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"These colleges are ranked the top in the country, and it's surprising to me that they can't send out a simple email."
Customer service is one area where small businesses can beat big-box competitors
Etsy is a happening little company with a lot of promise. The three-year-old site, where people buy and sell homemade arts and crafts, last year sold $27 million in goods with very little marketing. Its secret? Hitting a chord with people who are tired of the ordinary and the mass produced. Thomas' job is to let more people aware that Etsy is the alternative they didn't know was there for them. She has plenty of experience building new models on top of old habits. As the Vice President and General Manager of NPR, she spearheaded the organization's wildly popular and innovative podcasting offerings. Now Thomas, a onetime exec at Amazon, is back at her e-commerce roots.