Small businesses need support more than ever and, with the Second Annual Etsy Design Awards, Etsy is hoping to celebrate and empower diverse sellers and entrepreneurs from around the world. Between June 17th to July 15th, sellers can submit an item for a chance to be crowned the Etsy Design Award Grand Prize Winner and receive $15,000 USD. And more exciting news: alongside Etsy’s resident trends expert Dayna Isom-Johnson, actress and Etsy fan Drew Barrymore will be joining as a judge selecting this year’s winners! We chatted with Dayna about the upcoming awards (and got her to spill on her all-time fave Etsy score). —Noa Nichol
Hi Dayna! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
As Etsy’s Trend Expert I’m in constant pursuit of the most interesting and unique finds on Etsy. A big part of my job is combing through our inventory of millions of handmade and vintage items from independent creators all around the world in an effort to unearth the latest and greatest emerging trends in home decor, fashion, jewelry, art and more. I’m also a judge on the Emmy-nominated NBC series Making It with Amy Poehler & Nick Offerman, and am delighted to be co-judging the second-annual Etsy Design Awards (or “The Etsies” as we call it for short!) alongside the amazing Drew Barrymore, who is a self-proclaimed Etsy super fan.
What are the Etsy Design Awards, and what (if anything) has changed since last year’s edition?
Launched in 2019, the Etsy Design Awards are Etsy’s global award program, celebrating our worldwide community of independent sellers. This year, we’re excited to announce some exciting updates to the program. First, we’ve expanded the categories from five to 10 to better represent our marketplace and give even more sellers the opportunity to win an award. We’re also looking to tap our buyer community to help us in our "search for special," with a new nomination feature, as well introducing a People’s Choice Award (valued at $5,000 USD), which will be determined by community vote, when the finalists are announced in September.
What, ultimately, is the aim/purpose of the awards?
At Etsy, our sellers are at the heart of everything we do. The Etsies were originally conceived as a way to honour our incredible community of creative entrepreneurs and showcase their unique talents with the world. This year, it’s more important than ever to uplift and support small businesses. So if you’re an Etsy shopper, make sure you show your favourite shop some extra love and nominate them (to pay it forward, you’ll also be entered to win one of 10 $1,000 USD Etsy gift cards!).
How do the awards work? Who can enter and how?
Through July 15th, 2020, sellers can submit a single item—handcrafted, designed or vintage—into one of the 10 award categories. Entries will be narrowed down to 100 finalists in September, from which the Grand Prize ($15,000 USD) and Category Prize ($1,000 USD) winners will be chosen, and the People’s Choice Award voting will open. All winners will be announced in October.
Please tell us more about Drew Barrymore’s involvement this year!
We are so thrilled to have Drew on board to co-judge this year’s Awards. Drew has been a longtime supporter of independent makers, and shared a very touching ode to Etsy back in May on Instagram, shouting out the Etsy sellers she has been purchasing from recently. Drew is an entrepreneur herself with a huge passion for décor and style, and I’m so excited for her to lend her expert eye to our judging panel and help me discover the best of Etsy.
Final, personal question: your all-time fave Etsy purchase?
Something that always makes me smile is this custom baking dish by Prairie Hills Pottery I had made with my mom’s handwritten recipe for her famous spinach and bacon quiche. It makes me feel warm and happy before I even get started making the recipe, and it’s a beautiful dish to set out and serve when you’re entertaining.