Good news knitters, sewers, solderers and extreme Bedazzlers—Citibank has put up $155,000 to help you take your hobby to the next level.
The bank is funding a municipal program for craft-based entrepreneurships in New York City, the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) announced on Monday. The NYC Craft Entrepreneurship Program will teach budding jewelers, seamstresses and even home decor makers to start their own small businesses through a series of five classes in entrepreneurship, branding and marketing, product photography, business strategy, and growth.
A brief on the SBS website encouraged interested applicants to put their stuff out there. “How many times have you thought about selling your custom-made jewelry or decorative home items to complete strangers?” In bolder type: “Why not sell your unique creations to the world and earn more income?”
“The world” in this case means Etsy, the Brooklyn-based e-commerce site for handmade and vintage items, and admit it, the really weird. The warm and fuzzy e-tailer has thrown their support behind the project—first, by providing a virtual storefront for the products, and second, by dispatching successful shop owners on the site to teach the classes.
Etsy’s Nikki Summer says that there are no particular categories for screening the sort of handmade craft items that would merit a round of city-sponsored business training. “Anything that can be sold on Etsy can be part of the Craft Entrepreneurship program,” she told the Observer. “In the past, we’ve had jewelry, a lot of woodworking products made from reclaimed wood bars and things like that.”
Unfortunately, applicants must have never “made any sales” on Etsy, according to the program’s eligibility requirements. What about people that never will?