Etsy News Blog

Effective Team Management With BrisStyle handmade and vintage goods

Belinda Harris of BrisStyle at Etsy Success Sydney, June 2012

After starting as an Etsy street team in March 2008, BrisStyle has become an incorporated not-for-profit organisation for artisans and crafters based in Brisbane, Australia. Its members host regular markets and ongoing creative development sessions in their community, making  BrisStyle a valuable resource for tips on running  a successful team.

Having presented at Etsy Success Sydney recently on this very topic, I caught up with Belinda Harris, secretary and committee member of BrisStyle, to find out more.

What is your BrisStyle story?
I met one of the founding members, Ali, at a little church market where I was a stall holder, so I went along to the coffee/catch-up meeting that the original group of BrisStyle members had. It all snowballed from there. We needed volunteers, and I started off helping out with general administration and memberships. When we became incorporated in 2010, I became the association secretary. Now I manage the overall administration and bookkeeping of all of the BrisStyle operations, as well as still being on the management board as the secretary.

What made you open the team up to people other than just Etsy sellers?
We found there were lots of crafty people in Brisbane who just weren’t ready to take the next step and begin selling online, and we wanted to be able to give them support. There were also quite a few people who loved to craft and connect with likeminded creative people who hadn’t even thought about selling their items or just weren’t in a position at the moment to make things to sell.

How has being a part of Etsy worked towards the overall success of BrisStyle?
Being an Etsy street team gave us a great foundation. A lot of our values mirrored those of Etsy. As we have grown, having a strong connection to Etsy and being one of Australia’s largest and most active teams gives people access to a greater global community.

Sam, Rebecca and Belinda from BrisStyle at an Etsy Meet and Greet in July 2012

What are the three key things you feel work towards a successful Etsy team?
1. Communication. Staying in touch with your members is key. In order to feel like part of the team, they need to be informed of what is happening behind the scenes. Staying in touch with Etsy is really important, too. The only way you can be supported is to let them know what you have going on.

2. Set Goals. Think about what you want to achieve now, in six months’ time, in twelve months’, and beyond. You can only do what you can do with the help and resources you have, but keep in a mind a clear direction of where you’re headed.

3. Connect With Your Community. BrisStyle has had some amazing opportunities through connecting with our local community, including the Brisbane City Council. Whether it be a member catch-up at your local sewing store or a collective stall at a community market, never underestimate the power of getting out in your community and spreading the news of your group.

How has incorporation affected the team?
For us, given that we were growing so rapidly (and still are) and the fact that we charged an annual membership fee, incorporation was the best fit. It has strengthened our group and has helped give us some structure and guidelines.

Incorporation also provided us with:

  •  Not-for-profit status
  •  Legal status (meaning we could open a bank account, take out public liability insurance, enter into contracts, etc. under the BrisStyle name)
  •  Legal protection for our committee members
  •  Increased opportunities for funding
  •  Transparency for our members (accountability through audits and annual reports)

Learn more from Belinda about effective Etsy team management by watching this video presentation from Etsy Success Sydney!

Have some team tips of your own? Share in the comments!

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1 Featured Comment

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  • neonmorgan Admin

    Morgan Evans from neonmorgan says: Featured

    Get involved with a team near you by visiting and searching by location or keyword to find a perfect fit! You can also always start a new one of your own by clicking the "Create a Team" button. Don't forget to share your experience on Twitter by using #EtsyTeam in your posts.

    3 years ago

  • minouette

    Ele from minouette says:

    That's very interesting - a new idea for how a large local team could develop.

    3 years ago

  • riskybeads

    Lori from riskybeads says:

    cool concept. I like it!

    3 years ago

  • felicesereno

    Felice Sereno from FeliceSereno says:

    great idea!!

    3 years ago

  • OhFaro

    Faro from OhFaro says:

    Sounds like a great way to manage and operate a large team. Well done.

    3 years ago

  • wheatleypaperworks

    M Wheatley from wheatleypaperworks says:

    It really can start with just one person; one team. Inspiring to say the least. All the best guys.

    3 years ago

  • buffalogirls

    Ludmilla from buffalogirls says:

    Great concept. Nice.

    3 years ago

  • ElainaLouiseStudios

    Lisa Steiner from ElainaLouiseStudios says:

    Sounds like a great group! I wish you all the best in your future successes.

    3 years ago

  • traveller240

    Stacey Graves from traveller240 says:

    Wow, love this idea! Hey, why don't we start one in New York/Brooklyn, people!!

    3 years ago

  • BrisStyleTeam

    BrisStyle Etsy Street Team from BrisStyleTeam says:

    Thanks so much everyone for your comments. It really was such a pleasure to be invited to speak in Sydney and I encourage you all to either get involved in your local teams or start one up of your own. They really are an awesome support network whether you are just starting out or are an experienced Etsy seller. Cheers, Bel x

    3 years ago

  • HeyHarriet

    Tracy from HeyHarriet says:

    I love being a member of BrisStyle! Such a wonderful and supportive group of inspiring people! Onya Bel!

