Shop Etsy

Sharing What You Know to Grow a Business

Feb 19, 2013

by Karen Brown

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Like a lot of first-year college students, Joe Silvera was having trouble finding himself. A fine arts major, he tried his hand at painting, sculpture, and even biomedical illustration, but nothing really clicked. Then, his roommate took a jewelry-making class and shared what he learned with Joe.

“I tried it and I was hooked,” said Joe. But soon he discovered he enjoyed teaching as much as jewelry-making. “In school, lots of students would leave all their work to the last minute. It was really easy to step in and show them how to finish things. That’s when I knew I had the bug. I loved passing on the craft and traditions.”

When Joe met his wife, Anat — an experienced instructor and enamel artist — she helped him see how teaching could be the core of a business. While continuing to make jewelry (Joe has 23 years experience in the craft), he and Anat taught together. Then Joe teamed with Kalmbach Publishing to explain one of the most challenging aspects of metalsmithing – soldering. His book, Soldering Made Simple: Easy Techniques for Kitchen Table Jewelers became the number one best-selling and most “wished-for” book in the Amazon jewelry and crafts category, and the first in his series of instructional books and DVDs. Today, Joe and Anat operate the Silvera Jewelry School in Berkeley, California, a place where professional and hobbyist jewelers can receive hands-on instruction in a variety of techniques and materials.

Joe teaching soldering on Jewelry Television.

“I put a lot effort into transmitting skills in as many ways as possible because people have different learning styles,” he said. “We’re able to provide more than one view point,” said Anat. “There are different ‘right answers’ to problems, and that helps students see how they can be creative and add to the craft of jewelry, too.”

Israeli designer Yael Falk also looked for ways to share what she knew with others. “The idea that a design I developed on one side of the planet would be produced on the other side profoundly enchanted me,” she said. At first, she feared that sharing her patterns could hurt her handcraft business — who would buy finished items if they could make the same thing themselves? — but this fear proved to be unfounded. “The pattern sales actually gave a boost to my finished items. Some people purchased finished pieces of jewelry, the instructions on how to make them, and other items in my shop all in the same transaction.” Yael’s shop, Yoola, now offers a library of pdf tutorials and videos that teach her wire crochet technique for making wearables and home decor, including her signature pomegranates.

Beyond the business itself, the satisfaction of teaching can bring a new dimension to the experience of craft. “On a personal level, entering the educational business offers me the double satisfaction of a growing income and a glowing feeling of shared knowledge,” said Yael. “What I do is teach the melody and a few of my lyrics. From there I invite everyone to write their own songs.”

“It’s a labor of love,” added Joe. “The love of teaching made me hope it could be a business. And it turned out it could.”

4 Featured Comments

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 6 years ago Featured

    Teachers are some of my favorite people on earth, and can be the very soul of patience and generosity. I was intrigued by what Yael said about her business INCREASING when she started sharing the instructions on how to make her pieces. It's counter intuitive yet it seems to be true for so many artists. Having had the opportunity to take classes from Joe myself, I can testify to how learning a little bit can make you both a better artist and a better customer.

  • IsabellaDiSclafani

    Isabella Di Sclafani from IsabellaDiSclafani said 6 years ago Featured

    A good teacher can be instrumental in a student's work and future career. I know that I still think of my drawing professor, Joe DiLeo, who in my last year of university, gave me the knowledge, inspiration and insight that helped me become the artist that I am today. Thank you for this Etsy feature! It brings to light that Etsy is not just a place to sell and buy, but also an opportunity to learn from each other.

  • bojacobson

    Bo Jacobson said 6 years ago Featured

    So inspiring and so right. Giving away the techniques and secrets of craft elevates the craft itself, and helps shape the state of a particular art. If you're great at something and want to be appreciated and want to ensure there's going to be a market for what you make, one of the simplest things you can do is make sure that the art (through your work and the work of others) stays interesting and accessible to as many people as possible. Not only can it be extremely profitable, but it's supremely rewarding as well. Great story.

  • DandelionByAngelaB

    Angela Birdsall from DandelionByAngelaB said 6 years ago Featured

    There is a very long list of wonderfull teachers I will remember and be inspired by all my life. A huge thank you to all those with the knowledge, patience, and creativity to teach!

170 comments

  • greengrass2

    Liz from greengrass2 said 6 years ago

    Oh wow, this is truly inspirational! Thank you

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage from DecadesOfVintage said 6 years ago

    the creativity found on etsy is truly amazing and as the previous poster said so so inspiring. great piece. off to purchase another tutorial!!!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring!!!

  • micahmc

    Micah McConnell from MyBeautifulEmpire said 6 years ago

    This would be an awesome idea for a regular column: I'd love to see more artist/teachers. Just a thought . . . . Beautiful!

  • pouch

    pouch from pouch said 6 years ago

    These stories are very inspiring. Sharing knowledge is so important to communities and organisations. the collective benefits of sharing knowledge, skills and experience, often helps to make something less complicated or can contribute towards improving something. I've recently posted my first tutorial for a foldaway market tote on my blog and it is generating lots of traffic and positive feedback from blog-readers. Sharing knowledge can have so many beneficial outcomes!

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 6 years ago

    What a great post ! Thanks !

