Host Jessica Harris of NPR spoke with Rob Kalin, founder or  They discuss Rob’s childhood, the beginning of Etsy and what going on in his life now – including his next project.


30 minute Rob Kalin Interview


The “momentum” quote from above is his advice for Etsy sellers.  It reminds us Etsy sellers that your business needs a story that is worth sharing.  No story.  No sharing.  No momentum.


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Kalin states the above quote when Etsy was just 3 guys working together in his apartment.  As entrepreneurs, we must remember that difficulties and opportunities come together.


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Interesting, he started Etsy in a way because he wanted to have an online business sale platform that he wanted to sell his own handmade furniture on.  Now he wants to build the educational experience that he wants his own children to have.  Despite all of his confessed “business acumen” shortcomings, he is a true entrepreneur . . . “Seeing what isn’t.  Envisioning what could.  Building.”


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He also was asked about how he measured the early success of Etsy and he talked about how the Etsy forums were a key part of that measurement.  He shared a story about a woman that had a child in the hospital and had started making products during her time there and decided to take her hobby to a business and the encouragement she received from others in the Etsy community.


Here is an Etsy forum post that celebrates the heros of the Etsy forums from the past 10 years.  What’s funny is that I haven’t hung out in the Etsy forums in FOREVER, but I still recognize many of the names quoted from years ago.  Community makes a difference for your business and in the lives of others.


I will continue my efforts to build the best community for the most business-minded Etsy sellers that are serious about success as part of Thrive – providing professional tips, tools, and know-how to help your Etsy shop thrive!  I enjoyed hearing this interview and hope you enjoyed this brief recap and commentary.  Regards, Jason Malinak CPA of



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