First there was Etsy, the e-commerce site for handmade goods that launched in the mid-2000s. Then came Regretsy, the "Where DIY meets WTF" website launched by comedian April Winchell in '09, which documented the absolute worst knickknacks, gewgaws and tchotchkes human beings are capable of creating and selling on Etsy. The venture was so successful that Winchell was able to hire staff. Then, earlier this year, Winchell shut it down because it had taken a toll on her schedule—and her soul. As she told Wired U.K.,...This site was a time suck like you would not believe. There would be days when I would be on the couch with my laptop for 16 hours, just exhausted and in tears.... First, you have to find the stuff. And you have find great stuff. And that gets harder because the shock needle keeps moving. After a year or two you're like, "Eh, another teddy bear with a vagina, who cares." Bad crafts are like drugs; you have to keep upping the dose to feel anything.
As it turns out, there's another Etsy curation site, this one aimed in the opposite direction from Winchell's venture. France-based Melanie Beauvironnois' A Cut Above the Retsy seeks out the best that Etsy has to offer, and brings us gems like Tel-Aviv-based Tesler Mendelovitch's wooden clutches, pictured up top, Meriwether of Montana's hickory and walnut coffee drip stand, Nostalgy Eyewear's new, handmade-in-Italy eyewear, Fortune Fab's handmade brass candlestick holders and more.
"I live for great design, true craftsmanship and impeccable presentation, writes Beauvironnois. "I wade through the dregs so you don't have to."