Shop Etsy

Team Feature: Organizing for Growth with SF Etsy Team

Jul 3, 2012

by Kim Konen handmade and vintage goods

The Etsy Teams program began as localized groups of members self-organized in different cities across the US back in 2006. The SF Etsy team was one of these original street teams, the foundation for our vibrant Etsy community. 

The SF Etsy team planted its roots as an early street team in 2006. Jen Johnson of MamasMagicStudio, past SF Etsy team captain, remembers receiving a convo titled “Street Team Newsletter #1” from Matt Stinchcomb, now Etsy’s VP of marketing, opening with “Dear Fellow Street Teamers.” The handful of SF street teamers would eventually become the SF Etsy team,  growing from just a few members to over 700.

Jen has been with the SF Etsy team since its earliest days. She held the captain position in 2010 and helped the team grow and change from an online meeting place to an in-person active community group. The team’s growth to 700 members is attributed largely to word of mouth. Friends tell other crafter friends in the Bay Area and a community is born!

The team did a lot of volunteering at craft shows like Renegade, Bazaar Bizarre, Maker Faire and Indie Mart to get their name out there. They seized opportunities to talk to the local community about their team: who they were, what they did, and why this was a team they should join. As they grew their team, they started hosting selling events of their own for their team members to participate in, which boosted the value of being on the team and increased membership.

With an active team like SF Etsy, hosting everything from yoga in the park, Twitter chats, pic-knit events and gallery shows, they definitely need a strong group of volunteers to get things done. Katy, the team captain, advises: “Don’t be afraid to approach individuals who seem interested and active in the team — just putting out calls for help is often not nearly as effective as directly communicating with somebody to let them know that you think they’d be a good fit for a job that needs to be done.”

3 Steps for Success
1. Recruit
2. Delegate
3. Organize

“One person cannot lead a large, active team – unless that person is willing to make it a full-time job! Figure out what is most important to your team and what tasks have to get done regularly to allow the team to function, and if it’s more than the captain can handle, then the team needs more structure and needs to involve more members,” shares Jen.

Organization Strategy
Any successful team is built and organized by sharing and delegating tasks. So how do they organize leadership for a team of 700? Within the team, they have a leadership group consisting of two co-captains and committee leaders. Committee leaders guide three groups:

  • Social Committee
  • Meet Ups & Event Committee
  • Membership Committee

Member Engagement
To keep members engaged, Katy’s simple strategy is to give team leaders a project they are passionate about. Rochelle, their Meet Up and Event Leader, has a real love of meeting people which comes out when she organizes team events. This helps create a positive experience all around.

San Francisco is a diverse and vibrant city with clusters of creative communities and people. Keeping the team engaged in such a bustling metropolis is a challenge itself. By hosting in-person events such as craft socials held at team members’ homes, the teammates of SF Etsy get a chance to connect and network with each other.

The other critical ingredient in the team’s recipe for success is having a guiding principle that helps the group stay focused. Katy’s vision is one of creating a team built on friendships, trust and a peer support network. This is what has allowed the team to truly grow and thrive.

Thanks to all the SF Etsy leaders for sharing their stories — Katy of KatyAtchison, Lisa of TickleandSmash, Genevieve of LightboxSF, Jen of MamasMagicStudio, Geraldine of GeraldineAdams, Steph of NerdJerk and Ash of KellyDrive.

Stay in the loop with what teams are up to by signing up for the Etsy Success newsletter.


  • Bananamoo

    Bananamoo from Bananamoo said 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing, I wish there was a meet and greet type of team around my way. Long island NY lets unite!

  • Stephaniemakesall

    Steph from OneStitchDesigns said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing! I wish we had an artistic community anywhere near where i live in KY our street team does some meet and greets, but usually at least 100-200 miles from me

  • hopejohnson

    Hope Johnson from hopejohnson said 7 years ago

    Hooray SF Etsy Team! You guys rock!

