Their words come across my computer screen, words of explanation and description, dashed plans and new realizations.
I received them with no trouble in my cluttered South Carolina office. They’re from two young women in Ukraine. I “know” them because I’m their customer. Iryna is “Iryna Fleur,” a cold porcelain floral artist in Kyiv. July and her partner, Alex, make and sell vegan bags through their small business, Good Mood Moon, in Kharkiv. Both are “star sellers” on Etsy, an American online company through which you can buy all manner of things — many handmade — from all over the world.
Shopping on Etsy is like shopping on an endless Main Street of mom-and-pop specialty stores. Just as you’d have friendly conversations with the owners of brick-and-mortar shops, so it is with Etsy. When I asked Iryna, July and Alex if they’d be willing to answer some questions for this