Hand-made artisan marketplace Etsy and Williams-Sononma’s West Elm announced initiatives designed to coincide with a White House proclamation that establishes a “National Week of Making.”
Etsy is expanding its Craft Entrepreneurship from 19 cities to 30 within the next year.
West Elm has long featured artisanal goods and art in stores and in its catalog, and said it’s expanding its LOCAL program, which partners local artisans and artists from stores’ nearby communities.
The Week of Making is an effort by President Barack Obama, whose White House hosted the first “White House Maker Faire” last June. The effort is a celebration of artisans and “makers,” but also honors them as entrepreneurs and innovators as well as tinkerers and artists. Alongside hand-made goods, for example, are workshops on coding and awards for designs to be used with 3-D printers.
For Etsy and West Elm, which have already significantly tapped into the maker movement, participation makes a lot of sense. The movement probably wouldn’t have been noticed by the White House if it hadn’t already been quite vibrant on its own. But this strong, high-profile support could also help propel it further, especially with the tech and entrepreneurial spins the administration is putting on the events.