  • riskybeads

    Lori from riskybeads said 7 years ago

    neat article! thanks!

  • soap

    soap from soap said 7 years ago

    good article.

  • HardCandyGems

    Sara from HardCandyGems said 7 years ago

    COOL team, great article. Go Bay Area!

  • jennifercahill1

    Jennifer Cahill Rosenburg and Elizabeth Miller from AnnabelLeesAntiques said 7 years ago

    “One person cannot lead a large, active team – unless that person is willing to make it a full-time job! Figure out what is most important to your team and what tasks have to get done regularly to allow the team to function, and if it’s more than the captain can handle, then the team needs more structure and needs to involve more members,” - Great advice!

  • KisforCalligraphy

    katy from KisforCalligraphy said 7 years ago

    Way to go SF Etsy! ...............................................................................................................................................................Is there a reason the related items are not related to the SF Etsy team? If you search sfetsy team you will find 6,112 items.

  • CompassRoseDesign

    Creek Van Houten from CompassRoseDesign said 7 years ago

    Go SFetsy - great feature!!! I have so much respect for all these team leaders and the members who work so hard - they are rock stars and role models! I am an SFetsy team member and I would like to add that SFetsy team is a great place for community and the thing that keeps etsy so positive for me!! The work of these amazing makers strengthens the etsy community and brand - lucky etsy!. SFetsy for me keeps the original etsy values alive, since recent policy changes on collectives and the changing seller landscape have made my customer base question etsy's committment to handmade - which has been super tough! SFetsy has been support to survive that ongoing transition and keeps me proud to be an etsy seller. Thank you SFetsy for keeping it handmade and connecting so many helpful, kind, clever innovator maker folks!

  • opendoorstudio

    Martha Layton Smith from opendoorstudio said 7 years ago

    Well done and What a well organized team! Thank you so much for sharing your insight! A vibrant community and it shows in this post! Congrats to you all on the feature! Well deserved! Totally agree with the leaders as committee leaders... engaging even more members to make it a stronger community! Way to go!

  • prendasbyenid

    Enid from prendasbyenid said 7 years ago

    Great article!!! I have to delegate more!!! Thanks for this...

  • TickleandSmash

    Lisa Spinella from TickleAndSmash said 7 years ago

    SF Etsy has given me a creative, supportive community. Its so wonderful being part of such an enthusiastic team - The team and all its members have encouraged me to make attainable goals and to dream big.. SFEtsy has been a gift to me and I am honored to be a part of it.

  • sharonzimmerman

    Sharon Zimmerman from sharonzimmerman said 7 years ago

    Awesome feature on my Street Team. This is a great source of support and info-I found my first couple of art fairs through this group and have received nothing but support from all of the members. Thanks for the write-up!

  • nadene

    Even Howard from nadene said 7 years ago

    So nice to see some of our team's great ideas and humble beginnings here! We're lucky to have such a great group. Our plans for autumn events and workshops are coming along so well-partnerships, selling events, inspiration, and motivation are all in the works. Looking forward to more chances for our team to enjoy the company of fellow Etsy sellers~

  • prunellasoap

    Janell Anderson from prunellasoap said 7 years ago

    This is fantastic info! Thanks for sharing.

  • thebirdbags

    Sarah Mones Friedman from thebirdbags said 7 years ago

    Wow- psyched to read this tonight!! SF Etsy has helped me grow as an entrepreneur, someone pretty new to this world. Through the team gallery show, weekly Tuesday Twitter chats (and giggles), and most recently a meet up with some crafty German folks from the Today I Made Blog. Thank you Etsy for running this feature on such a supportive, loving team full of friendship & community!! All best, Sarah

  • mycrobe

    Talia J. from Mycrobe said 7 years ago

    Yay SF Etsy! I'm so happy to be a part of this awesome team!

