Mala Shop

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stirring the Etsy Pot, Making a Garnet Smalla Mala

5mm Garnet "smalla mala" with fluted quartz crystal markers.

The post title kind of reminds me of "chop wood, carry water".  This is the same idea.  Integrating meditation and life.  After the meditating comes the same old task you were doing before.  In my case, making malas and selling online (mostly).

Wow, just when you want to be peaceful and complete a few orders, your online e-commerce site goes bonkers.  
I and millions of other craftspeople, vintage, and supply sellers on Etsy recently protested the change of how Etsy listed our items on Google.  If you searched Google for any of our items it came up like (for my malas)  "handmade everything else on Etsy" before the name of the mala and my shop name.  This happened in April and really reduced sales for many sellers.

So a sit-in was organized in the forums, led by several activist sellers.  I joined in support.  Although I'm a card-carrying pacifist (I would try not to swat a fly), it doesn't make me passive, and I thought it was important that we all stand together.  One week after the beginning of this, four days after the sit-in began, Etsy responded that they would take their tag off of our titles.

It took four days to get a response.  

The discussion and protest made the community stronger, and Etsy is restoring itself to being the cool place to buy arts, vintage and supplies.

I know, I know.  Any of you who wander onto this blog want peace, tranquility, inspiration, and beauty.  Me too!  But sometimes you have to fight for it and stand up and be counted. This doesn't come close to the huge importance of the fight in Iran over the election, but it is still important that an online venue not make huge decisions without the input of its members. People make their livings off their Etsy incomes!

Can you tell my grandfather was a teamster?  I was raised to not cross a picket line. He was a sign painter.

This mala is super dark maroon garnet with fluted crystal markers at the 21st and 56th spot.  It was a joy to make.  I first made it for a dear spiritual friend and have remade it for several people.  It's tiny enough to coil in your pocket, not big enough to wear.  Garnet is symbolic of creativity and prosperity, which is what I wish for all "Etsians" and indeed, for Etsy itself.

Lots of love,


Anonymous said...

Beautiful mala and gorgeous shot of it on the stone with the fabric in the background...

fwiw - I enjoy your blog. You have a true and joyful way of telling stories. I don't visit here with any notions about what I'll find. I look forward to more of your posts - whatever they happen to be about...

teri said...

Thank you for this insight into the forum we were all a part of on Etsy.
Your work is beautiful and I learned things from your post.
Let's all be at peace.