The site was launched in 2005 by iospace, a small company composed of Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire, and Haim Schoppik. The initial version had taken two and a half months to build. Later Jared Tarbell joined the team. Former NPR executive Maria Thomas joined as COO in 2008, was promoted to CEO and left Etsy in December 2009. Robert Kalin resumed his role as CEO from December 2009 until July 2011. Investors include Sean Meenan, Albert Wenger, Spencer and Judson Ain, Union Square Ventures, and founders of Flickr and Delicious.
Think about the product that you are selling. Put together a product development plan that shows how versatile your idea is. Can it grow? Does that product spawn other products or idea that can potentially sell? While simply making some cards and putting them up for sale might prove successful, you will likely need more than the initial product. A product development plan will help take out the guesswork of how to make products that sell.
Keep in mind that there are already many handmade greetings cards available. To be really successful, you need to offer something a little different. In many areas, the market is swamped with handmade cards. An example of a niche is a "green" handmade card business where all products used are recycled, sustainably sourced, or some portion of proceeds benefit ecology projects around the world. When you are thinking about a niche, a great place to start is to think about the things that inspire you or make you smile.
Etsy's main office is located in Dumbo, Brooklyn, and it has hosted open crafting classes in the Etsy Labs. The site's technology, customer support, marketing, PR, business, and communications teams operate out of this office. Etsy Labs has a workspace that provides equipment and donated materials, where members gather to make items, take and teach workshops, and attend special events. Etsy also has an office in Berlin. In April 2012, Etsy announced that it was taking steps to hire more women engineers to improve the gender balance of its team, as a website with majority women users but few women engineers. By 2019, 30 percent of Etsy's engineers identified as "women or non-binary", and over 30 percent were people of color.