  • snowflakesara20

    Sara from UrbanFarmhouseTampa said 6 years ago

    Wow! Very Inspirational.

  • elizabethtriggs

    Elizabeth from LeadOnDogs said 6 years ago

    How to... It's what we all want to learn about and love to participate in. Very insipring.

  • littlepancakes

    Melissa Pancakes from littlepancakes said 6 years ago

    At first, she feared that sharing her patterns could hurt her handcraft business — who would buy finished items if they could make the same thing themselves? ______________________________ Personally, though I know how to make jewelry pretty well, I would never have the patience for wire crocheting... so I'd just buy the item. There are enough people like me that I don't think business suffers, especially when you have a very established business. I'm not sure on this, but waiting til that point to put up tutorials is probably the way to go, rather than at the beginning.

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 6 years ago Featured

    Teachers are some of my favorite people on earth, and can be the very soul of patience and generosity. I was intrigued by what Yael said about her business INCREASING when she started sharing the instructions on how to make her pieces. It's counter intuitive yet it seems to be true for so many artists. Having had the opportunity to take classes from Joe myself, I can testify to how learning a little bit can make you both a better artist and a better customer.

  • christineshmisteen

    CHRISTINE SHMISTEEN from TheArtOfFinerThings said 6 years ago

    Love this... great way to put your know-how to use and make some money too! I've toyed with the idea of wow-able touches for the non crafty (since so many tutorials would be impossible if you don't already have the skills), but I would have to test it on someone and have yet to get my siblings to agree... try asking your brother if he wants to tie a typical present bow, gold leaf things, or paint a decorative finish. :P

  • GisieArt

    Giselle from MyArtAndFashion said 6 years ago

    Inspirational post, Thank you!!

  • IsabellaDiSclafani

    Isabella Di Sclafani from IsabellaDiSclafani said 6 years ago Featured

    A good teacher can be instrumental in a student's work and future career. I know that I still think of my drawing professor, Joe DiLeo, who in my last year of university, gave me the knowledge, inspiration and insight that helped me become the artist that I am today. Thank you for this Etsy feature! It brings to light that Etsy is not just a place to sell and buy, but also an opportunity to learn from each other.

  • winterolive

    winterolive from OnWillowLane said 6 years ago

    wow love that! and thanks for including my journal!

  • Hollidaymiller

    Holliday from HollidayM said 6 years ago

    Such an interesting blog, inspirational! And I love the pomegranates :)

  • bojacobson

    Bo Jacobson said 6 years ago Featured

    So inspiring and so right. Giving away the techniques and secrets of craft elevates the craft itself, and helps shape the state of a particular art. If you're great at something and want to be appreciated and want to ensure there's going to be a market for what you make, one of the simplest things you can do is make sure that the art (through your work and the work of others) stays interesting and accessible to as many people as possible. Not only can it be extremely profitable, but it's supremely rewarding as well. Great story.

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 6 years ago

    What a lovely article!

  • LetsAllMakeBelieve

    LetsAllMakeBelieve from LetsAllMakeBelieve said 6 years ago

    Very nice, thanks for sharing :)

  • minouette

    Ele from minouette said 6 years ago

    Coincidentally, I've just collaborating with team mates and planning a series of craft workshops for the Toronto Etsy Street Team. (Love the pomegranates!)

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld said 6 years ago

    Since I'm a reporter in my day job, I love teaching Etsy shop owners how to reach out to reporters to get feature articles written about their shops. For only $3, I email my “Media Kit: How to Get Featured in an Article” item to them. The step-by-step instructions demystify the whole process so that it's no longer intimidating.

  • jmariesf

    Jessica Blevins from JMariejewelrySF said 6 years ago

    great article. thank you! I am so glad I decided to read this. What good is a gift if it is not shared...

  • Aristocrafts

    Aristocrafts from Aristocrafts said 6 years ago

    Truly inspiring! I loved the story about people purchasing both the item and the tutorial in the same transaction! Teaching is a form of crafting too, and it's wonderful that people are sharing not only their skills but also their knowledge! Great article, thank you!

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts said 6 years ago

    Wonderful article about teaching and tutorials and art! I love this and enjoyed reading it very much.

  • kpoklemba

    Katie Schmitt from PassengerSeatArt said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your passion. A good teacher is so very important!

  • GeorgieGirlLLC

    D George from GeorgieGirlLLC said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring article. Thanks for sharing.

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose said 6 years ago

    So interesting!

  • HillaryMarieandCo

    HillaryMarieandCo from RingBerries said 6 years ago

    I bought my first Etsy pattern from http://www.etsy.com/shop/jaravee and thoroughly enjoyed putting my own spin on someone else's design. In addition to paid tutorials, I continually see generous advice on the forums, free for the finder. I am very thankful for all the sellers willing to share their knowledge.

  • shersego

    Sherri Segovia from Shershells said 6 years ago

    This makes so much sense and is very affirming! I thoroughly LOVE the process of making something as much as the finished product itself. Sharing all aspects of the craft makes it that much more meaningful. Thanks for this article!

  • QuietMischief

    Michele Howarth from QuietMischief said 6 years ago

    Great article! My business has certainly been hugely helped by selling tutorials - about half of our sales come from those alone, and much of our publicity has come from people sharing them. Thank you for including our duct tape heart ring tutorial as a related item!

