Spirit of Etsy: Crush Healthy Products As Illegal Drugs


Celeste Bishop

Two grandmothers, Pat Showalter and Celeste Bishop, are square in the middle of the war against pure beauty and health products as a result of their website being on the Goliath Internet venue Etsy, an online Farmer’s Market.The Etsy Policy Update dragnet is sweeping up numerous small shops such as theirs. According to Fortune Magazine the Etsy giant sold $62.8 million worth goods in March 2012, up 41.5% from the same time last year, from handcrafted artisan’s advertising on their venue. Etsy’s new policy was dropped like an e-bomb from the Etsy Integrity Department, with no notification that is was coming, though it had been in the works for months, and likens Pat and Celeste’s company, Shepherds Heart, to criminals trafficking in illegal drugs by making “illegal drug claims about their products”. When Etsy contacted Shepherds Heart on August 9, 2012 they were told that the email was “a private conversation between you and Etsy. Please respect this confidentiality and refrain from distributing this communication without permission from Etsy.” Their plea for ‘confidentiality’ was nothing more than an ill-fated attempt to discourage vendors from comparing notes. There are other troubling changes in Etsy’s policy such as their  “Snitch Program” where others are encouraged to turn in non-complaint vendors and “ Flagging” which Etsy claims is “akin to neighborhood watch” but is more like the “Report Suspicious Activity” in the Patriot Act with dozens of cadres formed to rat on one another. Another disturbing indicator is that no date for compliance was given to vendors but upon further communication a deadline of 7 days was demanded. Bishop says, “This comes at our busiest time of year when we are at Farmers Markets and Festivals, not to mention visitors and vacations, kidding season and preparing our farms for harvest. We pleaded for an extension to Etsy’s compliance date to no avail,” remarks Pat.  When Celeste and Pat went to review Etsy’s new policies they found that they were updated and implemented on August 8, a mere day before vendor dragnet, with demand to comply.  Most vendors find the new policy extremely vague and subjective. Dropping this new policy on Shepherd’s Heart and other vendors the way Etsy did has thrown many into a state of confusion which Etsy almost seems to be encouraging.

  Etsy policy considers these two women hardened illegal drug dealers!

Celeste &  Pat with George Noory of Coast to Coast

We were on the Coast to Coast Show talking about the dangers of agricultural RFID spy-chips on March 16, 2006

Fifteen years ago two Pat and Celeste met. Inspired by the gentle Kinder goat, desiring to serve the community, share the fruits of traditional farming, and noting that pure beauty and health products with real ingredients were disappearing from stores shelves, they founded Shepherd’s Heart. Shepherds Heart has built their company on the pillars of pure products without ingredients whose names one cannot pronounce, continuing education for themselves and for their clientele to bring them the highest quality products on the market. They maintain an agricultural awareness website which includes lobbying on small farm issues. They create beauty and bath items produced within the highest traditional moral and ethical standards, and “truth in labeling.” According to Pat, “We provide our clientèle with all the information that they need, including scientific peer-reviews, so that they can make educated decisions on what they will put on their skin, the largest organ on their body, and into their bodies. We feel they deserve that information.” It is ironic that in Etsy’s policy statement their # 1 rule in regard to posting is that it not be “false, inaccurate or misleading”.  By not telling the public about the historical/traditional benefits of the ingredients in Shepherd’s Heart products, the company would be violating Etsy’s policy and deceiving Shepherd’s Heart clientèle.

Consumer’s were delighted when Shepherds Heart opened for business bringing them over 400 wholesome products made from pure ingredients like raw goat milk, virgin olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil. Shepherds Heart health artisans then add high quality essential oils which historically have treated various afflictions, clays for color and to draw out toxins (including radiation), and accents of herbs and florals grown in our own pesticide-free gardens, or wild-craft gathered flora, which add beauty as well as healing. “When our original webmaster was unable to handle our volume we sought out another venue for our extensive line of products which includes handcrafted goat milk soaps, Castile soaps, creams, lotions, lip balms, and other bath products.” “Demanding that our company cease from sharing the goodness of natural healing is the crime. How will we teach the next generation the healing arts if we are forbidden from sharing what ingredients have traditionally and historically been able to accomplish?” asks Celeste. We believe that our customers are perfectly capable of analyzing the information presented and making decisions for themselves.

