Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Story

I hope to start a trend by posting the story of how I came to help create the Elm City Handmade Etsy street team. It's a rather good story, I think, and I hope you'll agree!

I was walking to my car, iced coffee in hand, when I slowed down to look at some windows covered on the inside with paper and some small banners around the bottom. I was wondering yet again what this mysterious "Project Storefronts" could be--I had seen the windows on Orange Street before--when I noticed a poster for a documentary called Handmade America. "That's me!" I thought, since I make things with my hands and sell them at I was about to unlock my car and go home when an energetic women came out of a Project Storefront door to ask, "Excuse me, did you make the dress you're wearing?"
"No, but it is handmade. I bought it on Etsy."
"You know about Etsy!"
"Yes, I'm a seller, and I shop there a lot."
"Come in! Can you come in for five minutes?"
I did come in to the Project's space, and Ms. Energetic introduced herself as Margaret Bodell. I also met Lisa Spetrini, another fabulous Etsy seller who makes giant hoola hoops! What fun. I ended up having a very long conversation--so long that my husband went out looking for me! I had just gone out for coffee, after all.

I learned that Project Storefronts was a city-run initiative to get artists into vacant storefront spaces. You can read more about this project that's part of the Department of Cultural Affairs in New Haven at{05F67331-0AF5-4963-8899-C84C6AFC26DE}

Margaret was interested in getting Etsy involved somehow, or rather, New Haven Etsians. Over the next few weeks, in quite a hurry, we got some potential members signed up and filled out an application. Soon enough, we were an official Etsy team! I spent some lovely Saturdays in the Orange Street space crafting, learning to weave (see pictures below!) and getting to know Lisa and Margaret and other Project Storefronts artists/entrepreneurs.

This is the dress I was wearing, by the way (in these colors, but with white buttons--LOVE Parsimony!). That's not me, that's the fabulous model.

Parsimony's two-tone Team Spirit Dress