And Republika Fashion
Etsy is great if you are a bit more of a casual designer. You can sell internationally but most of the users are from the US. Great if you are from the US or looking to break into that market. Not so great if you are from the UK and trying to keep shipping costs down.
The volume of traffic on Etsy is immense. However, there is also a lot of competition. Make sure you stand out. Great photography, interesting items and witty copy on the front page.
For Etsy you need to know how to market your shop. Use their Facebook tools and take advantage of tagging, featured items and photo slots.
As for Republika they are based in the UK and the majority of their traffic are from the UK. Great if you are from the UK or trying to break into this difficult market from elsewhere in the world.
As far as I can tell they are relatively new. With plans for a proper launch in the coming months and a lot of work being put into the site they are going to be big. Unlike Etsy they are all about fashion. Jewellery, clothes and shoes.
I think if you are a fashion designer with real career plans to make it big in the industry then Republika would be very good for you. Or if you are an established US designer looking to break into the market then that's also the way to go.
For hobbyists and those with a day job Etsy would be best for you. You can make items to order and control how much work you have to do. Much better for those of you with limited time on your hands.
You know what. Go for both. Can't hurt. Republika is free to list items and Etsy is 20 cents.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that your audience is already there in front of you. You need to stand out amongst other designers.
Make sure people know about your shop. Post it on your blog, tell Twitter, post on Facebook, put the link in your email signature, email your friends. You might event want to go further with online advertising, business cards and a t-shirt.
If you want to email me with your questions, feel free.