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.