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A special thank to my Etsy BeadWeavers Team's colleague Lynn Davy, who helped me edit this article.
Have you ever heard of the Etsy BeadWeavers Team? Maybe you have heard of it once, but you're not sure where and when? Or perhaps you have no idea what Etsy is and what it stands for? Make yourself comfortable, I will tell you all you need to know.
Etsy was born on 18 January 2005. Its parents, Robert Kalin, Chris Maguair and Haim Schopic, have no idea why their little e-company got this name. Time passed, and the little private company with the funny name became one of the largest Internet-based portals for selling and buying handmade creations and the supplies to make them.
Moreover, it is currently considered the main alternative to eBay for selling handmade items. On Etsy you will find paintings, art prints, handmade postcards and fridge magnets, make-up, pre-made homepage banners, fabrics, yarn, clothes, and, of course, jewelry and accessories.
Anybody can open a store on Etsy and sell their unique creations. Shop-owners often form mutual support groups called Etsy Teams, based on the techniques and materials they are using in their creations, their common interests, or the geographic area they live in. One of these groups is the Etsy BeadWeavers Team, of which I am proud to be a member.
The group was founded in 2007 and it currently consists of more than 200 members. Who are those Etsy BeadWeavers? We are a group of free-spirited artists who use tiny seed beads to make their creations: jewelry, accessories, and even interior design. Most of the members live and work in the USA but we have EBW members spread all over the world.
Etsy BeadWeavers is quite a diverse bunch of personalities. Among our members you will find representatives of various ethnic and age groups, professions and religions. Despite being so different in our geographical locations and lifestyles, all of us are united by our passion for beading in any form - from traditional and folkloric to modern and experimental.
We have members with academic degrees in arts, as well as talented self-taught beading artists and many beginners. Just search for the EBW Team tag among the handmade items on Etsy and you will soon form an impression of what we stand for.
Our main focus as a group is on practical business help, including sales promotion by networking, marketing and raising awareness of beadweaving as an art, as well as artistic inspiration, instruction and encouragement.
The leader of the team is the chief Moderator, Marlaine Taylor. She is helped by a small team of volunteers whose tasks include maintaining the team's blog, organizing the mailing group, watching over copyright issues, registering new members, taking care of promotions and public relations, etc.
From the very beginning, we organized monthly challenges. Their aim is not only to promote EBW members and their products, but also to improve our imaginative skills and beadweaving techniques. Participation in challenges is also an excellent opportunity for beginners to try their luck in an open and highly competitive beading contest, as well as to obtain friendly and constructive criticism from more experienced fellow team members.
The winner of the challenge is determined by public voting, which takes place on our blog at etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com from the 9th to the 15th of every month. The winner each month is given the opportunity to choose the theme for the next challenge. We are always glad to receive your votes and comments. Every opinion is highly appreciated!
Being a member of the EBW Team is not only a pleasure and an honor; it also requires quite a bit of work. Unfortunately, many new members forget about the most important part of our activity – to help each other in promoting our businesses on Etsy and elsewhere. Maintaining a beadweaving blog is highly encouraged, as well as blogging about the team at least once a month.
Blogging and using other free marketing tools (via Facebook, Twitter, Internet beading forums, etc.) are time-consuming tasks; however, these are effective ways to draw public attention to the team and thus promote the Etsy shops of fellow team members.
Russian readers might be interested to find out that there are several ex-"Soviet" members in the Team. You are most likely familiar with work of Irina Zelickman and Maria Zhalnina. We also have several "celebrities" among us, beading award winners or beaders whose work appears on the pages of Bead & Button, Beadwork and other prominent beading magazines: Triz Tager, Smadar Grossman, Shirley Lim, Louisa Meece, and others.
So, you've got a shop on Etsy and are considering joining the EBW Team? You are welcome to visit our blog page and to fill in the registration form (you will find a widget on the right side of the page). The minimum requirement is that your shop must contain at least two unique beadwoven items at all times. Are you up to the challenge?
Welcome to Etsy BeadWeavers!
Links to my favorite Etsy stores:
|Miriam Shimon||Dini Alves||Sue Horine|
|Hannah Rosner||Maria Zhalnina||Irina Zelickman|
|Patrizia Tager||Shirley Lim||Louisa Meece|
|Smadar Grossman||Marlaine Taylor||Lynn Davy|
|Olga Pettersson, Uppsala, Sweden|