I don't know what I was expecting really...
Walking into Etsy on Friday, after all my angst last week, was actually pretty easy. In part perhaps because i made the mistake of staying up too late the night before (a danger of the city that never sleeps!) and it meant i was far too sleepy to feel nervous.
But really once I was there...I was with all of YOU so I knew exactly where I was!
It was a room full of creatives, moms (was lucky enough to sit next to an angelic 7-week old and her mama!), entrepreneurs, knitters, crafters, painters, clothing designers, jewelry-makers, graphic designers...and even one guy (yes, he did letterpress).
The Etsy team is super fun and top notch (Julie, Kimm, Nickey, Michelle, Danielle, Morgan...). Every one of them was truly delightful and warm, light-hearted, super-sharp and on a mission to help every Etsy seller find success. It doesn't get much better than that!
the lovely nickey
The symposium they put together was designed to help those with Etsy shops get found. The panels were fantastic! It was a full day, but I was riveted the entire time. They talked about photography, and brand cohesiveness, and story-telling in your products, using Pinterest as a marketing tool, search optimization, getting the most out of craft fairs (Danny Orendorff, Megan Auman, Virginia Kraljevic)...and every single person I spoke to (or spoke to us) from the engineering/tech department to the sweet aussie helping me sign my waiver... totally gets, lives and loves the idea...the why...behind Etsy. It was gorgeous to be around.
At dinner the night before I was fortunate enough to sit with Sara & Kelly from Hello Craft (a nonprofit based in DC that works to support makers & crafters as businesses, and educates people to the benefits of buying handmade). They put on the annual Summit of Awesome craft conference - and have a book coming out soon. As well as the kind beauty from the merriweather council.
Mostly what I found, or more so saw in action, is that Etsy and Squam are two sides to the same coin. We may be coming at it from different angles, but we both seek happiness for artists. Whether that means creative success or financial success...it's ultimately about doing what you love, what makes you happy.
So, yeah, t'was awesome. Truly. I'm so happy we got to be a part of it!
P.S. If any of this interests you, or you're seeking some inspiration you can watch video recordings of the whole thing here. Plus, I totally feel like I'm missing a million opportunities to connect you with the beautiful people i met, so here is a photo with the store names of all the Etsy sellers that were there - go find 'em!
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