Dawanda is closing down – is this the end of the handmade Trend in Germany?

Yesterday morning, this news at Deutsche-Startups.de hit us unexpectedly: The end of Dawanda! Feelings of speechlessness and insecurity appeared. Quite clear: An era in Germany comes to an end. Dawanda has managed to revive the DIY trend over the past 12 years and, much more important to Nauli, it has inspired many people for small labels and “Handmade in Germany”. People shop small again.

When we went online in 2009, things were slow on Dawanda and since we were aiming for the international market right from the start, we were also represented on Etsy right from the start. We conquered the international market and absorbed the educational offerings of Etsy. We owe an important part of our development to Etsy and Etsy is the place where we have always felt taken more seriously as entrepreneurs. That’s why we still serve as captains of the Etsy Germany Street Team, an alliance of Etsy vendors in this country. And yet over the years, we’ve seen the ups and downs on Etsy. Meanwhile, we had a relatively stable development on Dawanda.

Now the end.

In the following announcement by Dawanda yesterday, the shopkeepers were told that there was a cooperation with Etsy, which makes it possible for Dawanda shops, which want to move, to transmigrate the shop. Probably the only cooperation between the two competitors that ever existed. After all, such a migration tool will make work easier for those who do not yet have an Etsy shop and want to open one. Honestly, the true work begins afterward. Every platform has its own challenges.

It was also said that Dawanda had not managed to keep the growth. The platform is not alone – many small handmade labels experience the same. As an observer of the scene, we feel the mood sinking since around two years. For us, the low point was reached when both companies cut massive staff in 2017. Even if we have a great understanding of the necessary economic restructuring, after all, we ourselves are women entrepreneurs, the confidence in the future of selling platforms has fallen. Although the official numbers seemed to send positive signals, we knew that this development was often not reflected in the individual experiences of the sellers.

How will the handmade market change in Germany?

A migration tool should make it possible to migrate Dawanda shops to Etsy. Probably the only cooperation between the two competitors that ever existed. After all, such a migration tool will make work easier for those who do not yet have an Etsy shop and want to open one. Honestly, the true work begins afterward. Every platform has its own challenges. And not for all products that sold well on Dawanda, Etsy is the right market. For those who tried Etsy before and left again, we should say, that the platform has done a lot in recent years to become attractive for the German market as well.

Most of those businesses with ambitious goals have set their business on multi-channel and invested energy and money in a standalone shop. This is not worth it for all labels and it often does require pretty high investment compared to selling on Etsy or Dawanda. Although Dawanda often annoyed its sellers with its marketing strategies, it has been a marketplace that made it very easy to sell one’s own products. No standalone shop could be run for this little money. It is, therefore, to be expected that the supply of handmade products from small factories will be less in near future.

Do we reach the end of the “handmade and small trend”?  Buy consciously – preserve diversity!

No, in our opinion not! We can see: More and more designers in our community make the leap to open their own store Brick and Mortar stores and go well with it. More and more customers in Germany deliberately buy from small factories. And not to forget, many of us got so professional over the last years, that they already made the transition to the new era themselves.

Nevertheless, if we want to preserve the variety of products in Germany, we have to look where we buy even more closely in the future. Customers who want to support small labels and manufactories, which they could find at Dawanda, should choose to buy from this designer’s standalone shops. This will give them make courage and let them know, that they are on the right track!

Do you belong to those who have already their own online shop (beyond all platforms) or a brick and mortar shop? Please link it here in the comments. Because INDEPENDENCE is the best!

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