Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Spotlight On The Chainmaillers' Guild Team of Etsy

Welcome to my hopefully weekly blog about Etsy Teams. Each week I hope to post a new blog featuring an Etsy Team. This weeks spotlight is on the Chainmaillers’ Guild Team. Thank you Deanna of http://www.youvegotmaille.etsy.com/ for being the first brave sole to bare your heart for your team.

Why did you start up an Etsy Team? -- When I first started on Etsy I discovered Teams and saw that there wasn't a chainmaillers' team. I started asking around and heard that it had been discussed but no one had stepped up to lead it. I have pretty good organizational and online skills so even though I was/am kind of a noob at chainmaille, I got the team started.

What are the goals of your Team? -- Basically just to help promote each other and our craft, share knowledge, and have fun.

How many members do you presently have? -- 62. Wow, I hadn't counted in a while!

Do you have members outside of the United States? If so, where? -- Yes, a few in Canada, several in Australia and I think one in New Zealand.

Do you have a special Etsy site where people can go to learn about your Team and how to join? -- http://chainmaillersguild.blogspot.com/

What are the requirements to join your Team? -- Not many. You have to have chainmaille in your shop pretty much at all times, tag your items, mention the guild in your shop announcements, join the Yahoo group. I think that's really it. Obviously we prefer active members but not all of them are. We have several on our Yahoo group (but not officially in the guild) who don't even sell on Etsy but I figure, in general, the more the merrier.

Where else can people find your Team on the web? -- Flickr: http://flickr.com/groups/chainmaillersguild/ and our Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chainmaillersguild

Tell us about how you promote your Team? -- I really don't need to recruit. Occasionally if I come across a new mailler or someone whose work I think is really cool on Etsy, I send them a message and invite them. But for the most part, they tend to find us. As for promoting our team members, we have had a team Trunk Show in the virtual labs, and we have contests and swaps. We often cross-promote via blogs and other venues. I put up new favorites on the team blog weekly to highlight our members, and I do a feature member on the blog as often as I can (or as often as someone volunteers).

Have you every applied for and/or received a Grant from Etsy? If so, what did you use the grant money for? -- No, we haven't, but in the future we may. I'm thinking about a team ad in, say, Renaissance magazine, or a jewelry magazine. I also think it'd be really cool to have a team booth at a Renaissance faire or craft fair or bead show, but those are long-term goals.

Do you set up a Forum thread dedicated to your Team? If so, how often do you create a new thread? -- Not really. I became pretty disillusioned with Etsy's forums after about two weeks of endless work trying to keep the threads I participated in alive. I hate the format. If we have a special event going on I do post it.

What are your Team’s plans for the New Year? -- We'll be having more contests and swaps. I'm planning a team-wide (but optional) sale. I try to keep an eye on the Teams section of Storque for ideas, and there have been some good ones.

What have you found to be the most effective way to keep your fellow Teammates informed of upcoming events and happenings? -- The Yahoo group, definitely. I originally wanted forums but people tend to forget about anything that doesn't invade their email box. I also keep the blog updated with current events.

What is the biggest benefit in joining your Team? -- The vast repository of knowledge! We have many members who have been mailling for years and speaking for myself, I have learned more from the team than I can even begin to tell. I think other members would say the same. Besides that, the sense of camaraderie is terrific. :)

What do you think makes your Team successful? -- The members' enthusiasm and willingness to share their knowledge. I am so impressed with the maille community's willingness to do this; I have attempted to learn other crafts in which pretty much everyone wanted to charge for their knowledge, $4 to $10 per tutorial. Nothing wrong with tutorials, but just looking at www.mailleartisans.org -- there are tuts for virtually every weave out there, FREE. These people love their craft and love sharing it, and the same spirit has carried over to ECG.

Would you suggest that your members join other teams in addition to yours? -- I have absolutely no problem with that. In fact, yes I would suggest it. I think that if you are going to be member of a team, you should invest the time and energy to be a contributing member, so you shouldn't join more teams than you have time for, but if you have the time, they're great. I belong to 2 (maybe soon to be 3) myself, besides ECG.

And lastly, but not leastly, what have you found to be most rewarding about being a Team Leader? -- It's great to see people enjoying something I organized. The last contest we had: Linked to the Sea, was a great success and I think everyone had a lot of fun, participants and voters alike. That's hugely rewarding. It's also just great to be a part of this wonderful group. :)

If you would like your team spotlighted on my blog, email me at QJDesigns@Yahoo.com.


HeArt Collective said...

such amazing items from this team. fun to read about the formation of the team!

Random Musings said...

Great information and very nice work!

BTW my pluggers United team member - You have been tagged! Go to my blog to see the details!


Zizi said...

Great post! I'm having fun reading Etsy related blogs right now. I found you via Twitter.

Anonymous said...

HOWDY! Heard you have a blog!!!

Nice to hear you on the radio and congrats on being the new co-host on Friday's http://BlockheadRadioLive.com

BTW, would LOVE to have your team on my Saturday show if you can help me along... :o)


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