The Etsy Community is constantly dreaming up new ideas. Some of these ideas are for improvements on the site, some are inspiration for getting out of a creative slump and some are just plain fun ideas for projects to work on with or get to know other members of the Etsy Community.
This is a series spotlighting Etsy Community Projects initiated and run by the Etsy Community. Many of these projects originate in the forums and some happen completely there. Some involve mailing packages to other Etsy members, some involve posting on other sites, like Flickr. All are fun ways to interact with other members of Etsy, be it for a short period of time or on a regular basis.
If you’ve ever wanted to put a face to an Etsy username (or avatar), you might think Self Portrait Thursdays is the best thing since sliced (handmade) bread. Each week, you can find a thread in the Etc. Forum titled "Self Portrait Thursdays" or "SPT" (and usually followed by that week’s date). Anyone can post in these threads with a link to a photo they’ve taken of themselves and posted online. Many users prefer to post their self-portraits on Flickr, as Flickr allows its users to leave comments and notes on the photos posted on the site, which is a fun way to interact with other participants. Portraits posted in Flickr can also be posted in the Etsy Self Portrait Thursday pool, which makes it a snap to find other participants in this weekly activity.
Where did Self Portrait Thursdays come from? It started in 2006, when Etsy sellers Tinymeat and Mamadelic fell madly in love but lived in very different parts of the country. It’s a very sweet story, actually. I asked Mona, of Mamadelic, to give us the whole scoop on this fun weekly project that’s open to the entire Etsy Community. She says, "We started making sure that we sent pics to each other every Thursday. We started tagging the pics with "self portrait thursday" and "spt" and next thing we knew, other people were doing it!"
How did it evolve into the forum phenomenon it is today? "I created a pool for people to add their pictures to. Next thing I knew there were hundreds of people in the group and it had taken on a life of its own. People take it upon themselves to post in the forums that they’ve added their picture and I get the idea that many look forward to adding new ones. I especially love it when people do theme pictures! Those are fun! I love that people are still participating in it now even though Mikey and I don’t post pics very often. I do go in and look at the group all the time."
Mikey and Mona are now together in Portland, growing their handmade business, so they don’t contribute self portraits as often as they used to, but you can read more about their Etsy Love Story. You can browse through over 150 pages of Etsy Self Portraits in the Flickr Pool. Here’s a list of other Etsy Flickr groups we’ve noticed, as well.
Are you organizing a project within the Etsy community, outside of an Etsy Team? Mention it in the comments below!