This NYT article profiling the financial success of arts and crafts website Etsy does a great job simultaneously highlighting the shift in consumer behavior post-recession.
Many Americans no longer simply want to acquire a large number of material possessions, instead they want to acquire a smaller number of possessions that are of higher quality and are congruent with the way they want to be perceived by others.
Robert Kalin, the co-founder and chief executive of Etsy, said the site was catching on because many people now want their buying habits to reflect their values, as indicated by the surging interest in farmers’ markets and local clothing designers.
“It’s not just ‘you are what you eat’ anymore,” he said. “You are what you buy, and these things define you.”