This Designer Called Out Etsy For Removing Her Store
“How many black shop owners are you hiding behind personalised dog collars and welcome mats?"
A young black designer in the United States has called out online marketplace Etsy for removing her store from the site for being "too controversial".
Olatiwa Karade -- a New Jersey based student, designer and activist -- wrote on Instagram that her store, Splendid Rain Co, was shut down last week.
Karade’s designs include commentary on racism, slavery, colonialism, gun control, gender and the prison system, and are emblazoned with slogans such as “Bigotry Has A Body Count”. "Columbus Was A Murderer" and “Gentrification Is Genocide”.
The designer uploaded a post to Instagram calling out the site for exorbitant fees, removing her listings and treating her business differently to other Etsy stores.
“Not only have I received NONE of the free advertising that my fellow shops get, as I was told I’m too controversial, but I’ve been watched like a HAWK,” Karade wrote.
“How many black shop owners are you hiding behind personalised dog collars and welcome mats? When will we get the same reach and support from you?”
Etsy has since reinstated her store and wrote in a statement to Teen Vogue that the "temporary suspension was not related to the items she had for sale."
However the store is not searchable on the site any more and can only be reached with a direct link.
Karade uploaded a screenshot to her Instagram stories today that hits out at the contents of a recent Etsy email about the kinds of items that "start a conversation".
Fans of Splendid Rain Co have rallied behind Karade and her store.
Karade wrote on Instagram today that she's trying to continue working and "focus on the overwhelmingly positive comments and support I’m getting cause that’s what’s important to me & my business".
Main Image: Instagram/@SplendidRainCo