Etsy announced the winners of the annual Etsy Design Awards, and the grand prize has been awarded to AdrianMartinus for their handcrafted Stackton Credenza. Adrian Pool, Martinus Pool, and Anne Tranholm, the trio of Canadian makers behind AdrianMartinus, built their winning design using upcycled skateboards to create colorful stripes.
The designers expressed their excitement at winning the award (and the $15,000 cash prize) in an Instagram post, where they thanked their supporters. They gave a special acknowledgment to the local skate shops where they acquire raw materials for their designs, saying, “We couldn’t do what we do without them.”
Etsy also awarded $1000 cash prizes to 10 category winners, including Texas-based macrame artist Demi Mixon, Mexican jewelry designer Mai Solorzano, and paper artist Josie Kyriacou from the United Kingdom. “My favorite thing about this experience has been the outpouring of support from the macrame community,” Mixon said. “It’s a tight-knit group on social media and this really felt like a win for the craft itself as the Art Category winner.”
Inge Stalyte of Wardrobe by Dulcinea won for her celestial wedding dress draped in a transparent tulle embroidered with stars.
Impact of winning
Winners were hand-selected from a pool of 100 finalists by two judges: actress Drew Barrymore and Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson. Dani Barbe, maker of ombre gemstone rings, won the coveted People’s Choice award after receiving the most votes from Etsy shoppers.
Vintage category winner, Mary Beth Akinyemi of Fashion for Fables, shared that her Germany-based shop has been busier since she was announced as a finalist for the Etsies.
“I have seen growth in the traffic and in orders from the United States and Canada,” she said. “I tend to have a steady number of sales in Europe but now with the exposure I am also seeing more customers from around the world.” Akinyemi was also featured in the media in her hometown of Cologne, Germany. “I have been featured in two local newspapers, which has been eventful. One of the gentlemen who works at the post office was so excited to tell me he saw me.”
Inge Stalyte of Wardrobe by Dulcinea says her win in the Wedding category hasn’t translated to an uptick in sales. “I can’t say yet if it’s impacted my business… and that is expected and very normal for the industry I am in,” she said. Her award-winning Celestial wedding dress is draped in a transparent tulle embroidered with stars. “It is extremely rare for someone to just add to cart a wedding dress upon learning about a shop and check out immediately.”
However, Stalyte is definitely noticing an increase in attention from her typical customer: brides-to-be. She hopes that the boost in inquiries will last until bridal high-season arrives in January.
“My Etsy shop’s visits per day have quintupled for the time being, from around 1000 a day to 5000 a day,” she said. “That is a very pleasant surprise.”
Mexican jewelry designer Mai Solorzano won the jewelry category for this dangle bracelet.
Encouragement in difficult times
In a year filled with unexpected twists and turns, Estsies awardees are feeling encouraged by their wins. Paper category winner Kyriacou shared that the promotion on Etsy’s social media channels has been helpful as she works hard to promote her business on social media during lockdown. “I was incredibly shocked when Drew Barrymore tagged my shop in a post on Instagram. Winning the award is something that I will never ever forget,” she said. “This award will now live with my shop forever and it’s something that gives my shop that extra credibility.”
“To find out I won the Art Category was half unbelievable and half validating,” said Mixon of DemiMacrameDesigns. “I am one of many who became unemployed at the beginning of the year after losing my full-time geologist position. After that, I decided to do the thing that made me happy and do what I can to make it work. It has been a nonstop grind learning about handmade businesses,” she said. “Winning this award helps me see I am on the right path.”
Erin is the textile designer and artist behind the home décor company, Cotton & Flax. She licenses her surface designs for fabric, home décor, stationery, and other clients. She’s also a teacher, writer, and enthusiastic advocate for small creative business owners. She lives in San Diego, California.