I am, frankly, a shopaholic and like all addicts my addiction is specific, I don’t get off on a quick trip to Kipa, I need specific buying activities to feed the craving, and in my case I spend money on pointless but pretty things for the home – shoes, ha, that’s for the amateurs, true addicts choose art!
Moving to Turkey does curtail your shopping a bit, especially if you want to buy local and the bit of me that yearns to worship at the coloured altar of abstract art and acquire just one more soft and sexy mohair throw is feeling restless and edgy of late!
Turkey is not heavy on the kind of interior design shops that cater to my addiction and in this part of the Aegean certainly art galleries are just not around (huge gap in the market people – get out here with your canvasses and ceramics!).
Here craftsmanship tends to lean towards shipping in still damp rugs from some cockroach infested exploitative hell in the far east and passing them off as genuine to the cruise ship tourists. There are some decent jewellers but unless you have your own loupe and really know your stuff you are taking a fair old risk and risk takes all the fun out of shopping and anyway jewellery ain’t my thing, my house is prettier than I am, I’d rather adorn that!
Whilst trying to find some craft shopping opportunities in response to a forum question online today I came across Etsy.com. It is a worldwide marketplace for vintage, craft, interior design and individual fashion and it is really, really cool because it doesn’t just show you stuff available online, it lets you shop locally and find artists and craftspeople in your area.
There are over 100 active artisans listed in Turkey and 30 odd in Izmir alone and they offer everything from delicate web thin shawls to glowing original acrylic paintings. It’s lovely! Not just shopping wise but socially it allows you to connect with people who like the same things you do in your part of world and I am all for finding local crafts to highlight.
If you make your own crafts, if you paint, if you blow glass or take amazing photographs then Etsy is the place to showcase your stuff in a really professional, really easy to use way and with lower fees and commissions that Ebay it’s got to be a good way to get your art out there and get it selling.