In March 2008 the concept of Wren was born and started with an Etsy shop. This was the only online selling design-meets-craft-online-selling-platform at the time. It was plagued with challenges for a South African: South African banks could not accept Paypal payments (this changed in 2011), South Africa did not have a good reputation for safe postal systems and the local support community for hand-made-products-selling-online was small. So small in fact that when I joined there were only two other South African Etsy shops: Skinnylaminx and Jezze.
When www.etsy.thewren.com opened we (or I, as the company was singular at the time), started selling fabric bags under the label Wren. These early products didn’t look anything like what you’ll find in our 2018 Catalogue, but it didn’t take long for me to find my path and start working with unusual materials. Some of the products were hits and quite cute like this little Wren purse.
One of my favourite things about Etsy was the connections made to customers. It was also incredibly motivating getting feedback from happy customers (over 500 reviews!). Here are some of my favourite comments left on the site.
10 years later it feels like time to close the doors and focus on our own online shop and exports to more localised online stores and physical shops across the world. I feel sad to say good bye to this chapter because there are many special memories: Like making my first sale (and how the bank rejected the payment because it was international); how with every 100th sale my boyfriend (now my husband) went out to celebrate for dinner; how the team profile grew from one to five; and, something I will miss the most, is the Etsy community (read about me on the Etsy Storque).
Thank you Etsy for being our partner for the past 10 years and bringing the whole world close ensuring our business could grow and succeed.