KC Bird first started working on leather as a hobby with her husband.
"Leather is so much about the touch and the feel, each piece feels different," she explained.
She has lots of unique pieces that she makes right here in her garage -- everything from bracelets to belts. It sowed the seed for this 29-year-old mother to convert her creative craft into a cash cow.
"First thing I typed in was, 'How to sell jewelry online.' And the first thing that popped up was 'Etsy.'"
Etsy opened the door for KC's new online business.
"It was so easy, just walks you through it, before you know it, you're ready to go and everybody. Anybody can do it."
She snaps photos right from her phone, then writes a simple description and said the whole process of posting it is much easier than other websites.
"Ebay is very overwhelming, it's not as cleanly run, there's a lot going on."
She also had no luck selling on Ebay, but with Etsy, "When you make a sale, it goes cha-ching. It's awesome."
She has surpassed 1,500 sales on the website, which helped her turn her hobby into a full-time job.
"No regrets at all. It's the best thing. Not only making my own hours, being my own boss. I control everything. If I want to work more, if we need more money, I work harder."
KC is now the leader of the "Tampa Bay Etsy Crew," helping other local artisans see the success of this website, which is geared specifically for these types of handmade products.
"It means some part of that is hand altered, handmade, hand assembled by a person."
However, one of the controversies with Etsy involves items that are mass produced and that aren't, in fact, handmade. Most of us don't know the difference, but sellers like KC do and they can take their complaints directly to Etsy.
"So they have a system in place where we can flag shops that aren't following the rules."
Selling cheaper products in bulk could put craftsmen like KC out of business.
"It's very difficult to compete with that as far as pricing goes."
So Etsy is creating a culture of crusaders like KC, who are now fighting to protect the website that gave them the freedom to go out on their own.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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