Saturday, January 8, 2011

Create your OWN Craft-Working Event: With SF Etsy Team Members

Crafting and Networking are both hot these why not do a little of both and have some fun? Hosting Craft Parties at your home is a great way to get to know some of the other local artists in your area (networking like the true blue business people we are) and also a great way to motivate yourself to get some serious work done while having fun!

I’d been seeing some SF Etsy meet up events popping up here and there and felt like they were a little too far away for me to personally attend, but I really wanted to meet some of the amazing members we have one our team. So, since I already host many craft nights at my home, I thought...why not open my home up to SF Etsy Team Members?

My home is small, a Junior One Bedroom...but my art and craft area takes up most all of my space (I heart arts and crafts).
I was excited to have a few other SF Etsy Team members to my house for a fun night of crafting and inspiring conversation.
Each of us made great use of our time...and I think we all felt like we got a lot done and also got to know a lot about each other while having lots of fun.

Meet the members and see what they created during my first (of many) SF Etsy Craft Meet Ups:

The Wooliverse
PJ taught us all about needle felting during our craft meet up. He showed us a few examples of what he does and even let each of us try our hand at needle felting. It was interesting to hear about the different types of wool he uses and also about his future aspirations to spin his own wool!

Here’s ME! (the almighty host of the evening)

Katy Atchison Illustration
I was working on my Sketchbook Project which is due in a couple weeks (still not done yet). I decided to take some of my drawings and sew them into the pages of my sketchbook. I had never done this before. The other members of the team were there to cheer me on as I held my breath during the first stitch.
I got so much done while everyone was at my house I’m tempted to ask more people to come over so I can find the motivation to finish the project.

Meet Andrea!
Andrea Fuentes Designs
Andrea is a talented jewelry designer who just recently moved to the Bay Area from Chicago. During the craft night, she drafted her descriptions for future Etsy listings. Her reasoning is that she needed to sit down and really focus on doing the listings and that her jewelry supplies are too heavy and cumbersome to bring on public transportation. Sometimes, craft nights can be more about networking than trying to work on any crafts. Just because you come over to a craft event, doesn’t mean you have to actually work on a craft. I like that she used her time wisely and we all were able to chime in on her descriptions and learn about her jewelry line.

Lastly, meet Emilee!
Pistol Poppy Vintage
She took the time at my house to cut out birds that she uses as tags on her items. I liked how she was doing something crafty but also doing some of the work that is a little tedious when you’re sitting at home alone. It’s always nice to do some of these tasks while talking and getting to know new people.

So much about Craft Nights is about getting to know some of the people in your local artist community. What I like about SF Etsy is that we all are there to support each other, teach each other and also get inspired by the work that we all do. With such a diverse group, you’ll never know what inspiration you’ll find in other team members. It was a pleasure hosting this event and I really hope to have another one soon.

Here is how to host your own craft night: In 5 Easy Steps

Determine how many guests you have room for....
Some artists might not need a table, but most need some work space. Be sure your space has ample room for each guest to spread out.

1.) Invite Guests...
• I use Facebook for most of my invites and usually say in the body of the invite how many people I have room for. Other people have used Evite or just through their regular email, but Facebook seems to have most of my personal guest list easily accessible.

• I tell the guests what our project will be (or if it’s a Bring Your Own Craft Night) and also will let them know what types of materials will be available.

• Date and Time are always a must!
I usually invite guests at least 2 weeks in advance. Not too far in advance because I don’t want to have them forgetting about the event later.

• Since my cat is very playful and’s important to me that I let my guests know before they say Yes that there is a cat who is very much part of my space.

• Never forget Location Details & Contact Information

2.) Email Guests
Once I’ve reached my cap of guests, I’ll usually email those who have expressed interested later on that they will be notified if a spot becomes available.
I will also email all of those who have been accepted to the event and ask them if they have food allergies (I’ll often put out snacks but won’t serve dinner). I will also ask them to email me any details about their project so that I’m sure to put out what they need before they arrive.

3.) Keep In Touch!
One week before the date of the event I will send a reminder to guests and update my guest list if people have canceled.
The Day Before the event, I send out a reminder with the Location, Time, Date and Contact information.

4.) Getting Ready
Pick up the Work area and set out any necessary supplies that guest may have asked for... It’s always nice to set out your sewing machine since a sewing machine is always handy to have out and also is much too heavy for anyone to take on public transit.
Set up your chairs and tables if needed the night before – this just makes the next day so much easier! Also, some invitees like to come it’s nice to have the stations ready to go for people.

5.) Get Your Craft On!
I always pre-plan the project I’m going to work on so that I can be free to help guests, mingle and zone out throughout the night. I’ve never had a Craft Night that didn’t have great conversation but if you need something to groove to, I suggest the Supremes. :-)

Also! Guests are really good about following direction if you need them to help you take down anything or clean their dishes after use, ask politely when they grab’s never been a big deal at my home.

All Photos taken by the talented J. Astra Brinkmann

A note from Team Captain Jen (the Mama in Mama’s Magic Studio):
In this same spirit of crafty networking, SF Etsy will be continuing to sponsor “Meet and Make” events in the coming year. Our next one will be our first South Bay Meet and Make, held at the Work of Heart Studio in Willow Glen on January 30th from 2 to 5 pm. Look for more details coming soon! And if you’d like to organize an official SF Etsy Team Meet and Make, either as a host and/or as a teacher for a specific craft, please let me know via convo at Thanks to Katy for helping SF Etsy finish out 2010 in great style with such a fun get-together – wish I could have been there!

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!


Tatiana said...

How fun! I look forward to meeting some of our SF Etsians in person. These photos are beautiful, by the way. :)

Even said...

fun fun! count me in for the next~enjoying montana at the moment...

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