COLORADO SPRINGS — While many businesses, like restaurants, have struggled to rebound during the pandemic, some business owners are seeing their best sales yet. That's because before the pandemic, people were shopping at stores, but now, many are turning to online marketplaces like Etsy.
You can buy unique, handmade items like jewelry, home decor, clothing and plenty more from Etsy.
Angelica Wilfong owns Doozy Designs, and for her, selling items on Etsy is a full-time job. Since 2013, she has been making and designing custom baby onesies and blankets online.
Nick Bowers owns Bowers Splinter Works, and he creates wooden flags that showcase state flags or military emblems like the USMC, the Air Force or the Navy. He's owned his business and has been selling products online for five years.
Both Wilfon and Bowers say this year, their sales through Etsy have been the best yet.
"I think since the pandemic, more people are shopping online instead of in stores," said Wilfong, whose sales have gone up 20% this year.
"This has been the best year, and it's steadily grown year by year," said Bowers.
Jennifer Harris, the owner of a handful of shops on Etsy, told News5 most of her business sales have grown more than 80% compares to years past. She owns Glass Blasted Art, Glass Blasted Homebrew, Glass Blasted Weddings, Rebel Gypsy Artist, and has been selling items online for eight years.
According to Etsy, there were nearly 15,000,000 new buyers in the third quarter of 2020. Many people were buying face masks, and personalized gifts were the top searched item on the online marketplace this year.
"I have seen a little more increase for just buying gifts, especially this holiday season," said Wilfong. "I know a lot of my buyers are doing virtual baby showers, or not doing baby showers at all, so buying from my shop and having the product shipped to the recipient has been the tradition this year."
"A lot of my products have been given as gifts to people throughout the year, more than just the holiday season," said Bowers, who also mentioned he was concerned about his online business when the pandemic hit.
"Luckily online sales skyrocketed. This year, I've seen a jump that I didn't expect. I attribute that to people staying home and online shopping," said Bowers.
For Bowers, his sales have gone up 40% this year compared to years past, but he knows other businesses may still be hurting.
"You feel horrible for these other businesses, and you do what you can to support them, but at the same time, I'm happy about mine, but I'm sad about others," said Bowers.
Etsy sales usually go up around the holiday season, and even moreso this year as people are finding new ways and traditions because of the pandemic.