A Rexburg family is fighting for its business. Its popular Etsy website they’ve run for years was recently shut down with no notice.
Krista Flamm started the business after her husband became blind. The business became the family’s only income and was a great balance between work and spending time with her children.
It became an adjustment for both to learn how having an online business worked. They had to figure out how Etsy also worked. Over the years they became more efficient with their work and their products. They even appeared in People Magazine in 2011, which boosted their business.
“Basically because of Etsy, we were able to create an income, create a living for us despite our circumstances,” Krista said. “In all reality, Etsy was a huge blessing for us.”
During these years she would look at the reviews and comments the clients would make because she had to make each product by hand. This was a great source of income and helped them become stable after the difficulties that came to her husband, Jacob Flamm, with his disability.
Unexpectedly, Etsy took their business off the site even though it was well known and made at least 30,000 sales. This came as a negative surprise to both Flamms. When Jacob was replying to a costumer, he got a notice on February 15th that said, “Your shop has been suspended.”
Later that day they checked their email and saw that an email from Etsy, which said their right to sell and to purchase on Etsy was permanently suspended. They were not given any reason for the inconvenience. Of course, they tried emailing back but didn’t hear back from them. Jacob also called Etsy multiple times and after he asked a question they would hang up.
Later, after the story became viral one of Krista’s followers contacted Etsy, which got them to contact the Flamms. The Etsy team emailed them and explained that their business was shut down because of two cases of low reviews on their products. They don’t know which reviews or who made those reviews.
“The most frustrating thing with this is we have a long history, obviously being with Etsy for ten years, we had five-star reviews, we had 5,544 reviews of which the overall rating was five stars,” Krista said.
There have been a lot of people who have heard their story and don’t want to ever purchase anything from Etsy again, but they care for those who have small businesses.
“I want to be very clear that, because we have had a lot of individuals contact us say ‘Well, I’m never going to shop in Etsy again because of your story,’ well we don’t want that,” Jacob said. “So, we want to make sure that people understand that we want you to support these small businesses.”
They warn those who have their businesses on Etsy to create their own online businesses outside of Etsy so their customers can find them there so they can have support without needing to support Etsy.
Krista and Jacob have their own website with their online business and are hoping to reach their costumers there. You can check out their products and website here.