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A class reunion for Etsy team captains

Apr 17, 2014

by halloemily handmade and vintage goods

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.


photo by Marlen Müller

Etsy Teams are groups of (mostly) sellers that either connect around a field of interest or their location. Find out more about Teams in our FAQs.

Being on a team is a win-win: it allows you to make friends and improve your business at the same time. (Francesca, Captain of Etsy Italia)

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)


photo by Marlen Müller

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)


photo by Marlen Müller

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)


photo by Marlen Müller

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.


photo by Marlen Müller

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!



  • Agasart

    Aga from AgasJourney said 5 years ago

    Fantastic and inspiring event!

  • CheekyGeeky

    Dayz from CheekyGeeky said 5 years ago

    It was so lovely to meet the Etsy admin team and all the other Captains. Thanks especially goes to Emily for the fabulous food. :)

  • ClaireCaudwell

    Claire Caudwell from ClaireCaudwellArt said 5 years ago

    What a lovely article. We have a great leader (Sarah) in our Stockholm Etsy team. In our team we give tips and advice to one another about everything on Etsy and try and support one another's shops by doing treasuries dedicated to team members. It would be nice to do a pop-up shop and markets in Stockholm too in the future.

  • AmyleeHandmade

    Amy Lee from AmyleeHandmade said 5 years ago

    Interesting and inspiring article. I would love help like this!

  • victoriaxsol

    Victoria Sol from VictoriaxSol said 5 years ago

    I'm a member of two teams whose captains went to the summit, and both Dayz and Karli do a fantastic job! I'm so glad I have the teams for support, I'd probably have given up on Etsy by now if I were on my own. :)

  • fashiontou

    Natasja Kats from fashionfromrussia said 5 years ago

    Very inspiring!

  • TheDorothyDays

    TheDorothyDays from TheDorothyDays said 5 years ago

    Wonderful to see this blog post, it brought back many happy memories of the summit. I learnt so much and was so inspired by what other teams were achieving Rachel (Dorset Team)

  • Annalogeu

    Annabel from SecondHandSandy said 5 years ago

    Ohhh I like this blog post! Goof memories of the Captains Summit!

  • AlteredEras

    Paula from AlteredEras said 5 years ago

    Oh it was such a fab weekend & amazing to be with such inspiring captains. And the blog post is great - thanks Emily. The legacy of this will go on for months if not years. Thanks for the chance to be a part of it. Paula from British Emporia Team

  • Nafsika

    Nafsika from Nafsika said 5 years ago

    This blog post brings so many great memories! It has been an amazing experience and immense privilege to meet you all. Thanks Emily for this post and all your efforts!

  • AistesJewelryBox

    Aiste from DropOfAmber said 5 years ago

    Thank you again for inviting us to such an inspiring event! It was great to meet everyone and to share information.

  • KorneliaAntwerp

    Karolien from korneliaShop said 5 years ago

    It was amazing to be there! Good memories indeed. Thank you x

  • SarahOfSweden

    Sarah Flood from SarahOfSweden said 5 years ago

    Thank you Emily for this post and the lovely photos! It was a great weekend! xx

  • ArteeLuarBookbinding

    Ana Ribeiro from ArteeLuarBookbinding said 5 years ago

    Oh, so many good memories. :) Amazing to be there and meet all these inspiring ladies and all the Etsy admin present. Thank you for the opportunity. When is the next one? :D

  • animadesign

    Antigoni from SewingAndKnitting said 5 years ago

    Keep up the good work Nafsika!

  • anordicrose

    virginie lykins from anordicrose said 5 years ago

    It was an honor to attend. Learned so much and met some wonderful people !

  • AntigoniCreations

    Antigoni Pagali from AntigoniCreations said 5 years ago

    It's so great that Etsy is not only a market place but also a wonderful community and I strongly believe that Etsy's support to our teams through these kind of events is really precious. I joined Etsy on 2008 and since then my life changed in a great way due to this wonderful and vivid community ♥ The first team I joined was European Street team ... a warm, teaching and active team that still is in my heart. Very soon we founded the Etsy Greek Street team and now I can sincerely say that as an ex-captain and leader now I earned more than I gave. I am sure that most of team leaders can understand what I mean. There is a lot of work and some difficult moments but still being an active member of an Etsy team is a wonderful life time experience. Working together with other people who share the same dreams, people who try to find their way to a new creative way of life makes the difference! And I won't say more because our captain Nafsica ♥ said it perfect "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" ♥ Etsy Greek Street Team ♥ And many many thanks to Etsy admins for their help and support

  • thesunandtheturtle

    Jennifer Ramirez from thesunandtheturtle said 5 years ago

    It was amazing to meet you all!! I will remember this forever :)

  • DoucesLaines

    Emma from DoucesLaines said 5 years ago

    Thank you so much Emily, that was incredible !

  • LibiHung

    Libi from LibiClozet said 5 years ago

    this is GREAT!

  • 5erg

    5erg from 5erg said 5 years ago

    This was such a great event, best thing to happen this year! :)) Thank you for everything!!!

  • limitz

    Limor Haim-Matityahoo from Limitz said 5 years ago

    Experiencing Etsy "in person", and actually feeling the care and thought behind such an event was practically overwhelming. An event to be cherished, having its impact today and no doubt that in the near and far future too. Thank you so much again Emily and europeam admins, you've done an amazing job! Limitz, Captain of EtsyIsrael

  • lyndseyjames

    Lyndsey James from LyndseyJames said 5 years ago

    The event inspired lots of changes for our team, it's leaders and members, we have grown at an astonishing pace since the summit and have completely changed our focus to become an educational resource and a local community inspired team. The team is a buzz of activity :) Thanks Etsy! Lyndsey Captain, Pretty Midlands, UK

  • iomiss

    iomiss from iomiss said 5 years ago

    Wow!! It was FABULOUS!!! Great weekend! Thank you so much ETSY for the opportunity It was fantastic meet and talk to other captains, etsy friends and Admins.

  • sirkkasuvilaakso

    Sirkka Suvilaakso from SabriinasCollections said 5 years ago

    I think this is great global shop if I only could sell something.

  • eanjewellery

    Elizabeth Anne Norris from eanjewellery said 5 years ago

    Sounds like a very productive and helpful weekend. Well done to all the Captains !

  • Etsy European Captains’ Summit | Brighton Etsy Team said 5 years ago

    […] I am giving the same talk at this weekends UK Etsy Summit in London so I don’t want to give too many spoliers as some of the captains have already heard the talk in Berlin anyway! The presentation seemed to go down really well and you can see how I came across in Emily’s more informative post of the weekend here. […]

  • salllman

    Gulabo from Cooldesires4u said 5 years ago

    Wonderful work …. well done !!!

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