  • peacesofindigo

    Dawanna Young from peacesofindigo said 6 years ago

    What a fabulous article~

  • lindab142

    Linda B. from lindab142 said 6 years ago

    I love yoola's work and have been following her for a long time. I just started offering social media tutorials. We'll see how it goes. Love that metalsmithing is taught in Jewelry School. Congrats!

  • metalicious

    Stephanie Maslow Blackman from metalicious said 6 years ago

    Love that Joe is passing on his knowledge, what an inspiration!

  • Heartistic

    Fine Art from Heartistic said 6 years ago

    Yes I'm listening! I just started a youtube channel with this pupose!

  • Heartistic

    Fine Art from Heartistic said 6 years ago

    Sorry purpose!

  • ChristinaNixon

    Christina Nixon Cole from TogetherAgainGlass said 6 years ago

    Great info. I've been teaching lampworking for years, but I would love to start offering tutorials on various aspects of creating and selling jewelry and glass.

  • ESTATENOW

    VINTAGE NOW from ESTATENOW said 6 years ago

    Love it, Very interesting.

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered said 6 years ago

    I'm extremely grateful to those who have decided to teach arts and crafts. These days apprenticeships are less common, and it can be hard to learn a skilled craft as a result. I'm lucky to have a wonderful mentor, but Joe Silvera's book helped me tremendously when I was struggling with soldering. Thanks to Joe and everyone willing to take on the extra work of sharing their knowledge and time!

  • LandonField

    Robin and Merle Van Houten from LandonField said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for this article! We've been approached by people who want us to teach them how to make our products. At first we were resistant but have come to realize it will only help bring more attention to our shop, not to mention getting more people to recycle glass which is why we started our shop in the first place. This article reaffirms our new way of thinking. Good to see it posted here!

  • designlab443

    Tracy from designlab443 said 6 years ago

    Your wire pomegranates are darling! Cheers to you both!

  • silverajewelryschool

    Silvera Jewelry School from SilveraJewelrySchool said 6 years ago

    Thanks to Karen from Anat and myself for this wonderful article. And to all the nice comments! Sharon - I'm so glad my book helped you. That's the best reward for the effort of writing it, and well worth it. Thanks again, Joe Silvera

  • laughingorangestudio

    Susie Morgan Wilburn from laughingorangestudio said 6 years ago

    When people get so caught up and uptight about other people copying their work, they should read this article and know that by sharing your craft you are helping others to appreciate what you do even more. Someone can try to copy something exactly and it will never be the same as the original. Each person has a different interpretation. Tutorials are another great way or to actually sell a pattern. Handmade pottery is great for tutorials but there really isn't a pattern to sell. Original designs are something that are personal and should not be copied without the artist's consent but again, I really feel that sharing makes your originals even more special somehow. Nice post! Thanks.

  • Jusadreamin

    Jusadreamin from Jusadreamin said 6 years ago

    Wow LOVE your post THANKS for sharing

  • aileenrae

    aileenrae from aileenrae said 6 years ago

    LOve the Pomegranates! It looks like a lot of patience goes into those I can't believe they're made with wire. I would love to learn how to make them!

  • librarianmari

    Marie R. from Storyfied said 6 years ago

    Sharing knowledge is really just one of the *best* things. And it makes the world ever so much nicer!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    Hmmm... whenever someone says they'd like to know how to make something I just send them an instruction sheet for free. I've been meaning to do a PDF version with photos, but never got round to it as they're not really necessary. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with actually selling the info, but maybe I should think about it.

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 6 years ago

    mazedasastoat, if you invest in producing a publication –– a pdf with photos and step-by-step instructions –– it can be very valuable to someone else. Joe told me that writing his first book was made easier by the fact that he had already produced many detailed hand-outs for students. You never know where it could lead...!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 6 years ago

    Good advice!

  • youseeme

    T and S from LoveLush said 6 years ago

    great post!

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 6 years ago

    I have thought about doing this too...I find I really love creating tutorials....Thanks for sharing your experience with this....

  • emwi

    Emily Wirt from emwi said 6 years ago

    Really interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

  • Talking1

    Richard - TalkToMeGuy said 6 years ago

    “I put a lot effort into transmitting skills in as many ways as possible because people have different learning styles", such a wonderful thinker ! What an inspirational post. I heart the pomegranates! Thank you Karen for another great piece!

  • rickrackshack

    Vanessa Ryerse from TheMosaicButterfly said 6 years ago

    Ok, that settles it...I'm teaching how to make broken china mosaics. Who wants to learn?

  • alangood

    alangood said 6 years ago

    Great piece. Sharing is caring!

  • Pixie2428

    Doris C. from SewBeautifulbyDC said 6 years ago

    Beautiful article ! Thank you for sharing with us.

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 6 years ago

    That is very inspirational!

  • BozenaWojtaszek

    Bozena Wojtaszek from BozenaWojtaszek said 6 years ago

    Great post. That's what I'm considering myself and it looks like a good idea. Thanks for the support!

  • Yoola

    Yael Falk from Yoola said 6 years ago

    Karen, thank you for giving a voice to my hands. Being featured in your article is an honor, I am also glad it made me discover Joe Silvera's work. Thank you also to all of the wonderful positive comments, it's an incredible fuel to my creative engine! Looking forward to meet you all in this cyber-world.

