Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fort Worth, ETC...

I belong to two different Etsy teams. One of them, Design Style Guide, is an interior design team. We each produce items which can be used to decorate a home or office. I make candle holders and bookends and wine rests, and they fit right into that idea.

The other team I belong to is, on the one hand, more generalized, in that it doesn't matter too much what your selling in your Etsy shop -- soap, cookies, Edwardian chairs, jewelry, note cards, clothing, pottery -- and on the other hand it is a lot more specific because everyone on the team either lives in Texas or is from Texas. This team is called Etsy Texas Crafters, or ETC for short, and I've actually been a member of it longer than I've been in DSG.

On December 2, 2008, there was a meeting of ETC members from the Fort Worth area. It was held in (drum roll, please...) Fort Worth. We met at La Madeleine way out on Camp Bowie.

In attendance were Samantha Leonard of Old But New (really cool jewelry), Robert Leonard III of Draknor Designs (web design and hosting), Angela Niles of Flutter Bugg Creations (handmade crafts and gifts), Lori Browning of The Paper Elephant (handmade cards and paper favors) and Snuggle Junkie (handmade baby blankets, rag quilts, fabric and supplies), Connie Owens of HossLass Art (functional cards and original art with a western flair), Rachel Bates of TileSmile (handmade ceramic tiles), Cari Shannon of GoodScents (soap and bath products) and, of course, me. I was promoting both my woodworking business and my new tie dye business (right now that's just t-shirts but it will expand).

We met each other, had a little small talk, I ate some onion soup, and then we got to the point, which was becoming active members of ETC. One thing we can do (obviously) is to continue having meetings such as this one. Once a month seems reasonable. Beyond that we simply went over the things that ETC already does every Monday on Etsy, including the 1st Monday sale every, ummm, first Monday of every month. 

The issue for me was that no one has a really clear idea how to promote ETC successfully or how ETC can promote out individual businesses successfully. I have found that communication within ETC is limited and unreliable. This is an easy fix. Getting people who have never had support from an organization to suddenly start seeking that support is a bigger issue, but it can be overcome as well, and these are all issues we'll be tackling in the near future, one suspects.

All-in-all I had a great time, met some cool people and, perhaps, found someone to produce a few pieces of jewelry I've been searching for and someone else to make some Halloween cards for next year. I think Lori -- who ran the meeting -- will have a full plate dealing with all the issues we have before us but I also think she's capable of handling it. And, with the help of the rest of us, and maybe some more Etsy people from the area, we should be able to make some progress in 2009.

Here's to a great new year for Etsy and for Etsy Texas Crafters!


Ashthran said...

Thanks for including my wife and I in your piece! It was a lot of fun getting to meet everyone. I hope that it will grow more organized and consistent as well.

Jay Neale III said...

I know it can. I think it will. And it was nice meeting you guys, too!

Hi! said...

Jay - Thanks for letting me know about your article. It was really nice to get to read. It was also nice to meet all of you ETC folks! Hope there are more in January! :)
Love your candle holders - BTW.