    3 years ago

  • cropsarahemma

    Sarah and Emma from cropdesign says:

    as a very new member i can only confirm all belinda has said. we have recieved lots of info and ideas to help our shop grow. i really enjoy following other members in there conversations. very inspiring stories. . great sense of humour too fellow members! thanks for all the support. sarah and emma .

    3 years ago

  • rubyredstudios

    rubyredstudios from rubyredstudios says:

    traveller240 it's such an amzing experience being part of a group with such a diverse creative membership. Am sure that the peeps in New York would just soak it up. Keep us in the loop with your progress. Congrats Bels and all the BrisStyle team xox h

    3 years ago

  • neonmorgan Admin

    Morgan Evans from neonmorgan says: Featured

    Get involved with a team near you by visiting and searching by location or keyword to find a perfect fit! You can also always start a new one of your own by clicking the "Create a Team" button. Don't forget to share your experience on Twitter by using #EtsyTeam in your posts.

    3 years ago

  • amyblandford

    amyblandford says:

    Just clicking over from the Forums page to see what on earth this is about, 'cause when I saw the word "bris" in the title, Brisbane was not the first thing that came to mind! ...someone had to say it, I guess it was me.

    3 years ago

  • pinkponiesshop

    pretty pinkponies from pinkponiesshop says:

    Thank you for posting this fabulous video! It's encouraging to know what other teams have experienced during their growing stages. 3P ABOUT US: A network of handmade goods makers and sellers who refer to themselves as “girls making strides … in fancy high heeled shoes,” The Pink Ponies ETSY team provides professional development and business resources to Gen-Y entrepreneurs through collaborative projects, professional networking and non-profit service supporting efforts to further art appreciation by the general public.

    3 years ago

  • fieldtrip

    Amy from fieldtrip says:

    i love hearing your story! lately i'm thinking it's time to join a local team and this is inspiring me to get going on that :)

    3 years ago

  • SassyStylin

    Lori O from SassyStylin says:

    where do you find etsy meet & greet's? Through I'm in NY

    3 years ago

  • PenGwynneBeads

    Gwynne Collins from PenGwynneBeads says:

    Very interesting!

    3 years ago

  • Theknottyprofessor

    Greg Davis from Theknottyprofessor says:

    Hello to every one that might be reading this. I have been observing etsy and really like what I have seen. I am just getting started today as I only have one product, soon to have two. No really I will hopefully be moving a little faster but now my wife and I are trying to add on photos that would be enlarged to snap on my one and only product. You have to check it out. the picture is always side ways. also if you have any ideas that would look good in thr burnt pine look and let me know. Nice talking to you!

    3 years ago

  • Theknottyprofessor

    Greg Davis from Theknottyprofessor says:

    If you come and visit make sure you say hello by leaving me your circle of friendshlp as I am shy and I certainly need a nicr network of friends. Thanks again.

    3 years ago

  • oceanmoods

    MingTa Li from oceanmoods says:

    Cool! Yeah..I would love to join some teams! : )

    3 years ago

  • Niftic

    Niftic from NifticVintage says:

    What a firecracker! I'm impressed with Bris, her can do attitude and the fact that she is including those outside of Etsy as well. Truly an inspiration! You Go GIRL!!

    3 years ago

  • hundredsofbuttons

    Liz from hundredsofbuttons says:

    Congratulations on this comprehensive presentation, Belinda. As one who visited an early market at the church in Hamilton, I am impressed by the growth and professionalism of the BrisStyle Etsy Street Team.

    3 years ago

  • walimohammed

    Wali Mohammed from Walimohammed says:

    I would like to join some of team...

    3 years ago

  • ariy1

    Ari Y says:

    Very cool!! :) Great work!!

    3 years ago

  • VintageWoods

    Sarah Woods from VintageWoods says:

    Interesting concept!!! Thanks!

    3 years ago

  • plraven

    Peigi Lee Campbell Religa from plraven says:

    Hello, Thank you for the invitation, but I'm not interested in joining any groups at this time. Regards, Peigi Religa

    3 years ago

  • kbazaar2012

    keren shafran from KBazaar says:

    Great - Thinking about opening my own promo team

    3 years ago

  • asharjaved
  • timharless

    Tim Harless from GongsbyTim says:

    Who's in Portland, Or?

    3 years ago

  • uujjjk

    uuj jjk says:

    3 years ago

  • uujjjk
  • kingstoncollective

    Addison Austgen from KINGSTONCOLLECTIVE says:


    2 years ago

  • gmwelden

    Graham Welden says:

    I would like to find people who are interested to visit Laidley in the Lockyer Valley and see our recovery from the January flood damage and devastation.

    2 years ago