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 6 years ago

    Love it!!!

  • CraftyWomanMe

    Suzanne Louise Coleman from WeavingMeHome said 6 years ago

    Thank you for including my How to Weave on a Peg Loom instructions in this wonderful article. I find so much joy in sharing skills and information with others. Peg Loom Weaving was almost a lost art, but now it is gaining many new followers. I've met so many wonderful people through Etsy. Etsy really is a creative community and not just empty cyber space.

  • SigalFJewelry

    Sigal from SigalFJewelry said 6 years ago

    As a former student of Yael, I can say that the craft of knitting was so much fun with her. Yael is a special women and a teacher, with so much experience, patience and kindness.... I am a big fan of her beautiful work and personality!!!

  • Craftelina

    vik and ig from Craftelina said 6 years ago

    So true! An excellent article, a great pleasure to see freedom and love in your work! Best of luck!

  • kellybermudez

    Kelly Bermudez from kellybermudez said 6 years ago

    Wonderful Post! Thank you!

  • matildecanepagonzale

    Matilde Cánepa González from matildecanepaArtnow said 6 years ago

    Good article. the creative and very successful, there are so many things from Creativity and flexibility as input to working groups and their implementation in any area. It's a great research topic, in my art class, and apply it consistently evidenced. I love watching him, find him with others

  • tomsgrossmami

    Tom's Grossmami from tomsgrossmami said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring! Thank you!

  • unastigsdottir

    Una Stigsdottir from Unaberries said 6 years ago

    Nice. Love from Iceland.

  • EdelweissPost

    Patrick from EdelweissPost said 6 years ago

    Teaching is truly a gift of self that does not end --- it ripples on and on and on, touching lives and changing a world we haven't dreamed up yet.

  • Revlie

    Revlie Schuit from Revlie said 6 years ago

    what a wonderful article and so much true being told! we all should focus more on the beauty of teaching. Love from the Netherlands :).

  • PatriciaEnterprises

    Patricia Feyrer from PatriciaEnterprises said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing great story

  • DeepSilence

    Sonja Bikić from DeepSilence said 6 years ago

    nice story.

  • PotteryHeaven

    Martina from PotteryHeaven said 6 years ago

    Wow, how inspirational. What better way to share the love of your craft than to teach others to make it and appreciate it!

  • hilarygjart

    Hilary Garnock-Jones from HilaryGJ said 6 years ago

    Good to hear enthusiasm for teaching! It takes a humble heart to learn! Love from London!

  • TheAmateurNaturalist

    Beth Anne and Sarah Schwamberger from TheAmateurNaturalist said 6 years ago

    Joe, you are the heart and soul of everything that is etsy! Keep teaching and sharing your passion with others.

  • 118jan

    Janette from AmericanDollClothes said 6 years ago

    It's an amazing story of how you shared your love of arts & crafts and inspired so many people. Thank you for your story.

  • Tarahawken1

    Tara Hawken from ThePolkadotCaravan said 6 years ago

    This is great advice, people have said to me before about teaching, and have done a little helping kids in school learn how to make simple jewellery, tailoring a different technique to each age group. I have though been one of those people who thought that by having and selling instructions of your work to people you will lose sales. So it was interesting that the sales increased. This might be a new avenue for me to look into. Thanks.

  • claudetteherman

    claudette from ZNextDesigns said 6 years ago

    Great article! Thank you for sharing.

  • NinaRaizel

    Nina from NinaRaizel said 6 years ago

    Great blog post. Really inspirational advice. Thanks you!

  • pamgstudio

    pam g. from pamgstudio said 6 years ago

    Your advice helps to elevate artists. Keep up the good work!

  • admirerofdreams

    admirerofdreams from admirerofdreams said 6 years ago

    I once had a truly gifted art instructor in college. He was very talented, but never arrogant. He encouraged us to market our work, and gave us the tools to do so; he also never felt negatively challenged as an artist, when he would encounter great talent in his students. Those of us blessed enough to take his courses benefitted from his teaching in immense ways. He moved away to teach in another state so sadly I can no longer learn from him directly. We need more teachers like that in the art community. I looked him up online and found his website. Please take a look or even take a class from him if you are able, you'll be so glad you did. :) http://lancehunter.com/

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    Sometimes even if you know a technique really well its interesting to see how other people do it just to see making from a different perspective.

  • RubySubmarine

    Leah Coccari-Swift from RubySubmarine said 6 years ago

    Wonderful post, thanks for including my pattern. Share knowledge and inspiration!

  • nativestrandsjewelry

    Rachel from PeppersJewelry said 6 years ago

    This is a nice post. I especially like Yael's attitude towards passing along information to others. Thank you for the great article.

  • ThreeBarDGifts

    Monica from ThreeBarDGifts said 6 years ago

    It's so nice to find tutorials available when you want to learn a new craft or just improve what you already know. I see shortcuts sometimes that just amaze me. There's always something new to learn!

  • allstarorganics

    allstarorganics from allstarorganics said 6 years ago

    Nothing is more essential to craft than passing on traditions, and traditions in craft are often non-verbal, visual, and physical. Thank you for taking the time to find ways to pass on these essential skills.