  • GeraldineAdams

    Géraldine Adams from GeraldineAdams said 7 years ago

    Thank you to all the members of this great team for being part of this group, sharing tips, knowledge and good practices to finally make this team so incredible!

  • lizhutnick

    Liz Hutnick from LizHutnick said 7 years ago

    Good read, thanks!

  • lemonadehandmade

    marja germans gard from lemonadehandmade said 7 years ago

    I'm so grateful to be a part of this wonderful team of artists!

  • marcgounard

    Marc Gounard from marcgounard said 7 years ago

    Thanks to all the mover and shaker of sfetsy... lots of good advises, fun meetings, yoga in the park and a great exhibit in a San Francisco Gallery where I sold a bunch of etchings, so glad to be part of this great team ...looking forward to our next meeting friday evening...

  • katyatchison

    Katy Atchison from katyatchison said 7 years ago

    This brings tears to my eyes... SF Etsy is a true inclusive community of talented and supportive Bay Area Etsy sellers. It makes me so so proud and happy that so many of our members feel the love and support that is meant just for them on their own journey. On a personal note....I feel like I've made lifelong friendships with people "just like me" through Etsy and SF Etsy which is just so rare and special. It's really through our personal meet ups that we've created the glue for the community to come together in this special way. I hope other teams are able to learn from this article and grow from it. Thank you Etsy for taking notice and giving us a solid pat on the back... I'm inspired to go do some more yoga with our new leader of Business Development, Even of Nadene! :-)

  • RossLab

    Rossella from RossLab said 7 years ago

    So proud to be part of this team! Congrats on the feature!!!

  • MonkeyandtheWhale

    Keely Reyes from MonkeyandtheWhale said 7 years ago

    I'm so proud to be on such a great team! Their support and help has been so awesome! Go Team!

  • retoolsf

    retoolsf from retoolsf said 7 years ago

    Another proud member of the SF Etsy team here. :) Awesome feature!

  • miriamhamsa

    Miriam Hamsa from MiriamHamsa said 7 years ago

    Yes, and another proud member of the SF Etsy team - a "newbie", just getting going.

  • rebeccasanchez

    rebeccasanchez from rebeccasanchez said 7 years ago

    Congratulations team!!

  • Wooliverse

    PJ Church from Wooliverse said 7 years ago

    Etsy would not be what it is for me without the SF Etsy team. Specially like to thank our leadership for working so hard to make the team not just a wealth of information and resources, but a real life community.

  • HuntingDragons

    Joanne White from HuntingDragons said 7 years ago

    Congratulations SFEtsy! So proud to be a member of such a great and inspiring team :)

  • kathleenmcmahon

    kathleenmcmahon from kathleenmcmahon said 7 years ago

    I wear the SFETSY team colors as well . I enjoy the Tuesday Twitter chats and think there is some really strong creative energy in this group. I enjoy being a member.

  • MzCreation

    Farrah from MzCreation said 7 years ago

    Way to go SF Etsy team and leaders! You have been a valuable resource to me, and I super appreciate the positive, welcoming atmosphere. You guys are awesome!

  • Tangleweeds

    Jeannine Komush from Tangleweeds said 7 years ago

    this is awesome! This team has always been a fantastic support network for me. And, I've met so many lovely folks this way!

  • mamasmagicstudio

    Jen Johnson from mamasmagicstudio said 7 years ago

    What a lovely article! Thank you for sharing some of the insights and experiences of the SF Etsy team. Being part of SF Etsy has enriched my life in so many ways -- the resources, friendships, and support that I've found in SF Etsy have been invaluable! I'm deeply honored to be part of this amazing community. And I'm so grateful to all the leaders and members who contribute their time and talent to helping our creative community thrive and grow!

  • PaganucciDesigns

    Catherine Paganucci from PaganucciDesigns said 7 years ago

    Yay SFetsy team! Proud to be a member :)

  • cricchi

    pebble and fire from pebbleandfire said 7 years ago

    So happy for our team...GO SF Etsy!!! Looking forward to meet you all soon and thanks for organizing such great events!