When Shepherd’s Heart was contacted by Etsy’s ‘Integrity’ Department they claimed, “That one or more items in your shop appear to make medical drug claims.” Such claims link a product to the cure or treatment of a health condition or disease. Medical drug claims are prohibited on Etsy. We require that you remove these claims from the presentation of you shop listings.” Etsy continues, “Please note that this includes any historical references to medical drug uses for a given item, even if such claims are no longer widely believed. Furthermore, the presence of a disclaimer that the item is not FDA approved, will not make a medical drug claim meet our criteria. By agreeing to Etsy’s policies, our sellers agree to follow all applicable laws related to their items and the use of our services.” Etsy reserves the right to change their policy anytime so this is another case of a living document that continually evolves and the average person never knows what the law really is. What is really annoying is that vendors have to pay whatever they do.  Etsy clarified their policy from: “Drugs, medical drug claims about an item, drug paraphernalia: We have clarified the previous language from “drug-like substances” to now be “medical drug claims about an item.”  When asked what laws or regulations Shepherd’s Heart was in violation of Etsy has remained silent.  We are on the edge of a precipice states Pat.  “We need to take a stand now against this continuing nonsense.”

Not only were Pat and Celeste shocked and horrified but countless other vendors were also negatively impacted and are irritated that they must click their heels to Etsy’s new policy or the door will close on this venue for them. For Shepherd’s Heart and others this means the loss of countless hours of creating their own unique websites and a disruption in sales and business as they find other venues for their products.  The Internet is a buzz about the new Esty scheme.

 Evergreen State Fair, WA

Etsy admits on their blog that, “In many cases, items on the prohibited list may be subject to complex legal regulations or restrictions that vary greatly by location. But beyond that, when it comes right down to it, some things just aren’t in the spirit of Etsy. While we understand that it is possible for certain items to be carefully and legally bought and sold, Etsy is just not the right venue for them.”

 Joy! A Kinder kid born in 2012

Where do we go from here? Within each of us there is immense power to stand firm on principles of true integrity, honesty, and what we know to be morally and ethically right. Shepherds Heart refuses to comply with a system that attempts to crush those who bring the healing arts and quality products to consumers. Pat and Celeste say, “We will take our product to other venues that support the integration of therapeutic ingredients into beauty products. We also want to reassure the public that these two grandmothers are certainly not engaged in the illegal drug trade.”  The day may come when the FDA does make it a crime to sell healing beauty products but we can be thankful that we are not there yet. But in order to maintain our freedom of choice, we all need to get involved – farmer and consumer - united. Hand in hand we can, and we will, make a positive impact for our health.



13 thoughts on “Spirit of Etsy: Crush Healthy Products As Illegal Drugs

  1. I WANT the laundry soap I’m nearly out! I have posted your link and mine in several places, now lets see what it brings!

    I’d like a link with your complete list of products, I couldnt find it.
    I buy them, I may as well order them from you!

    The govt wants us to use stuff which is UNHEALTHY. They are our enemy! sad.

  2. Pingback: Online farmers’ market Etsy accuses grandmother soap makers of selling ‘illegal drugs,’ launches snitch program

  3. They should be ashamed at Etsy! I had been an Etsy seller for some years not agreeing any more with their business ethics. I left, writing them my mind. – Instead of banning natural products from their website, they would much better take care of illegally advertising sellers … There are MANY sellers selling products that are NOT handmade, NOT hand painted, NOT in any way created by hand … but still offering those same products under the title “handmade”, etc … reducing the value of true artists’ creations. … But Etsy does not seem to be able to clean up! …

    Am I glad to have left … You should do the same thing ASAP. I am sure you will find an online Company that does a much better supporting job than Etsy …

    Good luck … Wonderful, the work you are doing, wonderful the Natural products you are creating and bringing onto the market.

  4. I think this is a personal travesty with regards to out personal freedom’s which are quickly being taken away. I believe that this pure product needs to be marketed to it’s full extent. Why do I say this. May I make public now that I myself am fighting the State of Nevada in an EEOC/ADA Case along with a State Workers Comp case where I have been exposed to a chemical cocktail at my place of work which included various insecticides/pesticides and the State of Nevada has not been forth coming with all of the documented information to the public and myself who is the OSHA Whistle Blower and have remained for almost two years and as of this April finally got the final information from CATSEYE as to all of the chem’s I have been exposed to. I have a weakened immune system which has made matter much worse and other Employees of the State of Nevada have been exposed (Co-Workers). The story goes on to much cover up and the fact that there are four other buildings in Northern Nevada that have been hit with State Employees and insecticides/pesticides. There have been very qualified Physicians including a Specilaist in Incline, my Dr. who has been seeing me for over 15 years consistently as well as another Physician who will remain nameless also being seen for over 26 years and documented me all of this time.
    Travesty is that none of the Attorney’s contacted in Reno feel that they can handle this high profile case as well as that it the POLITICAL SEASON and it has other serious State ISSUES attached to it that make it all the more intersesting as to what is going on in Nevada….so if these people who have busted Celeste and Pat turn to this form of forum when they should be turning their interests into more important things such as exposures as this and cover ups then they are on the wrong venue. They need to go after the insecticide/pesticide sprays which make the people of the United State ill and how many every year. And although I do not know about the other State Buidlings in this area and what their circumstances are I do have many e-mails between the State of Nevada and myself showing and supportive of issues.

