Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Big News! New Captains and Leaders for the SF Etsy Team!

Did you know that it's been more than two years since I (Jen of Mama's Magic Studio) stepped up as captain for the SF Etsy team?

What an amazing time it's been! When I took over the job, there was only one team leader (yours truly), and we had primarily an online existence. As such, it didn't matter all that much that I was not living in San Francisco. But thanks to the energy and involvement of our ever-growing creative community, in addition to our thriving online team presence we are now doing lots of amazing stuff in the real world. Most of it in San Francisco. I'm so proud of how active our team has become! But the time has come to have a captain who is more centrally located. And though I truly adore SF Etsy and San Francisco, I love it here in the South Bay and have no plans to move up to the city. So the time has come for me to step down as your team captain.

I am absolutely delighted to announce that we will have not one but two new co-captains stepping up to fill the role. These two longtime team members are full of ideas and enthusiasm, and I am confident that they will help SF Etsy continue to grow and thrive. It's my pleasure to introduce Katy Atchison and Steph Cortes, your new co-captains!

I'm also excited to share that you'll have a chance to meet your co-captains and many of your team leaders at the Etsy Meet Ups on Saturday! You'll have two opportunities to get together with local Etsians -- first at 3 pm at the Apple Store, where Steph will be one of the featured Etsy sellers at the "Etsy, Local Artists, and Technology" presentation; second from 5-7 p.m. at the Meet-N-Greet with Etsy and SF Etsy at TechShop SF, where Steph and Katy as well as other team leaders will be present to talk shop, network, answer questions, and share ideas. Please note that an RSVP is required for the TechShop event -- more info about both events can be found here.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it on Saturday to either event. (My son's school play is at the same time!) So I'll have to settle for telling y'all online how much I will miss being your captain. It has been such a privilege to lead up this team! I've had a great time working with you all, and being part of this creative community has enriched my life in ways both large and small. It's kept me sane, kept me going, and definitely kept me busy! I'm so very grateful to have had this opportunity. Thank you for entrusting me with the leadership. The past two years have been an amazing ride while the team has grown and grown and grown -- we are now more than 550 active shops! We've held team shows, had lots of meet ups, revitalized our online community, helped throw a fantastic Craft Party to celebrate Etsy's anniversary, and we've been awarded several Etsy team grants. Wow!

While I will no longer be captain, I will be staying on as a team leader for the foreseeable future, and I will be very actively involved with transitioning the leadership roles. I also hope to help our team become more active and present in the South Bay, so we can have more in-person events like our TechShop San Jose meeting last week.

Though many of you already know Katy and Steph, we thought it would be helpful to share a little bit more about each of them.

Katy Atchison, new co-captain of SF Etsy
photo by Astra Brinkmann

Katy says: "Born to a potter and a textile artist, I've been keepin' the outside of my hands dirty with paint, marker and pastel for as long as I can remember. While other kids were attending summer camp, I was raised going to craft shows every weekend and spending summers up in Montana in a small 1920s family cabin. Later, in middle school, I declared that I was going to be a Graphic Designer. And so I became one about a decade later...and took on Web Design while I was at it. Still, although I did a great job nurturing my left brain self, I interned with an amazing Sculptor named Fern Cunningham in Boston who reminded me that being an artist is a passion we are born with, and I finally started to find a balance between making money and art. You can't hide being artistic or creative... it comes out in your smile and your eyes.

Katy Atchison, new co-captain of SF Etsy
photo by Astra Brinkmann

Now, I'm an Online Marketing Designer for Pottery Barn. I taking out my creativity out on canvas, paper goods and stationery. I've shown at many different venues in The Bay Area and been a featured artist at some great events as well. I hope as a co-captain I can help our endlessly creative team find that balance between the business side of ourselves and the creative beast we have pushing us to continue to create. I want to support our team in using networking through our group to find support and also ideas, while creating bonds between shops and building our community to be even stronger than it already is.

Some of the events and venues I've been featured in:
• Space Gallery
• 111 Minna – A Sketch Tuesday artist 5/11/2010
• 540 Club
• San Rafael Italian Street Painting Festival artist for more than 12 years
• Three Twin's Ice Cream
• Cherish (Inner Richmond)
• Studio Gallery SF
• Shoe Biz
• Underground SF"

Katy is an experienced team leader, with an enthusiasm that is thoroughly contagious. She has lots of ideas for the team. She has also been writing regularly for the team blog and hosting meet ups at her apartment. We are so lucky that she has agreed to volunteer her time and talents as co-captain!

And we are equally fortunate to have Steph Cortes, of nerd JERK fame, joining Katy in the captain role. Many of you know Steph through the irresistible geeky goodness that she creates in her shop. Many of you also know of her work with the I Heart Art: SF program. Steph created nerd JERK in 2009 to inspire the geek in all of us. With a nostalgic love for all that is retro, she specializes in crafting the old-school imagery of video games into geeky crochet plush sculptures. Steph has been designing her products since 2005 & joined the SF Etsy Leadership Team in 2010 to educate local Etsy Sellers through leading workshops & supporting the artists in the Bay Area’s craft community.