  • BlueSquiggle

    Monique Flannagan from BlueSquiggle said 6 years ago

    Pattern sales boosted sales of finished items! Wow! That's encouraging!

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets said 6 years ago

    So true, and so important. We hope to have the time to one day pursue this course as well. Thanks so much again, Karen! : )

  • mbueb

    Monica Bueb from MonicaBags said 6 years ago

    There's nothing like teaching to grow the roots into your craft even further. Wonderful story, Karen!

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 6 years ago

    I heard Natalie Chanin (http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/alabama-chanin-a-cottage-industry-success-story/) speak at one of her sewing workshops last year. She said, “In the fashion business, the conventional wisdom is that you’re dead if you lose control of your patterns." But when she saw women in her town making their own garments based on her designs, she decided to go with a different approach. Today, books, kits, workshops, and the sale of materials and supplies are the foundation of her DIY business. She sells very high end finished garments, but you can get the instructions and make the same thing yourself with a needle and thread. I think that's incredible.

  • BijouxOdalisque

    Bijoux d'Odalisque from BijouxOdalisque said 6 years ago

    Fabulous article Karen! It's wonderful seeing people passing their trade along to the next generation - it's a handmade circle that feels fulfilled in an era when everything is artificially manufactured.

  • gaiadesignstudios

    gaiadesignstudios from GaiaDesignStudios said 6 years ago

    Very inspirational, thanks for sharing!

  • smeys

    Sarah Meys from MeysMadeCoolCrochet said 6 years ago

    Your work is amazing and this story is very inspiring. As a trained teacher turned stay at home mum crochet artist my dream is to be able to write crochet patterns and sell them which would incorporate both of these loves.

  • rebeccagoebel

    Rebecca Goebel from OctoberNative said 6 years ago

    He is very gifted .. I love his ideas .. Thanks for Sharing!!

  • shirleyjarrett

    Shirley Jarrett from ShirleySewDesigns said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational.

  • kadabros

    Ilona from kadabros said 6 years ago

    So inspiring! Thank you!

  • Dogdohr

    Joanne Dohr from Dogdohr said 6 years ago

    Nice story. Though I don't teach my craft to my 4-Hers, as a 4-H leader I do teach and share my love of dogs!

  • crafts2love

    Nadia and Vika from Crafts2Love said 6 years ago

    Great stories! I too found I enjoy teaching as much if not more as making felted items myself. I am offering two tutorials and plan to grow this side of my business!

  • FreshRetroGallery

    Elizabeth Knaus from FreshRetroGallery said 6 years ago

    What would we know if we weren’t able to learn from others?! Etsy is a wonderful community to reach out and share knowledge and inspiration. Not to mention a way to shop and support others who have much in common.

  • JustineJustine

    Justine Standaert from JustineJustine said 6 years ago

    Yael is amazing!! I think she is a master at running this special kind of etsy-shop! My absolute inspiration!

  • richardlithgow

    Richard Lithgow from RichardLithgow said 6 years ago

    Very unique! I like it!

  • jhollywooddesigns

    Jen Hollywood-Showell from jhollywooddesigns said 6 years ago

    Great post! I have their soldering book and love it.

  • dollproject

    Jessica Hamilton from DollProject said 6 years ago

    Wonderful article! When I began to have some pain issues and could no longer make dolls at a pace to sell them full time, I turned to my other love--research and design. Now I create one piece, one at a time, and I document the process to create tutorials. Some of these become tutorials in my shop and some I give away for free. Since I began creating tutorials, I have formed some amazing bonds with other etsians and every day I revel in the fact that I absolutely love teaching and sharing! :)

  • Caracarmina

    Norma Andreu from Caracarmina said 6 years ago

    Sharing our knowledge is what keeps the world alive! :D awesome! :D

  • cochelles

    Cochelle Williams from cochellelane said 6 years ago

    Thanks Karen, for sharing with the team..."Educators Love Etsy" ...look forward to many more articles!

  • kgpaintings

    Kirsten Gilmore from PaintingsByKEGilmore said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the article. As a painting teacher, I've considered putting step by step art tutorial pdfs with photos for sale on etsy. So far, I've found more knitting patterns and craft projects offered on etsy than anything to do with painting. What I'd like most is information on how many people actually buy tutorials (not just who sells them.)

  • CreatiKnit

    CreatiKnit from CreatiKnit said 6 years ago

    Great article as always! Love their work!

  • mburruss

    Mary Burruss from GetAllWiredUp said 6 years ago

    This is a great article..I have thought about this rescently. I do beleive sharing your knowledge can benefit you in the future. Everyone interprets it in their own way.

  • erikareboucas

    Erika Reboucas from littlebigtopstudio said 6 years ago

    What a great reminder of what makes Etsy great! The sense of community that comes from sharing, here or elsewhere, is what elevates the process and helps us create a bond with others that would not be possible otherwise. In my "day job" as an art teacher I can tell you that what teachers learn and gain from their students is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Thanks for the article.

  • Caracoda

    Era Shevtsova from CARACODA said 6 years ago

    I think this is a huge inspiration and a great example of following the dream. Never give up and keep looking for any possible ways to reach your goal. Thank you for sharing!!