    So who ever you people are that are turning in these two Granny’s who are making soap….shame…shame…shame on you. You need to look further into the products you use in your own homes which create your own health issues and tamper with your health and accumulate in your system. These products are readily available in your local grocery stores not at innocent Farmers Markets. I myself have now become MCS with what the State of Nevada and the possibility of death. MCS is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. If it were not for this product which I use every morning and is pure then I may not be able to use any products but water……I have had no ill affects and if I had they would have come forward to me in the years that I have used them. They were given to me by gifting through family so they were not bought so don’t even go there.

    So to you who believe you are doing right by the introduction making a name for your selves in turning this person in…use your talents to make complaints to the State of Nevada for exposing their innocent employee’s to chemicals which really hurt people.

    BACK AT YOU….in support for Celeste and Pat….KUDOS to you both….keep going with your mission to give us wonderful products not filled with chem’s that eventually will lead to health issues which collect in the body which are sold on simple GROCERY STORE shelves.

    Linda A. Lowman
    Former Accounting Assistant Ii
    State of Nevada

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  6. REno NEVADA reaches out to GRANNY’S from Shepherds Heart in Montana and their PRODUCT LINE!

    The Shepards Heart products which they say should not be sold have been the ones that I have been able to safely use with out chemical sensitivity. I have had to rid my home from all chemicals that I have rid my home of all of the chemicals found so far that I can find and am reduced to soap, water, laundry soap, deoderant, tooth paste, Shepard’s Heart body soap and oil with no problem. I am unable to go to places of any kind that have been cleaned with chemicals, smoke, perfume, incense, spray aerosols and fumes from a Construction Company here in Reno who were redoing the asphalt and almost passed out. I have to carry an inhaler in my purse. And here is a great one….I was in our local small post office and was in the middle of getting to the clerks desk when I stopped…she asked why…..I told her that I was allergic to chem’s she asked how I knew that I was around chem’s because of my court case and it triggers instantly and had to get out my inhaler. She admitted after I had used my inhaler that they in fact did use Chem’s the Thursday before and this was the following Tuesday. I lef my Attorney, Evan Beavers know he is the lead Attorney of Carson City, NV Workers Comp.

    So if you think this is not real….it is….STATE/FEDERAL…….

    My other younger sister, she also was gifted this product it being environmentally friendly to those of us who have chemical issues and she uses it also and has no problems along with other produces gifted to her. She has an International Dr. up at Lake Tahoe that is truly informed of her health issues and sensitivity as well as myself and has been given an independent evaluation from a STATE OF NEVADA chosen Specialist who is independent.

    THERE ARE THOSE people just because they do not have this issue are non-believers but it is a reality in our lives. My daughter wants to put me in a bubble as it has gotten to extremes with my health. Any one who comes over to spend the night has the wonderful chance to use my products from Shepards Heart line and has never had any issues other than great comments about the smells and how good it makes their skin feel compared to the other soaps.

    A co-emplyee who was brave enough to step forward also goes to this International Physician who is my younger sisters. There were many other.s and many quite until I told them just this last beginning of April of their exposure. These chemicals were to be relabeled within 18 months but what about us who got sprayed with them during this time. We ARE ILL. These chem’s have been slated not to be sprayed in this manner nor in an office area again. This information was given by the Dept. of Ag of NV..

    The other heart breaking news is that I have grandchildren and they are young and do not understand why Grandma can’t be with them and baby sit any more….or take them places that normal Grandmother’s do. My Grandson and I were at the park the other day just two streets over and I took him to the play ground…he is 8 and he saw the men spraying chemicals on the lawn….he told me Grandma we need to leave now. He would not even stop to go to the play ground with me he immediately took my hand and insisted we leave right then and the play ground was not important and that I not stay and get sick as he has seen me sick. Same park different day…we went down…we sat under a tree and he gave me a dandelion and asked me to make a wish…I did he told me he had done the same and that he would tell me if I told him…he told me that his was that I would get better that was the only thing he wished for…and asked me and mine was that all people would be at peace and that they would tell the truth as it has been cover up after cover up and fight after fight.

