Etsy is one of those companies that, like Pinterest, has an overwhelmingly female user base without actually being geared towards women. This is especially true for the e-commerce service’s sellers, with 86% of the people selling the homemade goods that Etsy specializes being women. This data comes directly from Etsy, and one can only speculate as to how such a massive gender imbalance came to be.
Here are a few details about the person who made the brocade dog collar you might have bought on Etsy: She has a college degree, she probably used her savings to start her online shop and most of her household’s income comes from other sources. And, she is almost definitely a she—86% of the site’s sellers are female. The data comes from a report out Thursday from the online handmade-goods marketplace, one of the earliest platforms allowing for a certain kind of microcommerce: people transacting with each other through a website or app, with limited involvement from the marketplace. Think eBay Inc., Airbnb, Uber Technologies Inc. and TaskRabbit. Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Etsy Inc. found that about 30% of its sellers use their creative business as their sole source of earnings. For the rest, sales offer supplemental income, another feature of the app economy—it has allowed perhaps millions of Americans to find fractional employment, in which people earn extra money if and when they need it.