Etsy, the self-styled “place to buy and sell all things handmade” has announced a collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History, as per CBS Local. Titled “Etsy for AMNH” the site will be creating a line of original crafts based on the museum’s collection, to be sold both online (at Etsy and the museum’s online store) and in the AMNH gift shop.
The museum told CBS that it was the first time the Brooklyn-based craft seller has collaborated with a museum to create products. Twenty-two Etsy designers will be creating over 140 items including a sterling silver blue whale pendant based on the museum’s Hall of Ocean Life and valued at $250. Style.com reported on several other items that will be showing up in the Etsy collection, including a $260 gold necklace by designer Gur Kimel of Tel Aviv, made from a real miniature pine cone. The collection also features several animal-themed felt coats for kids starting at $155, recycled circuit board jewelry, and much more, all inspired by museum exhibits.
The move comes at a financially auspicious time for Etsy, which recently made headlines with its $100 million IPO filing (as previously reported in the Inquisitr.) The collaboration with the museum was announced only a day later, and will serve not only to keep the start-up in the eye of investors, but also to demonstrate that Etsy is able to create new partnerships and new lines of profit. Although Etsy made nearly $2 billion in sales in 2014, the peer-to-peer marketplace for crafts and vintage items still struggles to portray itself as a major player to Wall Street, especially since doing so runs counter to how it portrays itself to its customers. Etsy’s “boutique” atmosphere is part of its charm to the shoppers and shop-keepers alike.
Etsy’s partnership with the American Museum of Natural History represents a good compromise between business-savvy and artistic appeal. The AMNH, established in New York City in 1869, is one of the largest and best-known museums in the world. Etsy’s collaboration with the museum demonstrates their ability to form an advantageous partnership with another major interest, certainly without sacrificing their core image, and possibly enhancing it.
Etsy will need that if they’re going to reach their $100 million funding goal without alienating their customers.
The first items went on sale yesterday and can be found on Etsy, in the online AMNH store, or in the museum’s gift shop itself should you have the opportunity to visit. The museum’s store also includes featured Etsy artist profiles, highlighting the craftspeople behind the collection.
[Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images]