Photos Courtesy of: Tasha Eichorn & Erin Thrash
“I always try to think outside the box and keep up with the latest trends,” says Tasha Eichorn, owner of the Black Dahlia Dog store on Etsy.com.
Etsy.com gives people an opportunity to sell handmade and vintage items or arts and crafts supplies. In addition to handmade items, Etsy is also known for its great vintage merchandise; all vintage items must be at least 20 years old to be sold on the website.
Sellers have their own “store fronts” where they can market and sell their goods to over 30 million users. When a member opens up their shop there is a 20-cent fee for every listing. This nominal fee has allowed more people to open up businesses which would otherwise require a greater amount of start-up capital.
Before the rise of Etsy, crafters would have had to go to traditional craft fairs to sell their creations. Now, they can craft from home and as an added bonus they can reach an infinitely larger group of people.
From the campus bookstore to H.E.B, it is not hard to find UTSA gear around San Antonio, but the merchandise that most stores have is the usual t-shirts, car decals, maybe even a coozie. The UTSA merchandise on Etsy gives roadrunner fans an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. We all bleed orange, but why not do it in style?
Eichorn is a San Antonio native and is a proud Roadrunner fan. “I attended UTSA when the football team was undefeated!” The UTSA merchandise she sells is not something that you could just go pick up at the store; her creations are unique. In her store she features Roadrunner bottle cap earrings, necklaces, and a variety of headbands and bows. All of the headbands that Eichorn makes can be fitted for both adults and children.
If a buyer doesn’t see exactly what they are looking for, Eichorn is more than happy to do custom orders. This is what draws consumers to buy from Etsy sellers. Since most of the items are handmade, the sellers can do custom orders. Buyers get a unique custom made item, while helping someone do what they love.
Several other sellers on Etsy feature a range of UTSA gear, including hand painted TOMS, jewelry, scarves and spirit dresses.
The shop Sole Reflections sells hand painted and custom designed canvas shoes (TOMS, Vans, Converse and keds). The owner of Sole Reflections is an artist located in Garden Ridge, TX, which is just northeast of San Antonio. Buyers can send her the shoes and she paints them with any desired designs. The artist can design anything to your specifications and no two pairs of shoes are alike.
The CoastalComfort shop owned by Erin Thrash, also operated out of San Antonio, sells spirit dresses. The seller transforms plain t-shirts into dresses that can be worn anytime you want to show your ‘Runner pride. The dresses are strapless with bright, fun-colored patterned skirts, which is “a great way to show off your school or gameday spirit for the girly girl in you, “ she says.
“When I started sewing my dresses, I would sell them to friends, or through friends. I didn’t think about opening up my Etsy shop until I started having strangers come up to me asking where I bought my dress. When they found out I was the one who designed and sewed them, the question turned into ‘how can I purchase one from you?’”
Etsy is enabling many people to do what they love and make money in the process. This sentiment is what has motivated Eichorn to open up her shop. “Why not get paid for what I love to do?” she says.