material world

Artists Get Digital, But Stay Crafty

Claudia Helming, DaWanda
Berlin startup Dawanda, launched by Claudia Helming in 2006, is now growing up.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    As digital platforms grow, people using them to sell goods struggle for visibility. Artists in Germany selling unique handcrafted goods using Dawanda and other online stores also rely on shops.

  • Facts


    • Artists and designers sell the goods they make via online platforms like Etsy, Germany’s Dawanda, and now Amazon’s new platform Homemade for handcrafters.
    • Handmade at Amazon has just launched in Europe, selling homemade goods and taking on Etsy and Germany’s Dawanda.
    • Etsy was established in 2005 and has 25 million users. Dawanda was launched in 2006 and has 6.9 million members.
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Ruth Thomas stitches bags, door stoppers and toys out of brightly-colored fabric and sells them online and at a local market. It’s outdoors among the flowers and vegetable stalls where they sell best. On a good day she makes a small profit.

Like many other artists who make handmade goods, Ms. Thomas also has a small online store on Dawanda, a platform for handcrafters, Germany’s answer to Etsy.

Etsy is a platform launched in the U.S. in 2005 for people to sell goods from photography to jewelry to buyers looking for that home-made touch. By 2014, it was making revenues of $195.6 million. Its 54 million users were looking for, or making, something different.

Dawanda works the same way and has grown just as rapidly since it was launched in 2006.

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