  • TheCrimsonMoon

    TheCrimsonMoon from TheCrimsonMoon said 6 years ago

    A really interesting article! Reading Yael saying “The idea that a design I developed on one side of the planet would be produced on the other side profoundly enchanted me,” really struck a cord with me as this is how I feel. The idea that you're teaching someone on the other side of the world never ceases to amaze me!

  • lapisbeach

    Lauren from lapisbeach said 6 years ago

    Awesome post! Transferring the knowledge of fine craftsmanship is a remarkable thing!

  • sallybaldi

    Sally Baldi from MyBambinosCloset said 6 years ago

    what an inspiring article! there are so many different elements to our crafts, sharing the actual elements of the "how to" besides just sharing our finished products is a brilliant idea that I had never thought of before reading this article. I've had my shop open now for three weeks and have been disappointed that I've only had one sale. this makes me realize that I need to re-focus on how to promote myself & shop. thank you etsy for the article and continuing to help shop owners like myself to learn how to grow our businesses.

  • braggin

    Maureenann Hilton from MosChapeaus said 6 years ago

    It is love and patience and wanting to help others to learn and grow. What a wonderful way to live your life! And are we all so fortunate to have this gift that Etsy has brought to us!! Community, sharing and giving.

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket said 6 years ago

    Love the article! Thanks for sharing!

  • kat4526

    kathryn Hansen from kathrynhansenart said 6 years ago

    been wanting to teach drawing for awhile now but just have not pursued it beyond a half written book and lots of dreaming around it. this was a very motivating post!!

  • sheilamcbryde

    Sheila McBryde from vintagejewelryanew said 6 years ago

    Great article! It's so inspiring to see that you are following your passion and sharing it with others! Thank you for sharing:)

  • hummingbirdjewelry1

    Hummingbird Jewelry from HummingbirdJewelry1 said 6 years ago

    Fascinating stuff! It always amazes me the skills people have in creating from various mediums. Great Article. Thank you for sharing it with us. Judy

  • Canemah

    Canemah from CanemahStudios said 6 years ago

    I've just started to teach a few small class workshops in printmaking and stamping. I've found that I become energized with my students and my own work improves. I truly love helping beginners succeed and fall in love with art making.

  • paroliro

    Barbara Ann from paroliro said 6 years ago

    Teachers ROCK!!

  • dsadiki

    Daphne Sadiki from DaphnesStudio said 6 years ago

    I currently teach sewing . All skill levels and it is so great when you get a student who comes in unsure and then soars in the class. What a joy! I am teaching a sewing birthday party this weekend with 9 year olds. This should be quite fun

  • famished

    Don Nguyen from famished said 6 years ago

    Hmm, what I need is a How to Finely Felt between Your Fingers without STABBING Yourself a Bunch Times Guide. Anyone have one of those? Thanks for the article. Definitely informative and inspirational!

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery said 6 years ago

    I taught healthy eating for many years as a dietitian, now that I am retired, I make pottery, and have started teaching it in a small way. not for money yet, just for pleasure:>) Great post full of thoughtful ideas.

  • megansbeadeddesigns

    Megan Petersen from MegansBeadedDesigns said 6 years ago

    I sold my patterns before I started selling my finished pieces online. Guess I've been doing it backwards! lol

  • hatcherydesigns148

    PJ from pjhatchdesigns said 6 years ago

    Inspiring.. have had requests for my patterns.. just dont have any.. make things from sight, memory..

  • Lexis131

    Alexis and Laura from HaliMatu said 6 years ago

    This was so inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing- gave me lots to think about!

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 6 years ago

    So amazing, love the ideas. I would love to do this.

  • CraftyMcClever

    Cecelia Kramer from ZenGardenInspiration said 6 years ago

    Makes me thing about the possibilities for my business.

  • Wingostarr

    Mallory Wingo from WingostarrJewelry said 6 years ago

    I LOVE this ! I would love to teach jewelry making one day and make a living at it, inspiring for sure !

  • EmSewCrazy

    Emily from EmSewCrazy said 6 years ago

    Wonderful! It's great to know of others who have found their love of craft spilling over into a love of teaching as well.

  • 2ndHandMade

    Serena Lee from 2ndHandMade said 6 years ago

    So glad to see someone from my neck of the woods have such tremendous success. Congratulations, Joe and Anat! Congratulations to Yael, too! Your pomegranates are ingenious!

  • KeyWestQuilts

    Mary Breckeen from KeyWestQuilts said 6 years ago

    I have been concerned that more and more of my time has been consumed by teaching quilting. I have less time to actually spend in the studio practicing my art. After reading your post, I am making an attitude adjustment. Sharing my passion may just be a natural progression of the craft. Thank you!

  • sfennell

    Susan Fennell from sfennell said 6 years ago

    Inspirational and affirming! We do need to pass our skills on, for so many good reasons.

  • alladickson

    Alla Dickson from AllaDicksonArt said 6 years ago

    This is really a good concept! Thanks so much for bringing this! I have just started my art classes in my private studio and can definitely testify that by sharing generously our skills and even secrets we inspire people to appreciate craftsmanship and art on a much higher level! Some of them become our customers or at least spread the word around and certainly bring new customers and admirers!! It is indeed contagious and that's what we want: we want to addict people to art!