  • BlueberryCream

    BlueberryCream from BlueberryCream said 7 years ago

    Congrats to the team! One question though: Are any of the "Related items" featured below the article actually related to the SF Etsy team?

  • fleurdelysgarden

    Fleur de Lys Garden from FleurdeLysGarden said 7 years ago

    Go Team! SF Etsy ALL THE WAY What a great team to be a member of. I enjoy hearing about the wonderful events going on, and will be attending some of them very soon.

  • camermaidjewelry

    Troy Stengel from camermaidjewelry said 7 years ago

    Wonderful post! Congratulations SF Etsy Team and Team Leaders - you deserve it!!!

  • DiNuovo

    Sherene from DiNuovo said 7 years ago

    What a great article! I'm so glad to be a part of such a supportive and friendly team! Congrats team leaders, you're all wonderful and so deserving of being recognized!

  • soradesigns

    Wen from soradesigns said 7 years ago

    Yes, I am so fortunate to be part of the SF ETSY team. I haven't been able to meet a lot of you but I read the SF etsy email listserve everyday.

  • WovenDesigns

    WovenDesigns from WovenDesigns said 7 years ago

    I feel so lucky to have found such a wonderful team to be a part of. Thank you SF Etsy Team for the support, guidance, and opportunities!

  • GBPress

    Nina from GooseberryDesigns said 7 years ago

    Yay SFEtsy Team! So happy to be a part of it :)

  • mediumstomasses

    Sarah from mediumstomasses said 7 years ago

    Yah for SFetsy!! It's a great team with so many wonderful members- I've found many great opportunities and advice through the team! thanks SFetsy:)

  • HauteMelange

    Rochelle Foles from HauteMelange said 7 years ago

    Handmade has been part of my life as long as I can remember. Finding Etsy not too very long after it became an infant online artist's collective was wonderful for me. Finally a home! Joining the SF Etsy Team years ago now, I've watched my "family" grow, play, form wonderful supportive friendships and learn together. Mama Jen Johnson's joyfull leadership and vision during her tenure as Captain gave those of us who are Leaders today a firm foundation to work from and a bright torch to carry on. I think part of the secret to our leadership success is that each of us does what we're passionate about, and we each write our own job descriptions and goals for ourselves as leaders and for the team. I saw a lot of comments from people saying they wish for a supportive and active community where they are. As the Meet Ups & Events Leader I would be delighted to talk with anyone about how to get your team and/or your community involved, interacting and forming great relationships around your art. Feel free to give me a call after 9 am PST and I'll be happy to chat with you. I can be reached at 415-420-9542. Thank you ETSY for the great article and for recognizing a great team is made up of great people working together toward common goals.

  • zelmarose

    Lisa from zelmarose said 7 years ago

    Go team go! I love being a part of SF Etsy! Great support and oh so much fun! SF knows how to do it!!

  • nineacesdesign

    DianaLoyd McCollum from NineAcesDesign said 7 years ago

    Sounds like you've found the recipe for success! Great article. Diana

  • dorothydesigns

    Dorothy Reinhardt from dorothydesigns said 7 years ago

    Sf Etsy Team is great!

  • allthingsbeaded

    Cindy from allthingsbeaded said 7 years ago

    Proud to be part of the team! Such a great group of hard working people.

  • recycledglassworks

    Lauren Becker from RecycledGlassworks said 7 years ago

    Proud to be part of such a great team! The team Blog is so helpful. Way to Go SF Etsy!

  • justmerenee12

    Renee Miskell from ReneeMiskellCreation said 7 years ago

    Love this article!

  • nicolesteward

    Nicole Steward from nicolesteward said 7 years ago

    Bay AreA!!! The Bay has the BEST crafters & artists & all around WONDERFUL peeps!

