-desirable items found on the site.

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