Etsy's marketplace is a big success. So why are some of its artisans tearing one another apart?
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Brett and Crystal Childs were living a hipster dream in Denver. They had taken a class in screen printing together to escape the stress of work; Brett, 28, was a restaurant manager, and Crystal, 27, was an interior designer. Screen printing, it turned out, was their calling. Their favorite design was an oversize diagram of a bicycle. They printed it on T-shirts. They printed it on pillows. And dresses and wallets. Soon enough, they longed to quit their jobs and become full-time screen-printing artists. To find customers, they put their handcrafted T-shirts and pillows and dresses and glassware on Etsy, an online marketplace they had read about on a friend’s blog.