On December 26th 2006, I (ilysaart) made a post in the Etsy Forums asking if anyone wanted to start a polymer clay street team, and to my surprise, the response was overwhelming. That day, the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy was born. Today there are members all around the world and we have a very active group.
As membership grew I thought we needed to have a website to represent us as a group and to help get the word out. Again I made a post asking if any of the members would like to help build us a website, and Kira (studiobijou) answered the call. Kira built the PCAGOE website and still maintains it today.
As we started to work together, we discovered we only lived 5 1/2 hours away from each other. During this time I had purchased a video iPod and started listening to podcasts and videocasts and was really enjoying them. I got the idea that I wanted to produce a weekly podcast and videocast on learning to create with polymer clay, and I thought Kira would be the perfect person to help bring it to fruition.
We met up for a weekend in Orlando, FL, half way between where we live. There, we hashed out the plan for Polymer Clay Podcast & Polymer Clay TV, which are part of Polymer Clay Productions. Eight months later we are still going strong, and we have had a new show every Friday for forty weeks.
We have found the show to be great publicity for ourselves and for the PCAGOE guild. We announce the monthly challenge and the goings on of the members of the guild and feature members on the show and on the website. I have been told by members that they found the guild through listening to our podcast and decided to join us. We also have a newsletter for the guild and for Polymer Clay Productions where we keep everyone informed and share all of the members’ accomplishments.
Podcasting is very inexpensive to get started. All you need is a microphone and the knowledge to get going. There are free hosting options and a free sound recording and editing program called Audacity. As you start to use more bandwith the free solutions may not be an option, but you can still do it for a small fee.
We started the podcast and videocast with no prior experience of podcasting, nor any knowledge of how to produce one. With lots of research and determination, here we are eight months later, with a show every week since we started. We often get products, magazines, books and DVD’s sent to us by companies to review on the show. We have been invited to film major events, retreats, trade shows and conferences and are given press passes to attend these events around the country. We also have the chance to interview and meet numerous artists who have inspired us over the years. We use Skype to do our podcasts and interviews, and we are amazed at the contact names on our lists!
Here’s Kira, aka studiobijou.
I will be starting my dream job working as a videographer and copywriter for the school board of Broward County as a direct result of my experience with Polymer Clay Productions. During my interview, I told everyone how I just "winged it and figured I would learn how to do it AFTER saying yes when Ilysa asked me to join her in the podcast/videocast venture. I knew that if other people were doing it, it couldn’t be that hard. There is a lot of information on the internet if you are just patient and search it out. If you are interested in starting your own podcast, feel free to convo me and I’ll answer questions as best as I can.
We can’t even begin to think of all the possibilities that the future holds with podcasting, but we know if it could change our lives, it can change yours, too.
Read more articles in the Podcasting Series. Also, we’ve showcased some of the polymer clay creations of Etsy in the related items below! Tell us your schemes for using podcasting to promote your team or art form in the comments!