Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Etsy gives S.A. artisans a global reach

El Sol Studios makes it to the business section of the Express-News! For those who didn't get last Saturday's Express-News, here's the story:

By L.A. Lorek - Express-News

In the recession, the do-it-yourself movement has taken off.

For proof, look no further than, which helps handicraft entrepreneurs turn their projects into cash.

An alternative to mass-produced merchandise, the online marketplace for handmade goods promotes sustainability, self-reliance, creativity, arts and crafts, and fun, spokesman Adam Brown said.

But to the owners of El Sol Studios in San Antonio, generates sales in a global economy and provides networking with other like-minded artists.

El Sol Studios owners, Ruth Guajardo and husband Larry Aguilar, sell $15 clocks, $2 magnets, $18 charm bracelets, $10 earrings, $7 ornaments and bags of milagros, or pewter charms, from Mexico for $10. Overall, El Sol has made more than 300 sales to buyers as far away as France, England and Australia on

“It’s such an artist community,’’ Guajardo said. “You can find anything on there.”

Two months ago, they helped launch the Alamo City Etsy Group, which meets every month to help others open shops on the site. Increasingly, people want an outlet to sell their handicrafts to make money in this economy and the interest in has skyrocketed, Guajardo said.

In its “buy local” section, lists more than 100 San Antonio sellers offering up all kinds of handmade items, including dresses, toys, jewelry and ceramics and pottery.

“It’s the ultimate consignment place,’’ said Brandy Garcia, owner of B.Link, who runs an store with jewelry and other items. She’s sold 16 pieces this year to buyers as far away as Poland. also helps give exposure to her new shop in the King William district.

“People want things handmade,’’ Garcia said. “They want to buy local."

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