  • FrancesMarin

    Frances Marin from FrancesMarin said 7 years ago

    Yeah! I'm so proud to be part of such an awesome team! This is great.

  • GoldAdore

    Gillian from GoldAdore said 7 years ago

    Great post! Congrats to all the Team Leaders and thank you so much for all your hard work! Go SF!!!

  • LoriDelisle

    Salt and Light from LoriDelisle said 7 years ago

    SF Etsy is a GREAT team! Everyone is so positive and supportive and kuddos to the leaders who volunteer!

  • YarrowJewelry

    Janet Braisted from YarrowJewelry said 7 years ago

    SF Etsy is awesome, so glad to have such great support!

  • MomsantiquesNthings

    Janine from MomsantiquesNthings said 7 years ago

    Makes me wish I lived in SF! Congrats on the feature, I think it will inspire other teams to do more!!

  • iloveludwig

    Astrid R. from AnAstridEndeavor said 7 years ago

    YAH SF Etsy!!! Happy to be a member and excited about the article and finding out all the ways to participate!

  • chinaberrycreek

    Lisa Burkley from chinaberrycreek said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the invite, so excited to b a part of this team =)

  • NaTuRaLLyMYsTiCaL

    ReNeE from NaTuRaLLyMYsTiCaL said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the invite! :)

  • LeafAndTendril

    Christina from leafandtendril said 7 years ago

    Go SF Etsy Team - our leadership (and team) rocks!

  • wkingst1

    Crazy Dog T-shirts from CrazyDogTshirts said 7 years ago

    Really appreciate the help and support SF Etsy team!

  • favorecare09

    Regina Matthews from favorecare09 said 7 years ago

    Great article!

  • stonevalentine

    Adra Valentine from stonevalentine said 7 years ago

    I love being a part of such a great team! Thank you awesome team leaders- you are so inspiring!

  • CaramellyBurn

    Caramelly Bee from CaramellyBurn said 7 years ago

    Great article! :))

  • Chikipita

    Catalina from Chikipita said 7 years ago

    Great article, proud to be part of this team!

  • vearce

    Vilma Arce from TitiBoo said 7 years ago

    Good Article

  • realwoodworks1

    Sherry and G.R. from realwoodworks1 said 7 years ago

    I'm inspired! food for thought, and action!

  • cindysue5

    Karma H. from ARubensRubies said 7 years ago

    I'm glad u put this out for us to read. I hope I will get some people willing to help out. I just got the Puget Sound Team started & have 19 members in 2 days. I hope to have in person meets in the future.

  • SunnyRaeHome

    Kristina from SunnyRaeHome said 7 years ago

    This is so great! It is definitely inspiring and makes me want to be a more active part of my community for sure.

  • mothrasue

    Emily Mothra Sue and Co. from mothrasue said 7 years ago

    This makes me want to move to SF so I can be on the team :) great post!

  • BrokenRecordBoutique

    Anna from BrokenRecordBoutique said 7 years ago

    Recruit... delegate... organize... got it! Thanks for the wonderful tips!

  • rakiandlety

    Raquel Gaitan from RakiandLety said 7 years ago

    I live about 65 miles from Frisco and I wonder if we can join you. Our shop is very new and we sure can benefit from joining your wonderful group.

  • bluehourstudio

    Debra Styer from bluehourstudio said 7 years ago

    Being part of SFEtsy has truly made a difference in my happiness as a shop owner. These guys are great and so fun. If you live in the area and have a Etsy shop, I highly recommend joining.

  • countrycharisma

    Carrell Mullins from countrycharisma said 7 years ago

    Very nice article! I admire your community, and abilities to bring so many together for a common cause. Congratulations!!!

  • susyquilts2

    Susan John said 7 years ago

    I am pretty new, and do not even have my shop up and running yet. So how does one find the other artisan's in their area to start up a group? I have found just knowing there is someone else going thru the same/similar problems helps so much. And then if there are "group members" who have successfully navigated thru these same waters, how wonderful. Community is what it takes. I am in the San Luis Obispo, CA area...... Anyone else?

