Etsy Design Awards finalist Tiny Scenic
An eclectic list of 160 finalists for the Etsy Design Awards debuted August 2nd, after Etsy staff reviewed thousands of entries. One grand prize winner ($15,000 award) and five category winners ($1000 award) will be announced in September 2019.
Etsy Design Awards finalists represent over a dozen countries, and are divided over five categories: Inventive Decor, Signature Style, Festive Celebrations, Earth Friendly, and Creative Collaborations. Among the finalists is Craft Industry Alliance member Yeiou, honored for her custom house portraits.
Finalists’ entries vary widely in form and function. From Tiny Scenic’s swimming pool necklaces, to House VH’s floating wooden cocktail bars, the styles represented run the gamut. After interviewing several finalists, one thing connects the makers: gratitude.
“Even if we don’t win, it’s such an honor be a one of the few designers selected from all over the world.”
– Claire and Aaron, House VH
Etsies finalist House VH
A global competition
Nicknamed “The Etsies,” the craft competition is touted, “The first-ever Etsy Design Awards,” celebrating work from “extraordinary creatives from around the world.” However, Etsy hosted similar awards for shops based in Australia from 2014 – 2016.
Mei Ong won the 2014 Etsy Australia Design Awards for her bath products brand Vice & Velvet. “It was great exposure for the business and very humbling to be recognized alongside other incredibly talented local makers,” Ong said via interview. Her advice to 2019 Etsy Design Awards Finalists: “Win or lose, let this experience reinvigorate your passion for your craft, take pride in what you do and keep applying for future awards.”
Earrings from Etsy Design Awards finalist Baked by Lou
Signature Style category finalist Louisa Mallett of Baked by Lou participates in creative competitions as often as possible, and feels that they’ve helped her build her business. For Mallett, the experience also builds self-confidence: “I doubt myself often, and while this isn’t a measure of my worth, it would be great to be recognised by such a recognised craft community. I absolutely could not have got this far in my business without Etsy and it’s a huge honour to be a finalist.”
“Winning… would be another reminder that I CAN do this and a reminder to myself and others to always take a leap and enter these things and believe in yourself and your business!”
– Louisa Mallett, Etsy Design Awards finalist
Etsy Design Awards finalist Nicole Novena’s ceramics
Nicole Novena, whose modern ceramic vases brought her to the finals in the Inventive Decor category, expressed relief that the judging process is handled internally, rather than a public vote.
“When Etsy notified me about being selected as a finalist I was honored…first, because I’m happy my work has resonated with others and second, because this isn’t one of those vote type Design Awards. The finalists are selected by Etsy’s Editors and the winner is chosen by a handful of industry experts.” – Nicole Novena, Etsy Design Awards Finalist
Other makers were excited for an opportunity to showcase new designs. Finalist Aaron Van Holland of House VH shared, “Etsy’s design awards is the perfect opportunity to share our newest collection with the Etsy community and design enthusiasts.”
Paper crane made by Etsy Design Awards finalist Cristian Marianciuc
Cristian Marianciuc, one of 25 finalists in the Creative Collaborations category, creates highly detailed paper cranes — all made to order. Marianciuc opened his Etsy shop in 2017, and had never entered a design or business competition before. When asked about what winning an award like the Etsies would mean for his business, Marianciuc shared, “It would be an invaluable opportunity – the financial prize would most definitely make a difference, but also the exposure would mean new customers and hopefully exciting projects and collaborations. And since I am a small, independent artist, a boost such as this would be incredible!”
Etsy Design Awards finalist Asikara by Laura Jane
Signature Style finalist Laura Jeffers of Asikara shared what The Etsies could mean for her business: “Winning this award would help me take some major steps in my business and give me exactly what I need to be able to invest even more into my product mix, into my marketing and also into the limited edition fabrics that I love to source.
“[Winning] would be an affirmation of all that I’ve achieved in my business career.” – Etsies finalist Laura Jeffers
Winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges: Garance Doré, Anavila Misra, Dan Levy, Holly Becker, Dayna Isom Johnson, Joe Zee, and Sophie Robinson. To decide the winners of the inaugural Etsies, judges will be looking at the quality, creativity, utility and “wow” factor of the finalist entries. Winners will be announced in September, 2019.
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.