On a grey Saturday morning, 30 ladies climbed the stairs of betahaus in Berlin. Many of them had traveled from other countries and had never before met in person. They had one thing in common though: all of them were Captains of a European Etsy Team.
On March 15th and 16th those 30 Team Captains from Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Germany, France, the UK, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, and even Israel came to Berlin for Etsy’s very first European Captains’ Summit.
Through my team, I met some amazing people who now I can proudly call my friends. I also got a lot of moral support at times of need, good laughs during late nights and crucial help for my first steps on Etsy. (Nafsika, Captain of Etsy Greek Street Team)
Teams are great resources, but the very best ones have great leaders. These leaders, called Captains, have the rewarding yet challenging job of bringing their team members together to make everyone better. This challenge was the topic of our Captain Summit, and the reason these 30 leaders came to Berlin for a weekend of Team work.
We are all dealing with the same issues, no matter on what side of the planet we are…and the nice thing is – there are many ways to deal with our challenges and I can learn from others’ solutions. (Limitz, Captain of Etsy Israel)
It was a weekend full of brainstorming, group discussions, workshops – and fun!
At the summit, I learned that managing skills do not mean being bossy. I learned that a team can advocate for handcrafters’ rights and that Etsy is more than a place to sell, it is a group of friends, a community. (Jennifer, Captain of Finland Handcrafters Team)
Many captains presented projects that they had realized with their team and gave tips and inspiration to other teams.
Annabel from the Dutch Ka-Ching Collectief for example talked about her team’s experience with organizing pop up shops in Amsterdam. Hands popped up after her talk as the group of captains asked details about organizing inventory and marketing.
All captains acknowledged the challenge surrounding high postal prices, when Aisté from the Lithuanian Team gave some insight into how her team fought against a Lithuanian postal reform which would have made selling internationally on Etsy an impossibility. Karli, a spirited captain from Brighton, talked about how to find the right partners in crime – leaders that will help Captains to run a team successfully, efficiently and make it fun. Her empathetic personal philosophy on recruiting the busiest people to be leaders for her team garnered laughs and approval. And all captains learned a little bit more about the Etsy programs available to them when Nafsika explained how her Greek Team is really active in Etsy School (an educational program exclusively available for Teams) and hosted several workshops for new sellers to teach them about Etsy.
These are just a few of the many inspiring community stories that came up over the weekend. All of them illustrated what groups can do together.
Single-handedly we can achieve a lot but as a community we can achieve a whole lot more! The power of a community is huge and the possibilities for what an Etsy team can achieve are endless. I was hugely inspired by what other teams had achieved. (Rachel, Captain of the Dorset Etsy Team)
Are you a member of an Etsy Team? Let us know in the comments what’s so great about your team!