Etsy workshops help connect P.E.I. artisans with world

Online company Etsy is hosting 20 free workshops in Charlottetown to teach artisans and sellers how to connect with customers around the world.

Charlottetown selected as 1 of 4 Canadian cities to host workshops

Online company Etsy is hosting 20 free workshops in Charlottetown to teach artisans and sellers how to connect with customers around the world. 

The company picked Charlottetown as one of four Canadian cities to host the workshops which continue until Saturday. 

Stephanie Douglas brought her three granddaughters to one of those workshops. 

"I was in town with my granddaughters and thought this would be an awesome thing to do," said Douglas. 

"First of all my oldest granddaughter would like to do her own entrepreneur business so anything that can help her think about stuff like that would be great and I'm going to learn something." 

There are 1.5 million sellers on the site and the workshop are helping people learn how to run their businesses and make money whether they are selling vintage items or crafts.

Co-ordinator and Etsy Makercities project consultant Jessika Hepburn says Etsy has transformed how people view their businesses and how they view their local economies. 

"So instead of feeling trapped in rural Canada, people choose rural Canada and they're able to stay here because their business, their marketplace is global," said Hepburn.

"The cost of living can be lower here, but it can also be a struggle to find consistent seasonal employment all year round."    

Hepburn said the site's popularity is growing on P.E.I. and Etsy sponsored pop-up craft sales in Charlottetown have been well attended.

Milk & Amber owner Katharine MacDonald said she didn't have a business until she started on Etsy. 

"I've learned a lot of things from conducting myself on there. I found how much I like selling vintage and how much I'm maybe even kind of good at it. I have a shop now. A brick and mortar shop that Etsy prepared me for I think."   

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