Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to You says Ira Mency 1 Year Officially Since Etsy Recyclers Team Was Recycled

Tartan Gift Bow, from Serendipit
It's been one year since I took over the team, which was originally started in 2007.  Essentially we are only one year old, recycled wise.

Let me recap.

I wanted to JOIN the team, not run it.  The Team Leader had been looking for a replacement for a long time.  The team had almost 150 members, but had been dormant for two years.

I took it over.  Convo'd everyone.  Half the shops were closed.  One quarter had migrated elsewhere.  Took 25% with me and thought, what do I do now?  

Art pendant by SueCorcoran's shop.
I did not know what a blog or social networking was, it just sounded scary and I wasn't very technical.  I learned and built a blog on greechi, a WordPress site that no longer exists but was to be for green living and "the next it thing."  Thought this was a great opportunity, a green site with a green team.  Got great page rank, a lot of views, then something strange was happening.  The site would be down, then up, then down, then up.  Not WordPress' fault, but something about

Two months later I was up to 179 members, and the blog crashed in early 2010.  I had to move each post page by page to blogger and learn that.  Suffice to say, I think it's much easier and the moral to this story here is when you are forced to learn something on your own, it makes you perfect it until you are good at it.  

Teacup Pincushion by Wandering Lydia
Then came Facebook, a team store, forums, and social networking. We put each other in our shop announcements and blogged about our team.  Our blog gained readers and people who don't follow but do read.   I have a group of people who are willing to help when they can and that's what a team is all about.  I couldn't do it on my own.  So I thank those who throw up a post now and again, those who spot check shops and let me know when someone is closed, and to Liz who has been the best internet guru helper on the planet, and those who constantly talk, blog, and tweet about our team all the time.  Every little bit helps!

Noble Upcycling makes these cute owls.
We decided to be a little firmer on our guidelines for entry into our team, demanding once per month treasuries of team members, and well, we lost a few along the way.   I never quite understood why you would join a team if you aren't getting anything out of it, or interacting, but maybe some people do.   We demanded a change from a team full of "benched members" to ones playing ball so to speak.

Adorable Baseball themed accessories by TeWearables
We did advertising campaigns and we learned form our mistakes, out of it grew analytics and how to cross promote each other's shops.  I listened to the group and our blog became more interactive with guests posting and shop interviews, and artist interviews, and contests.  Then came Random Acts of Kindness - Gift Swapping and here we are.  

I'm glad where we've come in a year , to me it's a small miracle as I did not know what or how to blog.  I want to stress her that I'm telling you to rise to any challenge and push yourself to the next level.  Who would have thought I'd be blogging on 12 of them and even on Handmadeology when a year ago I didn't even know how to do it.  I suppose I grew with this blog and this team in some way, and I am thankful for the path in which we are going.  When people ask me why I spend so much time doing this for free, I tell them I truly love my team members.

I tell them each of my team members's shops is so unique, things I would have never thought of making or doing with upcycled or recycled goods --- their creativity is amazing and I'm hoping that by spreading the green word one item at a time we can make consumers think about buying mass produced items, when in turn, they can buy green HANDMADE, or green vintage, or green alternatives!

Plarn Pouch by Plastique Recreations aka Crochooley
Thank you to Etsy for allowing us to have this team, and to Morgan at Etsy our team liason.  Most of all thank you to my wonderful team members.

So now what?  We will continue to grow, but I am asking something of you.  I really need some time to run my Etsy shops folks!  With this in mind,  I hope you will:

a) Introduce yourself to a team member that is quiet or you don't know, and use the buddy system by cross promoting each other in their shop banners.

b) I hope you will blog about your team members and this team, and cross promote each other and continue to contribute and grow.  Join this blog as a contributor and blog here too! You can blog about things that you enjoy - someone's shop, craft shows, etsy selling, tips on social networking, antiques, vintage, recycling, green living, DIY, you name it, if so convo me at my Retro Chalet store.

c) I hope you will realize that having a successful store on Etsy takes a bit of work, and that you owe it to youself to do your best and I HOPE YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR ART WHATEVER IT IS, so please don't give up so easily.  Take every opportunity as a marketing opportunity, and remember hard work does pay off.

d) Continue to suggest things you want to see, some of you said more DIY, or outside bloggers.  Keep the suggestions coming as our goal is to make this a community for people wanting to live and be green. 

Santa decoration by AlpenglowVintage
 Most of all, I wish you a happy holiday season, wherever you are.

Yours Truly I am,

Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer
aka  Ira Mency


Heather said...

Awesome post! You've done a great job and should be proud of yourself! :) xx!

artistsuetaylor said...

Very nice. You have worked so hard on this team, we appreciate your efforts.

Retreauxgirl said...

Great Job Girl!! Thank you for all of your hard work!! Hugs!

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