Etsy: Rob Kalin
Rob Kalin founded Etsy for people like him: makers and hobbyists. In 2005, he was kicking around New York trying to find buyers for his hand-made furniture, when he noticed that other craftspeople had the same need. So he and a few friends built a website where makers could sell a wide range of goods. Rob named it after an Italian phrase he heard in a Fellini film, and within three years, Etsy passed $10 million in sales. But as a young founder, Rob struggled to manage the rapidly-growing company; and in 2011, after being fired without warning, he returned to a quieter life as a maker and small-businessman. Meanwhile, Etsy has become one of the most popular online marketplaces in the world, with $2.5 billion in revenue.
This episode was produced by Kerry Thompson with music by Ramtin Arablouei.
Edited by Neva Grant, with research from Sam Paulson.
Our engineers were Gilly Moon and Maggie Luther.
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