Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hello Etsy!

Welcome to Portland! Last weekend was the global Hello Etsy! event. Here in Portland, ours was held at PNCA – a great and wonderful partner to our local Etsy team. The combination and relationship that both I Heart Art Portland and our PDX Etsy street team have with the college is fantastic and allowed us to have the perfect space for this event!

I volunteered in the morning, working with other fellow Etsians, to bring a plethora of muffins, croissants, and fruit to the masses. Now, if you are wondering what happened with the coffee, let’s pause for a moment to explain… the first huge percolators blew one of the fuses, so what should have been ready (had it started brewing when it was supposed to) was not. When I got there, we were told it was going… and going… and the coffee colored water started flowing. Yup. It was really just dirty looking water. Fortunately (for those of you that *got* coffee before the opening remarks), I found the “restaurant style” machine in the back kitchen area. We started brewing those, and then moved one of the large machines in the back. Which promptly blew another fuse… once it was finally working, I was pulled off of that duty to go be a ticket taker/bouncer/slide flipper for one of the presenters. So. My most sincere apologizes for the lack of caffeine!

The presentation I attended/bounced/was AV tech for, was held by Andrea Mansfield, of Brand and Bloom (@brandandbloom on Twitter). Called ‘Tasty Branding’, this session was about building a successful brand and recognizing the core values and principles that you want your small business to model… and how to get there successfully. Of all of the morning sessions, this was the one that I was hoping to attend, as I felt it would be the most useful to me! I did learn some interesting techniques and heard some useful questions and commentary. (Though the copyright/intellectual property lady was probably in the wrong seminar to be asking what she was… it was almost as if she was asking the question to show that Andrea didn’t know what she was talking about, and so she could answer herself – my two cents).

We were able to make some adorable little journals; an activity that was presented by Collage PDX, and was able to meet some of our Etsy peers. The Keynote address, featuring Duane Sorenson of Stumptown Coffee, and Rebecca Pearcy of Queen Bee Creations, was both informative and hilarious. And yes, I can TOTALLY see employees crashing on Duane’s couch. The lessons that they talked about and how each of them started (in very different ways) were very interesting, in that each demonstrated you don’t have to have a MBA to have a successful business. I think that in today’s business climate, people often get wrapped up in not having the degree and think “I couldn’t possibly…” or, on the flip side, they DO have the degree, but an intense lack of passion.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the conference at the midpoint, but from what I heard, and the vibe that was to be had (and my twitter feed later that afternoon), it seemed as though the second half of the day went just as well as the first! Some people I was glad to catch up with (or meet in person – not just on the twitter machine) were Janelle of Prunella Soap and Cool Jane Designs, Helene Hughart of HHKnits, Dryden of Designated Dryden, and also Kirsten of PiperEwan. AND my pals from Supportland! I did miss out on meeting up with a couple of people… so to those, hopefully soon!! SO many talented, terrific individuals to be had in one small area!

Thanks to all for a fantastic morning and I’m so glad that I was able to participate!!

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