  • fitsyourfancy

    Diana Willis from fitsyourfancy said 7 years ago

    I'm so proud to be a member of this team and work with the our really cool team leaders. This article is super! Diana

  • BowMoBBB

    Diane (Mo) Collins from BowMoBBB said 7 years ago

    Almost makes me want to move to SF :) but not quite. What a team!

  • knitsbypaola

    Paola from knitsbypaola said 7 years ago

    Great team! Very inspiring! Maybe you can have a team in San Diego also! Ciao

  • nadene

    Even Howard from nadene said 7 years ago

    For Susan, visit and use the search bar to see if there are locations or interests that you would like... Other than location, you might search for new to etsy teams, or based on what you would like to sell. Paola, I found several San diego teams... Follow here:

  • Waltzzing

    Teresa Taylor from MatyldasVintage said 7 years ago

    Thank you....

  • DeborahCrowdJewel

    Deborah van Dam said 7 years ago

    Awesome article, inspiring too! Great job ladies, and hope to see you around at a meet up :)

  • AuraOrganica

    Sandra Diaz from LabArtesanal said 7 years ago

    :)))))) beautiful proyect!! Thank you for sharing and inspire!!!!!!

  • metalicious

    Stephanie Maslow Blackman from metalicious said 7 years ago

    I love the Etsy SF team!

  • favorecare09

    Regina Matthews from favorecare09 said 7 years ago

    Awesome article ! Any meet ups in Indianapolis, IN?

  • WallumsWallDecals

    WallumsWallDecals from WallumsWallDecals said 7 years ago

    Great Post. All for One and One for ALL!!! Love the comment by Katy "Vision is one of creating a team built on friendships, trust and a peer support network."

  • anotherghostquilts

    Nancy from anotherghostquilts said 7 years ago

    Great stuff!

  • MadiAdi

    Michelle Platts from MadiAdi said 7 years ago

    Wonderful article! Thank you for the invite!

  • HoneyBeeHolistics

    Melissa from HoneyBeeHolistics said 7 years ago

    Great Advice! My team consists of a diverse group of people from all over the world, so our get togethers are internet based! Great job teaming up for success!

  • michaelhutton2

    Michael Hutton from LettersofWood said 7 years ago

    Great article! Thanks for the info! Congratulations on doing so well!

  • oceanmoods

    MingTa Li from oceanmoods said 7 years ago


  • KitKatCabaret

    KitKatCabaret from KitKatCabaret said 7 years ago

    Great to have energy, team leaders who work dilligently. wonderful article

  • charlenefrischer

    Charlene Lundgren from MindfulPresents said 7 years ago

    How do you join the SF Bay Area team? I am a new Etsian living in Mill Valley, and looking for craft shows and various ways to be part of a team. Not ready to be a team leader - have a full time day job right now and love to make things you can see on my pages in my spare time. But would love to be able to have a show and display. Thanks

  • Allthatiscounted

    Lena Chinners from AllthatisCounted said 7 years ago

    Congrats on a job well done .... very good article and info.

  • idooidoo

    idooidoo from idooidoo said 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing. Good article!

  • uujjjk
  • lupitacavazos

    lupitacavazos from LupeandRomeo said 7 years ago

    Good articles .............say's Lupita

  • razzlejazz

    razzlejazz from HomeOfGnomes said 7 years ago

    Hi, I would love to find tems near me

  • mil65

    ken lee from mil65 said 7 years ago

    How do I join this team ,I m verry new for etsy ? Any one give me ideas.

  • zenophobe

    Tina Giuntini from BeaEvie said 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing...

  • AllyFashion

    Tina Giuntini from AllyFashion said 7 years ago

    We just recently joined the London team and look forward to some more involvement on our part. Thanks for sharing.

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