Last fall I gave a talk at the Rhode Island School of Design about the realities of starting a creative business. Art school students are starving for this information, and RISD is one of the institutions starting to feed that hunger. The RISD Mindshare, the event I participated in, was part TED-esque inspiration, part no-nonsense practical advice. You can watch videos of the talks at the Mindshare website.
What else could Etsy do to encourage these students to really jump in and give it a go? We decided to partner with RISD to give out two $300 fellowships to two of the most promising Etsy shops coming out of the RISD community. Please give a virtual round of applause to Michelle Hur of adoodle and Matt Vidalis and Debora Fulop of FOUNDLUMINARIES!
Matt Vidalis and Debora Fulop, a pair of juniors in the illustration department, partnered up with their Etsy shop after taking a class called “Entrepreneur.” The class encouraged students “to repurpose cheap, found, or costless materials into functional as well as decorative objects — in our case, lamps.” We loved their attitude towards starting a business:
“Creative entrepreneurship is the marriage of inventiveness to an evolving climate. A creative entrepreneur is an ever-curious, ever-mindful explorer, seeking to bring a product or service to viability, and adapting their thinking as the business grows.”
Michelle Hur, of the shop adoodle, sells her drawings as well as jewelry. We were impressed by her passion for the Etsy community. She wrote that Etsy is “a great site to meet all kinds of similar yet different creative souls out there who are either selling their work for a living or are simply putting themselves out there for fun or to be noticed and interact with other artists and designers.” She really participates in the Etsy community — check out all her favorites, treasury lists and teams!
Speaking of the Teams program, any RISD students or alumni out there are welcome to join the RISD Etsy Team.
Congrats again to these student entrepreneurs!