This past November and December, we celebrated the hard work and vast accomplishments of Etsy Teams with our heartfelt and rousing<a href="http://blog.etsy.com/en/2011/team-up-for-the-holidays/"> Team Spirit Award campaign</a>. The mission of this project was to recognize the work of outstanding teams and to share the importance of connecting and collaborating with our entire community. Team members came to the nomination form in droves and it was quite a challenge to select award recipients from the amazingly talented pool of nominees. Without further ado, here are the teams who received our handmade trophies in the mail:<a href="http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2012/01/Etsyspiritaward.jpg" rel="attachment wp-att-129959"><img class="size-full wp-image-129959 " title="Etsyspiritaward" src="http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2012/01/Etsyspiritaward.jpg" alt="" width="548" height="360" /></a>
First up is the <a href="http://www.etsy.com/teams/6429/jet-jewelry-on-etsy-team">Jewelry on Etsy Team</a> (a.k.a. JET). Among other creative projects, the team features a "Jet of the Day" on their <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jewelry-On-Etsy-Team/399138097657" target="_blank">Facebook page</a>. For orientation, new members (called "jetlings") are paired with more experienced members of the team who serve as mentors and help to welcome them into the group. "The jewelry brought us together, but we have grown into so much more than a jewelry team over the years," says JET captain Kerri.
With well-organized leadership and a foundation of knowledgeable members, this next spirited team has become over 2,000 people strong since its inception in 2009. I'm talking about none other than the fabulous <a href="http://www.etsy.com/teams/6269/vintage-etsy-society-street-team">Vintage Etsy Society Street Team</a>. This team is incredibly active, and while it is an interest-based group with members scattered all over the globe, they have frequent regional meet-ups where members who live nearby can get together.<a href="http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2012/01/VESTsocal.png" rel="attachment wp-att-129912"><img class="size-medium wp-image-129912 " title="VESTsocal" src="http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2012/01/VESTsocal-300×270.png" alt="" width="240" height="216" /></a>
What began two years ago as a casual thread in the Promotions forum inquiring about interest in National Native American Heritage Month has become a flourishing team with over 600 members. In addition to being a familial and supportive network for all the members, the <a href="http://www.etsy.com/teams/7663/native-american-forum-walking-the-red" target="_blank">Native American Forum: Walking the Red Road</a> holds cyber "gatherings" on the last Thursday of each month. They have also started a seed bank for cultivating and protecting the organically-grown seed stock of endangered and hard-to-find native plants.
Next we have the <a href="http://www.etsy.com/teams/6147/russian-artists">Russian Artists</a>, the go-to team for Russian-speakers on Etsy from all over the world. The cross-cultural connections within the team is a great resource for many members who use the team to help navigate the site and understand Etsy's policies. Earlier this year, the team came together and donated to the Red Cross for disaster relief efforts in Japan.
Clocking in with a record number of nominations is the <a href="http://www.etsy.com/teams/10036/promoting-creative-friends">Promoting Creative Friends</a> team. The name of this group says it all, and fittingly, the cardinal membership requirement is that everyone must "be nice to each other." This is a collection of enthusiastic and driven individuals who are constantly working to improve themselves and help support one another's small businesses.
The <a href="http://www.etsy.com/teams/5732/createability-team">Createability Team</a> has been around since '08 and continues to be an inspiration to the Etsy Teams program. Their mission is "to take back control of the terms used around our various conditions and bring knowledge and awareness to those around us." This group is composed of artists with disabilities, as well as caregivers for disabled people, who use Etsy to connect with others. If that's not team spirit, I don't know what is.<a href="http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2012/01/Italians.jpg" rel="attachment wp-att-129917"><img class="size-full wp-image-129917 " title="Italians at Abilmente" src="http://blog.etsy.com/en/files/2012/01/Italians.jpg" alt="" width="570" height="378" /></a>
From executing events to translating the site and sharing tutorials, the <a href="http://www.etsy.com/teams/5056/etsy-italia">Etsy Italia</a> team is a great resource for everyone involved. The group recently came together with the <a href="http://www.etsy.com/teams/7776/madeinitalyteam">Made in Italy</a> team and organized an Etsy "atelier" (workshop) for the <a href="http://www.abilmente.org/nqcontent.cfm?a_id=1764" target="_blank">Abilmente</a> show in Vicenza, Italy. Abilmente is one of the most important fairs in the country and is famous for focusing on local creativity of all kinds. All the team members involved in this event played an integral role in spreading the word about Etsy at the event by demonstrating what it means to be active and enthusiastic members of our community.
Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to every single team who was nominated for a Team Spirit Award. There are too many to mention in this article, but you know who you are. Excited about any other spirited teams? Share in the comments below!
<em>Stay in the loop with the Teams program and discover ways to connect in your area by subscribing to the <a href="http://www.etsy.com/emails/teams">Teams Newsletter</a>.</em>