August 11 and 12 was the very first international Etsy Up Conference! For the first time, hundreds of sellers from 5 different continents were gathered together in NYC to connect, to learn, and to have fun!
Most of you probably don't own an Etsy shop so this may not be the most popular article we've ever posted, but for any of you interested in what Etsy offers its sellers, this quick summary should tell you a lot.
DAY ONE: Thursday, August 11th
We stood waiting in line at the New School Building, immediately making acquaintances with John and Holly, the owners of ZCreateDesign (little did we know how incredible successful their shop is, and how much we would learn from them as the conference went on). Of course the small talk ended once things ramped up and everyone got to sign in. Not surprisingly, I cared more about breakfast than anything else at that moment, and Etsy didn't disappoint with its offerings of extremely healthy and delicious choices.
First up was the CEO of Etsy, Chad Dickerson. He had a great story to tell us about how he ended up where he was, and he really got us ready to hear from all the amazing speakers that had been lined up for the next two days.
Next we heard from Fay Wolf, writer of "New Order". Her book talks all about de-cluttering your surroundings, from the more obvious junk we all seem to have lying around to the less obvious email or even mind clutter. After living in a tiny house we felt we had an upper-hand in this department, but we heard from a few Etsy shop owners who were really inspired to go back and make their space more efficient.
Throughout the day we got the chance to learn from a lot of Etsy sellers who had success in both their shops and in their media presence. We heard about how to reach out to the press/influencers, how to choose what to post on social media, and how to build our brand.
Maxwell Ryan closed out the day by talking about creating your ideal happy space within the home. This may not have seemed as important to someone who makes jewelry or clothing, but as home decor folks this was especially important. Hearing Maxwell speak really reminded us of our initial goal of filling our home ONLY with what made us happy, promoting both a simple and comfortable lifestyle.
Time to Party
If you know Matt and I then you know how much we love anything that is free, especially when it involves food and alcohol. That's why we were so excited to head over to 230 5th, a swanky bar in the city, where we were going to have a "sellerbration" sponsored by PayPal. On the way over, we talked to an amazing woman who was actually one of the FIRST HUNDRED sellers on Etsy! Condering there are now over 1 million stores, it was really inspirational to hear how she joined Etsy on a whim and was still making it happen years later.
The sellerbration was fantastic. We got to meet so many shop owners, but mostly we reconnected with John and Holly from ZCreateDesign. Luckily they were happy to deal with our over-talkative, we've been drinking for two hours, ramblings and gave us some pretty amazing insight into what it means to be a successful shop. Not only that- but a success shop run by a married couple and now family! Speaking to them was like looking into our future, at least the one in which we are incredibly successful with an amazing staff behind us.
Later in the night we also got to meet Tyler, owner of EverythingEtched. Tyler has also had tremendous success on Etsy, and we loved hearing about how his shop came to be (among other stories like how none of us were thrilled by Costa Rica, a story I managed to forget about by the next morning).
It was a little more difficult waking up on Day 2 after the sellerbration, but luckily we had an amazing speaker (definitely my favorite) to start off the day.
Nely Galan, writer of the book "Self Made" (only one of her many accomplishments which include being the first female president of Telemundo, producer of over 700 shows, and celebrity on Celebrity Apprentice, among others). Nely shared her amazing story of success, from humble beginnings to being an international star. The best part? Nely reminded all of us that we can all do the same thing, regardless of our gender, race, ethnicity, etc. She was incredible to listen to, and her entrepreneurial spirit was absolutely infectious!
The last speaker of the day was a woman who wrote a book about cooking her family a different meal every day for 30 days. Jenny Rosenstrach also maintains a blog where she shares her family food traditions along with healthy recipes that even kids will love. She was a great speaker and had a great story to share, but unfortunately we felt it was a strange note to end the conference on since it really didn't give any insight into running a successful Etsy shop.
SummaryOverall, we felt the first Etsy Up conference was a great success. So many of our questions were answered, but so many questions came up! We left the conference hungry for more information and ready to face any challenges head on. We loved feeling a renewed energy for success, and we sincerely hope we can be a part of the conference again next year!
Interested in attending the next Etsy Up Conference? Click here for more information!