Mythbusters has been one of my favorite shows ever since it first made it to air. And I’ve been an Etsy seller since 2005, having been so fortunate as to witness its creation firsthand thanks to my fellow Gallatin alumni Chris Maguire, Haim Schoppik, and Rob Kalin. I was thrilled to see this post on the Etsy blog about Adam Savage’s love and admiration for the handmade and vintage marketplace. I consider Adam Savage (who also attended NYU for a short time, it seems—small world!) to be one of the most intelligent and admirable people in the entertainment (edutainment?) industry. Might have something to do with the fact that he’s a fellow nerdy ginger with a graphic design background and a penchant for collecting odd things. It may even qualify as a “man crush.” Hearing him talk in detail about his shopping experiences and say “Etsy is one of my favorite things on the web” is genuinely uplifting:
Just a few days ago I was watching back-episodes of Mythbusters with my wife Alyssa, whose Etsy shop has grown into something of a phenomenon, and we were discussing how the Mythbusters may have been responsible, at least in part, for the escalation in popularity of the “maker” culture and the environment that made it possible for Etsy to thrive. Mythbusters and Etsy were born within a year or two of each other, after all. Adam touches on this in the Still Untitled podcast, but does not take credit for it:
The whole DIY maker zeitgeist [he says “zeitgeist,” too!] that Mythbusters rode—we rode that wave—we were right alongside Make magazine riding that wave in the early 2000s.
It was also interesting to hear Adam’s perspective on Etsy’s relatively low prices for handmade goods, and its role as a proving ground for nascent makers and artists, since it is a low-overhead way for creative people to test ideas in a real-life, international marketplace. There are some that would complain that the popularity of Etsy may lead to a microcosm of the global economy for the smaller-scale handmade community, with an increase of supply driving down prices. But Adam’s commentary paints this in an optimistic light, and I think he’s got a great point. As Etsy continues to grow and change it is fascinating to watch its impact on the world, and the world’s impact on it.