The Etsy Featured Reseller: Ecologica Malibu
From time to time, Etsy chooses some armpit hair enthusiast or hipster weenie from their legion of unemployed, and elevates them to the lofty position of Etsy Featured Seller. Etsy then publishes a feature on the newly-minted Hot Glue Czar, and everyone in Cupcaketown turns out to slobber over their wet-felted overlord.
I love the Featured Seller pieces, mostly for the the interview. Honestly, I’d be happy just to read about their dreams of living with bears in an ice cream castle, or seeing how long it takes them to mention Catcher in the Rye.
But every once in a while you get a little something extra.
This is Esty’s most recent featured seller, Ecologica Malibu.
Ecologica Malibu is run by Mariana Schechter. She’s super conscious about the environment, and makes all her furniture out of old boats and other reclaimed wood from places like Bali.
While all of Mariana’s pieces are different due to the unique nature of the reclaimed wood, the style is very distinct, and hard to mistake for anyone else’s.
Let’s start with the Rio chair.
Not only did Mariana build this chair herself, she also designed it! You can tell, because Etsy helpfully includes a photo to show you how the pros do it:
I know, right? She’s looking at swatches! She’s probably twirling her hair with her other hand and thinking really hard about the Earth.
It’s impressive all right. Even the commenters are amazed by her multitasking:
So would I! But with over 240 pieces in her store, Mariana is much too busy hammering boards together in the parking lot to give us a tutorial on building furniture from boats.
Hey, Maybe these guys can help us!
That’s a listing for the same chair on a Facebook page for a wholesaler called allfromboats.com (AFB). They import furniture made from old Balinese boats. And while it’s all handmade, it’s all handmade by them.
So, now I was a little confused. Is Ecologica connected to AFB somehow? Because that would not be very Etsy. Maybe we should see who the AFB dealer is in California.
Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Maybe Bali Ha’i Imports and Ecologica are just in the same building. Selling the same furniture. And Bali’Hai only comes in late at night so Mariana doesn’t find out that they’re stealing her designs.
Or maybe that’s what everyone does in that neighborhood. Maybe they’re in Malibu’s famous Reclaimed Boat Wood Furniture district.
Here are some other remarkable coincidences!
Oh, I could do this all day!
You know what, let’s just save some time and go to Overstock.com.
Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and give you my theory. And this is all just conjecture you understand, and I can only base it on the hundreds of links and photos and YouTube videos I’ve seen in the last few hours. But I think Ecologica might be a reseller.
And some of you seem to think so too, because you’ve even gone so far as to come out and ask her about it. And I have to admit, she’s given a very good answer.
Well, that makes me feel better! It’s just Mariana and 4 carpenters, making hundreds of pieces of furniture every day. THAT’S HOW YOU GET TO BE A FEATURED SELLER, SLACKER
I admit, it’s pretty incriminating. But Etsy’s not stupid. They carefully research the sellers they choose to feature. After all, these people are the best of Etsy; the most industrious, honest, creative and hardworking. So if there’s any proof that Ecologica is importing containers full of wholesale furniture from places like, say, Malaysia, Etsy would have found it.
- Special thanks to longwintersoapco for additional research on this post
UPDATE: REBUTTAL BY ECOLOGICA
I can see now that I was mistaken about a few things, so let me just state for the record what’s going on here.
Mariana gets wood delivered from Bali in containers marked “Furniture.” She takes them to an office building in Malibu and builds hundreds of chairs every month with 4 carpenters.
The rest of her inventory is produced by Kurt Einchorn, though his name is actually Eichorn. He hires workers specifically to produce her design products in Bali, and then ships those all over North and South America, making it all very Earth Friendly and completely handmade.
Thank you for understanding.
UPDATE: Etsy has issued two different non-apologies for this gaffe; first stating that they “clearly missed some critical information,” then revising this to say, “If we missed some critical information…,” just in case the first statement sounds too much like giving a shit.
They have also put Ecologica on the front page of Etsy, because you weren’t irritated enough.
Happy Earth Day!