For Holiday 2012, we unveiled Etsy’s first-ever official retail space–the Etsy Holiday Shop, a 10-day pop-up store in SoHo, New York. One of the primary goals of the shop was to reach out to people who were aware of the Etsy brand, but had yet to become a customer. Looking back, 50% of the buyers at the Holiday Shop had never purchased from an Etsy seller before.
The Holiday Shop was much more than a retail operation; it was designed to be a rich, inviting shopping experience that allowed buyers to meet Etsy sellers, watch them create original works on-site, and take part in an activity-packed calendar of events: coffee tastings, lectures, workshops, live demos, and musical performances. Nine guest curators–including Martha Stewart, Tavi Gevinson, and Swissmiss–selected items that lined a wall as shoppers entered.
By combining creativity with commerce, the Holiday Shop showed buyers that Etsy offers a unique and different kind of shopping experience. Musician/comedian and event performer Reggie Watts said it best: “This is the future of stores–temporary manifestations of people who care–so get used to it!”