In the Spring of 2012, we announced a brand-new program designed to empower Etsy Teams and identify natural leaders within our many micro-communities. Since launching the Teams Fellowship Program, more than 150 Etsy Teams have been accepted, pitching projects focused on community building and peer-to-peer education. We’re continually blown away by the creativity, organization, and motivation of the active groups of Etsy members applying for support.
Many teams are founded on the foundation that cooperative learning and skill sharing can build serious businesses. Groups of sellers like the Capitol Region Etsy Street Team gained traction launching educational models focused on growing the professional experience of their members. As part of their workshop series, CREST will continue to coordinate live classes for their members throughout the year. Lessons are led by field experts and held in the MLK library of Washington, DC, and range in topics from SEO to small business accounting.
Creative entrepreneurs have also found that there is promotional power in numbers and build teams around cooperative marketing plans. With a little project coaching and support from Etsy, the Vintage Jewelry Sellers team designed special item packaging that members share to increase awareness of their group.
We’ve observed the powerful bonds created when individuals spend time crafting together. To foster these interactions, our Etsy Design Studio pitched in to provide a free DIY craft project for attendees of team events throughout the year. Similarly, something really special happens when makers and buyers meet face to face. The Music City Makers produced a craft fair to promote their artists and connect with their community in Nashville, Tennessee. The teamwork required to produce their Porter Flea clearly paid off; the event featured 70 handmakers visited by over 3,500 locals.
Through this program, we’ve learned that each group is as distinct as the individual members and the items they offer on Etsy. By banding together, their collaborative work is making waves of visible change in their communities and independent businesses. We’re proud to support their efforts and watch them grow as organizations. Congratulations to all of the Team Fellows so far.
Want to jumpstart your team activity with a project or activity? Complete your application by October 1, 2013 to be considered for support through the Fellowship Program. Catch up on FAQs for additional information. Find public team activities in your area by checking the Events Calendar. Stay in the loop with the Teams program and discover ways to connect by subscribing to the Etsy Success newsletter.