Art students use Etsy for extra money

A school like Union is worth every single dollar students put into it, but when a person has taken out one too many loans or has applied for as many scholarships as he can, the sheer amount of pressure from financial worry can be unbearable.

When presented with this dilemma, some students consider an on-campus job or a part-time night position at a local restaurant.

Many have made use of an online craft/homemade goods store called Etsy, a website reserved specially for people who craft items, whether practical or artsy, and sell them for profit.

Allison Bucknell, senior English major, said she has purchased items from Etsy users on many occasions.

She not only enjoys the fashionable items she finds there but also rests well in knowing that she is supporting people who hold true to the arts and the art of crafting.

“It’s a good place for artists and crafters to make their stuff available,” Bucknell said. “Getting exposure nowadays usually depends on how active you are in the social networking world, and Etsy is one of those places where you can connect with other artists and creative people who are selling their work.”

2012 Union alumnus Maggie Ledbetter crafted hair clips and headbands out of colorful fabric she had accumulated. After photographing a few friends modeling the hairpieces, she posted listings on Etsy to sell.

“Since I took some art classes at Union, a few of my friends were promoting their Etsys on Facebook,” Ledbetter said. “It simply funds my ability to try new things.

“If I’m only making something for myself, the start-up cost of supplies can be discouraging. But I know if I make 10 more to sell, it’s a lot easier to justify.”

Ledbetter seized the opportunity to earn extra money, using her resources and managing a website.

Creating an Etsy account, especially for artists looking to promote their work, is an ideal way to share creativity with others and practice important skills in self-sufficiency.

“I’ve found I get out of it what I put in,” Ledbetter said. “If I’m taking time to make, post and promote [on] Facebook, I see more orders.

“If I’m having a really busy month with school and don’t do those things, I see less attention.”


Find Maggie Ledbetter’s Etsy site by visiting

About Sarah Halbrook 7 Articles
Sarah Halbrook, a senior English major and theatre minor, is the arts and entertainment editor of the Cardinal & Cream. She enjoys copy editing and critiquing and has had experiences in editing many academic papers, theses and young adult fiction. When Sarah is not writing or editing, you can find her with the Union theatre and improv team. She hopes to not only get a position in the editing and publishing industry one day but to also get her own work published.