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.
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.
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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