Vanessa Bertozzi SM ′06 was knee deep in research for her Comparative Media Studies degree when she came across Etsy, an online marketplace where artists, craftspeople, and collectors sell handmade and vintage items. One shop in particular stood out to her—one where a mother was transforming her home-schooled children’s drawings into charmingly wonky toy animals and robots. Overnight the site became a tangible symbol for something Bertozzi had been trying to put into words.
“Here was a family who was learning by doing and really working and making together and interacting with the real world,” Bertozzi wrote recently, “—making their own education outside of school. The whole thing — [the mother’s] shop, Etsy, the handmade movement—struck me as a paradigm shift.”
In January 2007, Bertozzi began working at Etsy as the tenth person on staff. Today she is editor-in-chief of the Etsy blog, The Storque, where she writes about bike-themed vendibles, her Etsy-infused wedding, and notable members of the Etsy community (among other things).