Steph has been a devoted member of SF Etsy for several years, and as part of the leadership team she has helped organize team shows, meet ups, and craft events -- since almost the beginning of my tenure as captain, it seemed that when SF Etsy was there, Steph was usually there too, full of smiles and ready to help out. In fact, she had probably played an essential role in helping to plan the event!

Steph Cortes, new co-captain of SF Etsy
photo by Stefanie Renee

Steph is passionate about educating fellow Etsy sellers about the challenges and rewards of running a handcrafted business, and she has given presentations at venues such as the Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs. We're very excited for Steph at the moment, not just because she's taking on the co-captain role, but also because she has been chosen to represent local Etsy artists at the Etsy event on Saturday at the Apple Store! As I mentioned, Steph will be speaking at "Etsy, Local Artists, and Technology" from 3-4 (right before the TechShop SF meet up). This event is open to the public, and Steph would love to see some familiar SF Etsy faces at the talk. So come out and show your support for your new co-captain!

Along with new co-captains for the team, we have been working to better organize our leadership positions. We've decided that going forward, each team leader will take on a specific role. We're very happy that Rochelle of Haute Mélange will be our leader in charge of the Meet Up Committee. Géraldine of Géraldine Adams Illustration will continue her greatly appreciated work helping new and prospective members by being our leader in charge of the Welcome Committee. Ash of Kelly Drive will be our leader in charge of the Blog Team Committee, transitioning fully into this position in a few months.

Last, but absolutely not least, I am very happy to welcome two new team leaders: Genevieve of Lightbox SF and Lisa of Tickle and Smash. They are new to the leadership team, but not new to SF Etsy!

Genevieve of Lightbox SF is joining us as the leader in charge of professional development and education. Blog readers are already familiar with Genevieve -- she's our Savvy Entrepreneur, posting her insights and information every Thursday. With her extensive experience and areas of expertise, Genevieve is a perfect fit to help the SF Etsy leadership team grow and help the team with professional development.

Lisa of Tickle and Smash is coming on board as our leader in charge of social media. Those of you who follow our team twitter account have already "met" Lisa -- because for some time now she's been doing a fantastic job tweeting for the team! Thanks to the great job she's doing, we've gained many followers and our team's online presence has continued to grow.

We are so grateful that Genevieve and Lisa have stepped up to help out as team leaders, and we're excited about all the changes that are happening within the leadership team. The new team has already been meeting to make plans for SF Etsy -- just last night, we were all together on Google video chat! (Katy grabbed a screen shot, including me with my vintage headphone mic; yes I am that old-school. And yes, that is a print of "She Loved Her Shakespeare" from SF Etsy's own Studio MME hanging on my living room wall!)

Your new leadership team in action!
From left to right: Ash, Genevieve, Jen, Katy, Lisa, and Rochelle

We are sad that Kendra of Kendra Renee Jewelry is stepping down as a team leader -- Kendra co-led our first team trunk show and was a wonderfully supportive leader, providing advice and assistance and helping out with tasks behind the scenes like our annual roster reconciliation. Thank you, Kendra, for giving your time and talents to the team!

So much to look forward to with all these changes going on! Want to be part of the moving and shaking that is SF Etsy? Have ideas for what you'd like to see the team do in the coming year? Want to help us do it? Our team is entirely run by volunteers, and we always welcome more volunteers, either as team leaders or as members of our committees. We will be sending out a more formal survey soon to recruit folks, but if you'd like to get involved right away, you can always feel free to contact Katy or Steph, your new co-captains. Even better -- come to the Meet Up on Saturday and talk to them in person!

Thanks again to all of the folks who are part of the SF Etsy team leadership, and to the team as a whole. While I will miss being your captain, this step is a good one both for the team and for myself. I will be working closely with Katy and Steph to transition the captain roles, and I look forward to continuing to work with them and with the rest of the leadership team -- after all, while I'm stepping down as captain, I'm staying on as a team leader, and I know I'll remain involved in SF Etsy! But between feeling badly that I can't be more involved in the city and taking on more volunteer responsibilities at my son's school, it's reached the point that this Mama needs to spend less time mothering the team, and more time mothering her two great kids.

Jen Johnson, retiring captain of SF Etsy, with her daughter and son
photo by Scott LaBarge

Thanks again to all of SF Etsy for letting me share Mama's Magic with you during the last few years!

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Katy or Steph about joining SFEtsy!


Lisa Spinella said...

Hug ! your awesome.. your energy and enthusiasm is infectious Jen and we are so much better for it. Thanks!

Katy said...

Lisa!!! You're rad, too! I'm so excited to be working along side such passionate people

Anonymous said...

Jen, your leadership will be missed. However you've left us in extremely good hands. Can't wait to see what we all can make happen in the coming year.

A Year in Dakar said...

Congrats. It's all great!!

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

Aww! thank you all so much! And hey, nice to "see" you, Hilary!

It is indeed all great -- I'm so glad that we have such a strong leadership TEAM and two excellent new co-captains to help SF Etsy continue on its path to awesomeness.

It's been a fantastic trip with SF Etsy for the past two years. I'm glad I'll still be along for the ride but looking forward to not having to be in the driver seat all the time :-)

Claire said...

Thanks for all your hard work, Jen. You did a great job. Congrats and thanks to everyone taking on a new role!

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