  • tattoodgrl

    Carol Holum from BeadToLive said 6 years ago

    great article and interesting to see that it helped these businesses instead of harming them. great job!!

  • ArtThatMoves

    Christine Pensa from ArtThatMoves said 6 years ago

    Yael - I love your quote - #What I do is teach the melody and a few of my lyrics. From there I invite everyone to write their own songs.” RIGHT ON! I teach both children and adults - mural painting, silkscreen printing and linoblock printing. It's a wonderful experience to share skills and your own note - then watch others soar away singing their own song. Thanks for sharing this article. Wishing you a creative day.

  • Bostonstclair

    Emma st clair Smith from BostonStClair said 6 years ago

    so inspiring :)

  • skyetaylorgalleries

    Skye Taylor from skyetaylorgalleries said 6 years ago

    Great inspirational story.

  • rickytalmage

    Ricky Talmage from PeysterStreet said 6 years ago

    I've had my Etsy site up and running for a couple of months now and am immersed in the process of growing my business. I also teach jewelry making classes at a few local schools and find it to be my saving grace. It can be difficult and discouraging trying to get my new venture moving forward. Teaching gives me the opportunity to share my love of jewelry making and remind myself how great the "crafty life" can be.

  • malvalr

    Malena Valcárcel from MalenaValcarcel said 6 years ago

    Very good tips and advices!! Sharing the "how to" is a way of being connected with humanity,

  • DestinysTreasures

    Jennifer Wheatley from DestinysTreasures said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the great tips.

  • nelson776

    Karen from NathalieLaneDesigns said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring! Since I'm thinking about taking my jewelry in a new direction.

  • RockArtiste

    Rock Artiste from RockArtiste said 6 years ago

    Have been contemplating this very idea to take my art to a worldwide classroom. Teaching art to people can be fun. When painting becomes difficult, teaching to students can be rewarding, watching them grow and passing along techniques.

  • deniseeassom

    Denise Eassom from CushionsbyDenise said 6 years ago

    I was a teacher of PE and Maths before relocating to the Peak District in England, and sharing your knowledge and watching the progress of your students is hugely rewarding. It never occurred to me to teach my sewing skills to others. However, I was approached recently by someone who's seen my patchwork cushions, and after giving it a bit of thought and realising how appreciative learners can be, I've decided to give it a go teaching the basics of finding your way round a sewing machine to create simple projects. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • VictoryGardenYarn

    Anna Sharp from VictoryGardenYarn said 6 years ago

    This was really encouraging for me to read. I have been hesitant to jump into the world of self-publishing my own knit/crochet patterns, but reading about the extra boost of support and exposure it gave to Yael's business is inspiring! Making that first jump is the hardest part!

  • InMaterial

    Peggy McCallum from InMaterial said 6 years ago

    I think this is my favorite article that Etsy has written. After years, if not decades, of honing their skills, so many creatives are experts in their craft and have so much valuable information that would helpful to so many. I have been thinking about teaching sewing for awhile but I am going to get serious about it now. Thanks Etsy.

  • ZiaArtStudio

    Enes Conedera from ZiaArtStudio said 6 years ago

    Thanks for this great article. It's helping me think outside of the box.

  • DandelionByAngelaB

    Angela Birdsall from DandelionByAngelaB said 6 years ago Featured

    There is a very long list of wonderfull teachers I will remember and be inspired by all my life. A huge thank you to all those with the knowledge, patience, and creativity to teach!

  • crazyartdolls

    JoAnne Sweeten-Carr from crazyartdolls said 6 years ago

    wonderful and so inspiring since I've been in a creative block.

  • cindylodge

    Cindy Lodge from DecoArtworkJewelry said 6 years ago

    I am VERY new to ETSY. I did not have ANY idea how large "this place in cyberspace" is! I opened my shop with eight items and was all nervous when I finally tapped the computer key that launched my shop! Since then, by all kinds of happenstances, I have met such helpful, generous and talented folk. I have stumbled upon shops I never expected, like a wire weaver, a filigree jewelry team, a shop that makes its own moustache wax, and one who makes tiny doors for "the wee folk". How about re-purposing the fabric from thrift store clothing to make something new? So, I look forward to learning ways to improve my shop and my skill level. One day, maybe I can help someone else by being an encouragement to them. Yes, I am realizing that Etsy is way more than a hallway of vendors. I'm glad I am here. :o) Keep your eyes open: I may be Following YOU!

  • BonnetsBagsTreasures

    Lisa Marie Renee Jane from BonnetsBagsTreasures said 6 years ago

    Great article, Thank you for sharing. Lisa Marie

  • michellejose

    Michelle Jose from MOLICAAustralia said 6 years ago

    I have more of a question than a comment. I am interested in selling my patterns and instructions and I have tired at a few local markets, successfully. It seems that people are interested. I haven't put them on Etsy as they are not very professional and I am wondering if anyone who has been through this process can offer me some guidance about how to 'print' a professional pattern etc. Thanks, Michelle PS Very interesting stories

  • joycekropewnicki

    Joyce Kropewnicki from CozyComforts10 said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the article. It gives me a new perspective. Lots of people know how to sew. When talking with colleagues about quilting techniques it is always enlightening to hear about quicker, more professional methods to accomplish the task. It is rewarding to teach others as it provides a guide to my own skill set and progress made over the years.

