On April 20th, Etsy, which as many of you know is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods and craft materials only
, featured seller Ecologica Malibu and posted an interview they’d conducted with its owner Mariana Schechter
, who talked about the salvaged wood furniture she designs and builds, and about how she "always felt that there was magic in the trees and a mysterious energy in the ocean" and that "there is something personal and unique that occurs when you craft something with your hands". Oddly for a featured seller interview, there was no detail given about the process of how Schechter makes her furniture and no photos of her in her workshop making them. On April 21st, April Winchell posted to Regretsy about Schechter
. She’d delved a little more deeply into the matter, and though she didn’t come up with any photos of Schechter making furniture in her workshop either, she had
found Schechter’s "work" on Overstock.com and bills of lading for furniture shipped from factories in Bali to her office building in Malibu.
Many hundreds of heated and snarky comments on Etsy and Regretsy later, an Etsy admin asked that Etsy users "continue to treat one another with respect and understanding" and closed comments on the article "while we take the opportunity to investigate this matter more fully", though strangely the Ecologica Malibu shop had been reported for reselling prior to the interview, and Etsy had found the shop to be legitimately handmade goods.
A day after Regretsy's exposé Ecologica Malibu’s Etsy shop is still open for business and earlier this evening, a coffeetable from her shop was among the handpicked items on the front page of Etsy
. But Schechter has
had to take a break from
checking Bali invoices
hand crafting her furniture to restrict her company's Twitter account and delete many comments from her Facebook page, and also take down the site on which she initially posted an “Refutation of spurious comments placed on Etsy.com by a confederation of dunces”.
Since Etsy has always, to put it charitably, seemed to find the enforcement of its own policies challenging, a petition calling for change has been posted on change.org