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Putting Themselves on the Map: The Eagle Team

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When I received a newspaper clipping in the mail about the Eagle, Wisconsin Etsy Team, it was so heartwarming and inspiring, I knew it was a story that had to be shared. Candy Abel, a.k.a. CandyTheArtist, is an Etsy seller, a blogger, and the founder of the Eagle Team. Below is the story of her Team’s many accomplishments since its creation in November of 2009.

We may be a small Team but we are a powerful Team. We are The Eagle Team, a local Etsy Team from Eagle, Wisconsin.

From left to right, Cindy Bodnar, Sheri Davis, Angie Kleser and Deb Crane, photo by Candy Abel

We just hosted our first ever Eagle Team show and sale May 6, 7 and 8 in Eagle, WI. We had approximately 1,800 people come to our 3 day show! Customers came from all over within a 40 mile radius. Happy to meet and greet us, many people said how nice it was that they could see and touch our work in person. Since many people had no idea what Etsy.com was, Eagle Team members happily explained their work and passed out business cards inviting and encouraging customers to their Etsy shops.

We have accomplished so much in five months time. Our Team was formed in November ’09 by Candy Abel shortly after opening her shop on Etsy, CandyTheArtist. “I wanted to put small town Eagle on the map and network with local Etsy shop owners. I also wanted to to tell the local community about us, about Etsy, and what we do and make,” said Candy.

We are succeeding on all accounts. We successfully petitioned our town board to allow us to hold a show and sale in our town hall building. We submitted a request for a Team Grant which was approved in March. The grant has gone a long way, allowing us to purchase fliers announcing the event, buy display ads in local newspapers and purchase supplies to make signs.

We contacted our local newspaper and told them about our Team and Etsy. We said that any one of our Team members would make a good story but that collectively our Eagle Team and all of its talent would make a GREAT story. We were interviewed and had pictures taken of us and our work. This feature article was published and has brought more attention to our team.

We were just contacted by our local library and asked if we wanted to display our members’ work in their showcase for the month of May. We said “Yes!” and so individual business cards as well as Eagle Team information are now part of our display. As we were putting our work into the showcase Ms. Chase, who runs the library, asked us if our Eagle Team would participate in the library’s main event held each March. That event would allow us to sell what we make as well as demonstrate how we make our items with audience participation.

As you can see it just gets better and better for the Eagle Team. And why?  Because one person, Candy Abel, stepped forward and decided to do something! We wear with pride the Eagle Team badges she embroidered for our Team.

Photo of Deb and Cindy by Candy Abel

Our members also belong to other Etsy Teams that zero in on what they specifically create or supply. However, the biggest benefit to a Street Team is the close networking, face to face meeting with each other and more importantly with the surrounding community that is happy to encourage and support local talent. There is a sense of loyalty there that can’t be bought, and there’s certainly a lot of goodwill that is spread from neighbor to neighbor. Point in fact, our Team members didn’t even know each other before they agreed to come to our first meeting. Now, we have our community talking!

We network in our respective shops, too, with the use of our Team tag, Team blog, and by inserting references to other Team members’ item descriptions. For example, in a Fairy House description written by Deb Crane for her shop DebsDetails, Deb mentioned that the embroidered butterfly she used was obtained from CandyTheArtist’s shop. All of this gains our members more exposure and sales. If you want a business plan, this is ours.

If we can do something, you can do something. We hope our Eagle Team inspires you.

 

Photo of Deb by Candy Abel

What an great story! Sounds like the Eagle Team’s hard work has paid off and they have a lot of exciting plans in the works. To find a Street Team near you, check out the Team’s profiles page.

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