    Who ever is doing this…..they have much larger fish to fry….and financial corruption to take care of….than go after Grannies with SOAP at a small market. What tiny pathetic minds they have. America was built on MADE IN THE USA PROUDLY AND NOW WE ARE IN DANGER OF THE LOSS OF OUR FREEDOM OF WONDERFUL HEALTHFUL ;PRODUCTS……I WOULD RATHER BUY FROM USA THAN FOREIGN.

    USE YOUR EFFORTS AND USE THE MONEY YOU HAVE SPENT ON OUR USA MADE PRODUCTS AND GO AFTER THE BAD GUYS…AND GOD KNOWS WE HAVE PLENTY OF THEM IN THE US and the ones who have tried to keep this from hitting the National News…..to prevent other’s from chem illness should pay the price for what they have done.

    Please feel free to e-mail me who ever your are…..we can have a sit down over the internet about who real bad guys are……they are the ones who have contaminated employee’s work environment and have not told them…And one of the women who I worked with was pregnant and worked 2 offices down and was not told until this year….and this has been going one since the end of 2010. What issues will this child carry for the rest of it’s life… And the public has never been told it was business as usual on Monday and all of unaware of what we walked into…..

    If these products made by Shepard’s Heart were used at this Nevada Health Division’s Bureau and it is one who see’s children with birth to 3 health issues then maybe they would not be where they are today in hot water.

    CHEMS are deadly…..as well as collective in our bodies.

    These women are very brave….and I support them whole hardheartedly in any/all endeavors that they might encounter. We need the the most healthy product that we can use in these days of pollution every where.


  7. HOLY COW! (or is that Holy Goat? haha) You have really created a FIRESTORM out there! If Alex Jones picked it up, I spose Steve Quayle, Jeff Rense, Joyce Riley and others soon will too! And I had never heard of Etsy before.

  8. Stan Deyo – standeyo.com – carried this link today, Aug. 24 – yay! I emailed he and Holly this morning. Perhaps Steve Quayle and Jeff Rense will carry it tomorrow!

  9. These people are shameless and brain dead if they think we are buying their lies. The FDA is as credit worthy as a mafia boss. These people are thugs in uniform they should be destroyed along with the FED. Reserve. gangters.The EPA, the CDC and all the others thug agencies who have declared war on the people of this nation. With the big corperate crooks buying up farms and chemical thugs dupoint and monsanto working the halls of congress and the courts we should throw out all the bumbs and reconstruck this nation. We have raw sewage in the halls of our goverment , our courts are more corrupt then the people they send to prision, our police are mostly thugs with badges, and there is more honor in street gangs then is the halls of congress. We have become a nation of well dressed thugs and have the morals of polecats ,when the ones in charge of the laws don’t honor any of them. The lawless ones rule and can murder lie cheat and steal without any punishment. America wake up clean out the raw sewage and restore this nation. Its time we the citizen’s had these thugs arrested. Military we have enemies within the ranks of the govering body that needs to be removed.They are domestic terrorists and have trashed the consitution of the American people. Arrest them now!!!!!

  10. I use Shepherd’s Heart products and I am horrified that Etsy is doing this to control and destroy such enterprises. I shall tell friends about the situation and hope it will help.

  11. So sorry to hear that you are being hassled by Etsy, this new policy change makes absolutely no sense to me. Also the forum thread you have linked to doesn’t exist anymore, I guess the Etsy folk are covering their tracks. Anyway on Handmade Artists’ we believe in small business and handmade artisans rights to create and sell.
    Prayers for you,

  12. Shepherd’s Heart is not alone. This is happening all over Etsy without notice and with flimsy reasons. I’m just glad I left the place a while ago and am not dealing with it any longer.

  13. I have used the dream cream over a month now, and 3 of the soaps. They really ARE healing, relieve discomforts. For weeks I had a sore throat and sinus trouble so I opened the eucalyptus soap. What a great fragrance and it alleviates symptoms! The lavander is silky, smells like heaven and they all lather nicely.
    Now I have ordered gift soaps for the holidays, as it takes 8 weeks to ‘set’ the bars!