April 2, 2013

Hello Etsy at Pratt

Recently I attended the Hello Etsy weekend at Pratt, the subtitle of the event was Reimagine the Workplace.   And this indeed was the perfect subtitle.  The majority, I think maybe even all of the etsy seminars or workshops I have attended mainly focused on how to make our etsy shops better, increase sales, keep customers coming back etc...  This weekend long event instead focused on the future of consumption, new ways of producing, different ways to approach the way we work and the way we conduct business.  I have to admit, when I first heard about this event I immediately wanted to go.  Every event etsy puts on, in my opinion, is worth going to.  However, I was a little perplexed with the descriptions of the seminars.  I wasn't quite sure what exactly I would be gaining or learning.  But I am a sponge and am open to hearing any type of info that will help me grow as a business and a designer.

Because I work Sundays, I was only able to attend Saturday seminars but I printed out info for each of the speakers to preview what I was in for.  There were probably about 12 of our Etsy NY team members that attended and one of them is also on the blog team so you will be seeing another blog post about this event, subjects I am not covering.  I don't want to bore you with every single detail, I am a big note taker, so I will highlight what really caught my attention and I think is some good food for thought.

Chris Anderson grabbed my interest the most.  He is a former editor of Wired Magazine and now CEO of 3D Robotics.  His focus was the New Industrial Revolution.  He spoke of being a maker, the Maker magazine and makerbot.  Two years ago I attended and taught sewing workshops at the Maker Faire in Queens.  Mr. Anderson's side of maker business to me is more science and math related.  I have no interest in this.  The World Maker Faire that I attended also had a great amount of science based products but I realized this is just one subject of making.  I can apply Mr. Anderson's advice to my business, making housewares, aprons, totes etc...When I attended the Maker Faire I was surprised at how many craft and art businesses were showing there.  Why was the word "maker" in my mind science related?
He then moved on to discuss the web generation.  His business partner was found online and lives on the west coast.  We shouldn't limit ourselves to just what is right there in front of us.  The invention of the web has exposed us globally and people love to share their thoughts, ideas, and lives online!  In today's world we can be an inventor and an entrepreneur but we also don't need to be.   One thing he said that stuck with me is that the tools of design are in everyone's reach, we just need to get good at it.

Other seminars on Saturday that were of interest to me focused on being an individual and being at peace with ourselves, being productive and creative people.  Rasanath Dasa is a Bhakti monk and former Wall Street banker.  He spoke of how do we create a workplace where we can maximize our true potential and be happy.  Many of us have been in work places where the loudest person is heard and gets validation. I know I have been there.  I worked in the garment industry for 14 years in companies as big as 5,000 and as small as 20.  Being a designer and working with other creative people was emotionally exhausting.  Insecurities are everywhere. Sales people are only concerned about what sells and as a creative person we struggle with them to try and put something creative on the floor.  How do we get ahead and still stay true to ourselves?  Be the bigger person.  Don't let our own personal insecurity get a hold of us.  Well how do we do that?  Do something every day inspiring and reconnect with your inspiration.  Remember to do this.  It will make you feel better.

To find out more about each of these speakers please click on their names above.  They both are definitely work checking out!

Now take a moment and remember why we do what we do and don't forget about your inspiration.

Have a great day!
Tracey Toole


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