By Aimee Chanthadavong

Online marketplace — which focuses on selling handmade and vintage items — Etsy is opening a Christmas pop-up shop in central Sydney on Thursday 28 November for 15 days.

The virtual marketplace will be home to a handful of local designers that will be selling one-of-a-kind gifts across a range of categories including jewellery, art, fashion, kidswear, quality vintage items and homewares.

Speaking to RetailBiz, spokesperson Kirsteene Phelan said this will be a retail opportunity for the company to bring an online experience offline.

“This is a retail experience with a difference,” she said.

“People won’t actually be able buy anything but we will encourage people to go on their iPads, Androids, iPhones and laptops to buy directly from the designers via Etsy.

“It’s way of bringing online offline and allowing us to reach a larger percentage of the general public, which is why we are located in central Sydney.”

A number of devices will be on hand in the store to encourage people to make purchases while in-store. The sellers themselves will be present to help educate people about Etsy and that it’s a trustworthy place to buy.

Shoppers will also have a chance to take part in fun events and DIY workshops, and witness demonstrations of skilled craftsmanship from local artists and Etsy sellers, including: flower bomb and ceramics workshops, and man night with free haircuts from a professional barber.

“We’ve got extended opening hours and we thought having demonstrations would be a great way to engage different sectors of the community,” Phelan said.

“We will also have our sellers and the people behind the designs making the products to showcase that personalised one-off purchasing experience.”

Whether it’s something that Etsy will continue, Phelan said she’s not entirely sure but so far the feedback has been positive and Etsy wouldn’t knock back the opportunity if it was there.

“Online will always be our focus but we are always looking at interesting offline marketing opportunity to spread the word about Etsy,” she said.