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Etsy Launches Curated City Guides To Encourage Buying Local

A new app lets you find Etsy sellers’ wares sold IRL at stores in Austin, L.A., Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Around this time last year, Etsy released a series of printed shopping guides that highlighted retailers nationwide that stock up on products from Etsy sellers. This year, the guides go digital thanks to a new mobile platform from curation website On The Grid. Now easier to access (and still nice-looking), Etsy City Guides offer a handy way to find your favorite Etsy products IRL, and shop local in the process.

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Created by design agency Hyperakt, On The Grid launched in May with a mission of highlighting a city’s coolest destinations as selected by local designers. Hyperakt’s new platform On The Grid Plus allows partners like Etsy to curate their own city guides. Etsy, which has been growing its Wholesale Program to connect retailers with Etsy sellers, used the platform to show users where they can buy Etsy products offline as well.

Right now, the guides feature four cities–Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia–and the local shops that stock up on Etsy sellers’ wares. The app lets you search by places or products and offers descriptions of the stores, along with a list of Etsy designers whose products they stock. A map section shows the stores’ location and tags them with icons that reveal what type of retailer it is: jewelry, clothing, coffee shop, etc.

The interface is spare and easy to use and allows for multiple tags for one store, all of which attracted Etsy to the platform, says wholesale program manager Jolie McKay. “Their design aesthetics are very similar to ours, but [the platform] is also flexible and allowed us to use our colors and illustrations to get our point across.” It’s an easy tool for discoverability, which means it doesn’t just help out Etsy and their artisan designers, it also promotes local businesses. Perhaps best of all? If you still haven’t finished your holiday shopping it gives you an easy out–forget shipping and run out and grab it yourself. You can find the Etsy City Guides here.

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About the author

Meg Miller is an associate editor at Co.Design covering art, technology, and design.

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