chats with Etsy Australia’s Helen Souness

Alex Keshen 5 August 2015 NEWS


Helen Souness, managing director for Etsy Australia and Asia, spills the beans on what it’s like working at Etsy HQ, her favourite Etsy buys and her secret love of silly Etsy cards.

Ever wondered what it’s like to work at one of the world’s online largest marketplaces, Etsy? Us too.

According to Helen Souness, managing director of Etsy Australia and Asia, one of the highlights is a fun little thing called ‘Eatsy’. But more on that later.

With Etsy offering more than 32 million unique items from more than a million sellers worldwide, we naturally also wanted to know what her favourite Etsy finds are, and what are the best things about working for the cutest shop on the internet (in our opinion).

Insert Etsy envy here.

Is the Etsy Australia office as fun as we'd imagine it to be?

"At Etsy we believe fun should be part of everything we do - it is one of our core values. We do have a lot of fun at our local office and try not to take ourselves too seriously. I personally love our weekly ritual, where we sit down together for a ‘family lunch’. Of course it is called Eatsy and every Thursday lunch we stop what we are doing and gather as a team to share an ethically sourced meal - delightful."


What are some of your favourite Etsy stores?

"I am forever amazed at the talented makers and curators that are part of our burgeoning community and find it difficult to select a favourite. I am fortunate to be on the judging panel of our 2015 Etsy Design Awards, a program that celebrates the people who make a destination for great design, and have fallen in love with all of the finalists (which you can view here)."

What's your favourite thing you've bought from Etsy?

"I absolutely hate this question because there are so many purchases that spring to mind. I hate to choose. But I wear this necklace which Sydney jeweller Melaney of Anthaus made extra long for me. It is a real favourite I would wear every week, with her oval earrings too."

What's the silliest/strangest thing you've bought from Etsy?

"I love writing notes for all occasions so am a big fan of the abundance of unique, fun and quirky cards we have on

One particularly silly/fun card that I have bought is Able and Game’s ‘Yaysies!’, it’s so cute."

Able and Game's 'Yaysies!'

Able and Game's 'Yaysies!' from Etsy

Handcrafted with ink on 300 GSM paper card, 'Yaysies!' is created by Melbourne-based Able and Game. Inside, the card is blank and awaiting your message. The white envelope is 100% recycled from post-consumer waste.

View details

Why should people shop at Etsy?

"When you purchase something from Etsy you a buying directly from makers, curators and artists. There are so many items for sale that are customisable too, which means that when you buy from one of our makers, you know that you have found something truly unique."

What do you like most about Etsy?

"It would have to be the heart and soul of Etsy, our global community: the creative entrepreneurs who use Etsy to sell what they make or curate, the shoppers looking for things they can’t find anywhere else, the manufacturers who partner with Etsy sellers to help them grow, and the Etsy employees who maintain and nurture our marketplace. It’s so inspirational. I was really attracted to work with so many creative people in Australia, 95% of whom are women and most working from home doing something they love. I find the Etsy community very inspiring."

If you were to open up a shop on Etsy, what would you sell and why?

"I would likely start selling the animal applique items I make constantly for my daughter, her friends and any new babies I know. I love making them and when I run out of younger kids who love them, I suspect I will share them further afield!"

How would you like to see Etsy grow?

"I would love to see more artists, makers and curators joining our Etsy ecosystem and for the broader community to continue to uncover these amazing craftsmen, making Etsy part of their everyday. Meeting Etsy sellers and realising what a difference joining our community can make to their lives and those of their families, I would love to spread the impact to every creative and maker in the country! Even already successful makers in Australia can use Etsy to reach a global audience with their items, and new makers can equally find a supportive community and platform that will help them learn how to sell their work online."

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