Thursday, July 17, 2008

Well, I've gone and gotten myself volunteered again.

A bit over a month ago, I was reading posts on the Etsy Texas Crafters Website, and noticed that someone, Pam from Serendipity Rose, was trying to get the Houston area people together to see if there was something we could do to help each other out, boost sales, join together to fill booths at craft fairs, and generally create a synergistic environment where all our shops would become better and more profitable. I figured it was worth at least one evening of my time to see if we could get something worthwhile going. I contacted her. She had a general area that she wanted to meet in, but hadn't picked a meeting location. The area was Sharpstown, so I suggested Fung's Kitchen on the access road to US 59, just past Bellaire. They have long lines for dim sum on the weekends (and rightly so), but Thursday night at 7:00 pm, no problem getting a big round table to accommodate up to twelve people. Well, between the two dinner meetings we have had, seven people showed up, and lots of discussing of many topics ensued. It has been determined that I suck at formatting Blogs, so the list of people is followed by two pictures from each person. The pictures are in the same order as the list of people. I'll try to figure out what I need to do later. Here are the seven people who attended the first and/or second meetings, along with a sample of their wares:

Carol Staley of Emeline Blue Bead and Jewelry Design,
Cindy Joy of Bundles of Joy,
Connie Ramirez of Jewels and Beads,
Diane Sullivan creates stained glass and turned wood pieces,
Jo Leland of Cotton Eyed Jo,
Linda Jones of Visual Smiles Gallery, and
Pam White of Serendipity Rose.

So, what did I volunteer to do? In order to effectively get our group moving in the direction we want to go and recruit other Houston artists, we decided that we really needed to form our own street team instead of being a subset of the rather enormous Etsy Texas Crafters Street Team. For that, you need someone with a little computer skill and some knowledge of navigating the setting up of social networks. Everyone else dithered when I threw out words like "set up" and "administer" and "send invites" and "social network" and "Ning" and "proboards". Groan. So, here's the deal I made: I will set everything up and help guide people on their way. I will be the official Team "owner" on ETSY. When I asked who wanted to own the team, some of the people thought that there would have to be a payment to ETSY to set up the team. Double Groan. Right, so I'll set up the team, Ill set up the Ning site, and Pam will forge forward as our actual leader. I will be a puppet owner. We'll see how it goes. For now, we are going to focus on identifying craft shows to participate in and recruiting new members. Later, we'll work on having our own Trunk show. Oh, and I'll probably have to set up a blog for the "Artisans of Houston" (with a "Greater Metropolitan Area of" inserted by implication in front of Houston). Darn it all. Okay, that can wait until we've come up with a logo, right? Have a great weekend everyone!