Etsy Australia



If you haven’t heard of Etsy – you’re missing out on shopping in the most unique online store in the world – a place where artists, crafts people and designers sell their goods in one global market place. We meet Kirsteene Phelan, the first employee for Etsy Australia and hear her story…





Etsy is a world-wide phenomenon which originated in the USA in 2005 and has quickly grown to have over 60 million unique visitors on the site a month. WOW!!

Meeting Kirsteene Phelan, the Communications Manager for Etsy Australia was kind of like meeting a famous celebrity. We’re Etsy obsessed at Confetti Mag – and we’re always trying to encourage our readers to shop for something individual, crafted by the hands of someone with passion. So the chance to meet Kirsteene and her team at the Etsy HQ in Melbourne’s busy Swanston Street was very exciting.

Kirsteene is the kind of gal you could easily become best friends with. She’s passionate, encouraging and very driven – from only a brief encounter we could tell that she sees the best in everyone and everything. That’s probably one of the many reasons she landed the very first job available in the Etsy Australia Team – to support and nurture fellow creatives into their paths of success in their own little online piece of heaven.

We had a coffee with Kirsteene and snuck a few questions in…

What’s your role with Etsy?
I am the Communications Manager. I work across PR and Digital communications such as social media and newsletters plus I manage large projects such as our recent Etsy Christmas Pop-Up.

Give us the Etsy “elevator pitch”
Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. It is the platform to build an international creative business. Our mission is to re-imagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.

What’s been the most memorable or rewarding project you have worked on to date?
Most definitely the Etsy Christmas Pop-up which recently ran for 15 days in Sydney. It was marvellous to be able to highlight so many local sellers and their products and the public really enjoyed seeing all the great products and taking part in our range of in-store events.

What’s your background?
I’m from Brisbane, Australia. After a few years at university doing Business Communications I spent some time working in fringe theatre, dabbling in photography and DJ-ing. I had also worked in cinemas and for a record company before I started my own handmade jewellery business in 2007. I ran Scrumptious for four years, supplying wholesale handmade jewellery to shops across Australia and New Zealand before being offered a role at Etsy as their first Australian employee.

Tell us about your work day?
My day has range to it. I attend internal meetings with people from all over the company on upcoming projects. I meet with outside partners on these projects and I do a lot of writing and curation of Etsy products for press opportunities.

Tell us your favourite 3 Australian Etsy stores?
It is incredibly hard to pin down just three! I do love the work of Sandra Eterovic, especially her new range of cushions. I also like Epoch Co for well curated vintage items and, as I’m a sucker for stationery, the funny quotes on the Anrol Designs notepads are delightful.

What motivates you on a daily basis?
My family, friends, and planning trips to exotic locales.

What Etsy stores/Etsy people inspire you?
The key to a successful Etsy store is great tags, titles and descriptions, great imagery and holistic branding. I’m in awe of many shops who get it right including 2of2, Seventh Tree Soaps, Carnival of the Maniac and Tesler Mendelovitch.

Why is it important to shop handmade?
We all have important choices to make as consumers. By buying handmade and ethically manufactured items you create a better world for everyone. As the handmade movement grows and reaches a broader base of people, the critical mass will help to bring about change in consumer habits globally.