  • darkhorse01835

    Northernlight Jewels from NLJDesigns said 6 years ago

    Great article!

  • bpagani

    Barbara Pagani from bpagani said 6 years ago

    I have been out of the loop with Etsy for a while but articles like these just keep pulling me back in giving me confidence to move forward.

  • rsgirard

    Stephanie Girard from LarkRoadRhymes said 6 years ago

    This is so true. I never realized how difficult taking a good picture is until I tried to take pics for my Etsy shop. This, of course, caused me to google "how to take product pics" endlessly. The generosity of photographers is amazing. They post so much free "how to" info. Like Joe & Yael, photographers grow their business by helping.

  • valterrottin

    VALTER ROTTIN from EBANISTERIAESCULTURA said 6 years ago

    E stato molto interesante. Grazie

  • FerdinandsFlowers

    Jean Pluta from FerdinandsFlowers said 6 years ago

    I had wondered about selling patterns and how this would affect my sales. This article has wonderful insights. Thank you for sharing.

  • jinxspringer

    Jinx Springer from JackiesEasel said 6 years ago

    My High School art teacher was an amazing and mind opening person. To this day I wonder what she would think about me as an artist and then I shut off the TV and get back to work.

  • mcbbelk

    Girlfriend Necklace from Girlfriendnecklace said 6 years ago

    My husband is a famous guitar teacher and coaches more than 30 A list Celebs.... so how a small teacher from France became such a sought after in demand teacher by the best students on earth in incredible! It's not easy for me to follow him on his steps and so far just do my craft and painting! Teacher Rocks yes they do!!!!

  • alisonlee1

    Alison Lee from alisonlee1 said 6 years ago

    Greetings, so nice to hear all the positive words about teachers. I started teaching elementary art 8 years ago. I opened my Etsy gallery in 2011.I started small, but am aiming bigger. i set new goals every six months depending how things develop. It has been difficult to balance both jobs, but since opening my shop, my personal art has grown tremendously. I love my kids I teach, but my goal would be to teach part time and work my Etsy gallery more full time. I am grateful to have this outlet and can't wait to see where it takes me!

  • auniquedesign4u

    pam from stunningstuff4u said 6 years ago

    thanks to all who recognize the importance of teachers. Retiring after 30 years in the classsroom I opened my shop and have enjoyed this new challenge of learning and the adventure of selling.

  • aichaamhalchy

    Aicha from AmhalchyJewelry said 6 years ago

    I was a Primary School teacher and i know How hard and lovely ,at the same time, to be a teacher. Thank you to all my teachers and thank you for sharing this interesting article.

  • sarlette

    Sandra Arlette from ArletteBoutique said 6 years ago

    Share what you know and you will know more..

  • sdrafke

    Suzette from Suzetteupcycled said 6 years ago

    I taught private group art classes to children for MANY YEARS and just seeing their happy little faces as they were RUNNING to the door to come in to class, made it all worthwhile, knowing they couldn't WAIT to start learning and they loved it so much! I had to practically drag them out the door when class was over or they would have HAPPILY just stayed, moved-in, etc.!!! THANKS FOR SHARING your story!

  • Linaline

    Inna from Linaline said 6 years ago

    Ever sinceas I on ETSI, I learned a lot, my horizons expanded and became richer spiritual life. I met a lot of interesting and nice people, learn from them love creative work and life! Thank you TEACHERS!

  • ronstacy

    Ron Stacy from ronstacy said 6 years ago

    I teach painting and I love to talk about colour. I wrote a book on colour, so I would really enjoy doing a video and selling it on Etsy. Just don't know where to start. I wouldn't want a poor quality home made video since that's not who I am. I do so enjoy teaching and passing on my knowledge.

  • halliefranco

    Hallie Franco from HallieJohanna said 6 years ago

    I would love to teach a class based on my knowledge of not only the art I produce, but other things that I have made for only my own enjoyment! My mom was a wonderful teacher (I was homeschooled for many years by my mother with a degree in elementary education) and she always shared her love for the crafty side of life :) What a great article, I love it!

  • maryswanegan

    Mary Swanegan from marysartgallery said 6 years ago

    That is great information Thank You!

  • EarthGoddessDesign

    Catherine from EarthGoddessDesign said 6 years ago

    I love tutorials and have purchased one from Yoola. It was excellent, but the restrictive nature of it (for personal use only) meant that although I learned a new skill, I was unable to utilise it in my jewellery making, therefore I didn't purchase any more. I now only buy tutorials which allow the method taught to be adapted for use in my business, otherwise it is a waste of my time.

  • roserader

    Rose Rader from RosesBounty said 6 years ago

    To all the artists that have sharred Thank You. For Etsy for making it possible to do God Bless.

  • GemdropsoftheFalls

    GemdropsoftheFalls from GemdropsoftheFalls said 6 years ago

    Wonderful story. Very inspiring. As a retired teacher, I can relate to how special teachers are. ;)

  • annalockwood1

    Anna Lockwood from NalisNotions said 5 years ago

    I want to be able to sell my patterns, knitting patterns. How do I turn the pattern into a sellable PDF? I need the basic instructions for how to do it. So frustrating to have the pattern and not know how to translate to PDF. Please, anyone out there, help.

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