Sunday, September 12, 2010

Exciting New "Etsy Groups" Feature Coming!

Anyone who has visited the Etsy Teams page recently knows that it's confusing and out of date. More importantly, we can't make any changes (no matter how small) to our team profile without Etsy Admin. Right now, I have to send an email to Teams and then wait indefinitely for them to change something. Not a charter member of the group? Well, they'll only update our profile once a month, so you won't show up as a member until they get around to adding you. If someone joins the day after I send the monthly email, they'll have to wait another month. Same process if someone wants to leave a Team.

That is all about to change! Etsy Groups is in Beta right now, which means they're working the kinks out of it, and it'll show up in a matter of weeks. I have a sneak preview for you, because the needle felt team is one of the groups trying it out in Beta and I'm a member of that team! Here's what it looks like to the average team member (I'm not the team leader)...

We'll be able to have a much nicer profile page all to ourselves! We won't have to say "go Teams, then Profiles, then find the Connecticut page and scroll all the way down..." when someone wants to know how to join! There are tags (not sure what they're for yet except some kind of search feature yet to be unveiled) and an "edit" button next to your own profile. Right now, that button just lets you leave the group, but presumably something else is coming. See the nice links to this group's flickr page and blog on the left? So much better!

I hear that communications features are coming, so that is excellent news. To read more about it, visit The Storque blog to read their announcement about Groups!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Design Sponge features New Haven!

A friend point a fabulous feature in the amazing blog Design Sponge about New Haven. Artspace gets a mention, as do places that sell handmade things/supplies (and Fuel, my favorite coffee shop! yay Wooster Sq!). As someone new to town, I'm very excited to see such a comprehensive guide to the city. What do you think of it, since most of you have lived here longer than one month?

For anyone who sews...

Download an incredibly adorable and FREE pattern from my favorite children's pattern maker, Oliver + S! No pattern needed! It looks so easy and SO CUTE, as always.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Blog links?

Team Members--
Do you have a blog of your own? I do!

I just posted about a treasury I made being on Etsy's front page and one of my items being featured in another blog! Let's collect links so that we can advertise our own blogs.

Speaking of helpful blogs, The Storque (Etsy's blog) has a great article on how to use Google Analytics to keep track of traffic to your Etsy shop. I also use it to see who's coming to my blog and how long they stay, etc. It'll even show you how someone found your shop! It's sometimes hilarious and often informative to see the search words that lead people from Google, Yahoo, etc, to your shop.

Great Pary, everyone!

Thank you to everyone who came to the party last night, and to team members who contributed by adding Etsy shops we could advertise! We gave away every last postcard we had made--the cards had our (for now) team logo, which is also the banner for the blog, and instructions for how to get to each of our shops.

Thank you as well to the city of New Haven! It was great to talk to people from the mayor's office. There's a real commitment to making Project Storefronts work for artists and the city! And by "work" I mean make the retail venues commercial viable for artists so that we can continue to occupy prime storefront space!

There were delicious snacks and beverages, and even live music, thanks to Lisa and her new friend/pianoman Sean!

It was really wonderful to meet so many of you in person. I still haven't managed to unpack my camera's charger, so I don't have pictures :( If anyone does, please post them! And don't forget, we'll be crafting every Thursday from 6-9. The space will also be open on Tuesdays, although I can't make it, since I teach college English in Queens, NYC and my commute takes up my whole day. You are all welcome to go on Tuesdays!

You can see from all my exclamation marks that last night was a huge success. Let's keep the momentum going!

Okay, I'm starting to feel like a cheerleader, so that's enough exclamation marks for today. Please post your own experiences whenever you have time. If you're a team member and not an author of the blog yet, let me know and I'll invite you via email.

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

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Party

Lisa and I had a great meeting yesterday about The Party, and we could use a few more ideas for gifts that guests can take away in little boxes we have for them. We have decided to do a bead swap, so bring any beads you don't think you'll use! We've got some crafts for people to make and take from Etsy's download-of-suggestions that became available when they threw their birthday craft party--matchboxes, envelopes, paint a teacup. There are some patterns/ideas in there too. Any other ideas? Does anyone want to give away a pattern?

Remember, if you're coming, to bring business cards! Lots of them. I'm also making a postcard with all our shop names on it.

Further ideas are *very* welcome. Thanks!