How Etsy saved my life.

11 Sep

Ok, ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but Etsy has made a bigger impact on my life than it (they?) realizes.

Any of you who have been following along probably realize that I’m creative to a fault. I’ve always been this way – I blame my mom. In a good way! Most of my friends, though – not so much. Don’t get me wrong, my friends are talented and creative, but they have day jobs. For a long time, so did I. A few years ago, though, after I’d lost one job, quit another because of a move, and was finally let go from the third job (which I really didn’t like, anyway,) my mom, who had already been selling on Ebay for years and years, and I decided to open up an Etsy shop and call it a day. I started making our presence known on the boards to get familiar with some of the Etsy community, and started making treasuries (think pinterest board but with a limited number of items,) which means I had to search for specific things, which lead me to sellers that will always have a place in my heart because of their amazing talent.

Then, the site changed, and suddenly teams were more accessible, because there was a larger number of them. People were fighting to keep the communities they’d already established alive, seeking each other out and sticking together. I searched for people in my area, and found the “Etsy817” team, a group of mostly women from the 817 area code. I realized exactly how many people there are just down the street from me who do exactly what my mom and I do – they make stuff all the time. I love Etsy teams for their diversity. Some just meet daily online to chat about life and business and promote each other, some get together occasionally to socialize and craft together, and others do all of that, plus they have regular meetings, do shows together and put on events together. Etsy 817 is the last kind of team. Of course, there are the members who can’t make it to a lot of the meetings and events, and that’s okay. There’s a core group of us who usually show up and participate in whatever project we’re working on at the time. We also see each other outside of meetings, because we’ve gotten close like that.

That’s me in the upper left corner, cutting Chris’s head off with a giant pair of scissors (while she stabs me with a jumbo pencil!)

What I thought was going to be another independent venture into the world of arts, crafts, and design has turned into a really supportive group adventure. While we’re all doing our own thing in terms of our businesses, we’re doing it together. I’m not afraid to ask a “stupid” question around these women. They’re awesome, and they get all of the little quirks and weird things that go along with being creative. This, it turns out, is exactly what I would need when my health got worse and I became inclined to isolation. Between my mom and my Etsy friends, I’ll never be alone. They all know about my and my mom’s health problems, and they’re so understanding – some of them have chronic health issues of their own.

Please take a look at my friends’ shops, listed here. Our team members sell everything from graphics and traditional art to jewelry and vintage to soap and custom ballgowns … you get the picture! You’re likely to find something that you can’t live without (or at least don’t want to live without.) It’s retail therapy, without the retail and the walking.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

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