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Etsy Captains’ Summit 2017 at Etsy HQ in London

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

What is the Etsy Captains’ Summit? Well let’s start with what is an Etsy team? Some of you will know I am one of the Captains of our local team of Etsy sellers, Etsy Team Leeds, alongside the fabulous Laura from Elsie & Nell. An Etsy team is a group of sellers with a common interest, which is usually location specific, but not always. As Captains we keep in close contact with Etsy themselves, receiving news and information about new changes on and being able to give feedback on how things are working for the sellers themselves.

At Etsy Team Leeds we keep in touch daily using a Facebook group that all our members are part of and we meet up in person once a month in the Leeds area to share knowledge, chat over a cup of tea (or a beer!) and just get the chance to see another human being, which can be a luxury when you work for yourself.

Last weekend all the team captains from across the UK were invited down to the Etsy HQ in London for the Etsy Captains’ Summit to spend the weekend with Etsy Admin and each other talking about small businesses, how to improve our shops and how to lead our teams of sellers.

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

We gathered at Etsy HQ early on Saturday morning where the team had laid out a fabulous, healthy breakfast with loads of options for meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans and gluten free folks. There was constantly a pot of tea on the go and you could help yourself throughout the day. We sat on long benches to eat and get to know our fellow captains, always turning the person next to you or across from you to ask about their shops and their teams.

After breakfast we headed into the conference style room where wheely desk chairs were laid out in rows. The chairs were super comfortable, which is more important than you’d think and being on wheels it made it so easy to wheel into groups for discussions and pop over to see another team captain that you hadn’t had chance to speak to yet. It was an ideal touch.

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

A number of the Etsy Admin team lead talks on PR & marketing, what’s new in the community and ways we can use making for good. There were also a number of external speakers from amazing people in the handmade community like Jessika from Oh My Handmade. These sessions were run on coaching, burnout and ideas for creating a community feel within our teams.

Lunch was also provided which was a huge spread of healthy treats with fresh chicken and salmon for meat eaters and chunky falafel balls and various salads for vegans. I wish I could eat like that every day.

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

On the Saturday evening we had a social event where Etsy wined and dined us by bringing in the amazing pop up restaurant, Fabulous 698b (more on them in another post!!). It’s lovely to be looked after so well and shown we are an appreciated part of the Etsy community. Being a team captain is a voluntary role, which can be a lot to take on if you run your own business as well. Some captains even work full time as well as running their shops. The meal was incredible and such a great way to get chance to chat to the members of Etsy admin and fellow team captains. I was sat next to Erin from the Toronto offices and we chatted about Etsy of course, but also music, food and the traditions from where we’re from. Erin has a fabulous Etsy shop of her own selling Feminist zines and books.

On Sunday morning we were treated to breakfast again before delving straight back into talks and workshops. It was great to be able to feedback our thoughts to the people who can make changes happen as well as sharing tips with and learning from other captains and more importantly, other Etsy sellers. Lunch and cake was provided and we headed home with full heads and hearts.

The whole weekend was so inspirational, especially for me. I learned a lot of tips from the workshops, but mostly I just felt like I could. Whatever I wanted to, I could do it. Now I’m back home in my office I feel ready to face the world again and even more amazingly, I feel excited again to get to work.

If you have any questions about the Etsy Captains’ Summit, please do leave them in the comments or ask me on Twitter! More soon!
Loves x xx

Etsy Captains Summit at Etsy HQ in London

posted by onetenzeroseven in Business,Etsy,Travel and have Comment (1)

Indie Biz: Starting and Running a Business From Home

Starting and running a business from home

We’re coming up to the biggest season of the year for indie designers and hand makers with Christmas approaching so I’m using what’s left of the quieter weeks to prepare my space at home to be the best possible working environment. It can be really difficult working from home, with so many distractions and real life spilling into your work and vice versa, but there are a lot of benefits to running a business from home too. Flogas, the energy supplier, asked me to share my top tips and advice with you and these apply whether you’re just starting out or have been running a good few years like me. We recently bought a new house so I had to revisit all the important things I need in business premises all over again.

// Having a dedicated space for your business is my number one must have for running a business from home. I’m not saying you need a flashy office with all the mod cons, but you do need at least an area where you can keep all your work. It’s nigh on impossible to be able to concentrate with your laptop in the living room or to be able to relax with your papers cluttering up the place. If you can only spare enough space for a desk, that’s a good place to start, but being able to shut the door to my office at the end of the day has been the best thing for my business and well being so far.

// Working alone all day can be really lonely and difficult so get some interaction and company from wherever you can. It’s nice to pop out to a coffee shop or hot desk at your local co-working space, but you could also head over to a friend’s and co-work from there. I really enjoying working with my brother every now and then, just sitting side by side on your laptops can be really refreshing compared to working alone. If all else fails, I love to start a new TV series while I’m working and the characters on the show become my ‘colleagues’ for the day. I know it sounds sad, but you feel a little less isolated.

Be Awesome or Don't Bother // Small Business Quotes // Motivational Quotes


// Social media is so important for any growing business, especially if you have a limited marketing budget, but it’s also amazing to connect with other people who do what you do. If it wasn’t for some of the friends I’ve made on Twitter and Facebook I’m not sure I’d still be running my business today. Put yourself out there and be excited about what other people are doing and you’ll find your people, even if you don’t actually work with anyone in the office.

// Make sure your fridge is well stocked. I had this crazy idea that when I worked from home I’d be able to cook amazing lunches every day and eat super healthy, but of course I am still as busy (if not more so) as when I worked in an office so I really only have time to grab something quick. There’s nothing worse than getting to lunchtime and having to go out and do the weekly shop, so be prepared!

// Keep your space clean and warm. One of the benefits of running a business from home is mains gas, which is something you totally take for granted, but when I worked in an office it was always freezing and it’s so hard to concentrate when you’re cold. We would huddle around the heaters and oil radiators at my old job whenever there was a spare moment, but it’s so nice to sit at home in a t-shirt and jeans instead of 17 layers and just set my mind to work with no distractions.

// Get up, get showered, get dressed. It is oh so tempting to work in your pyjamas or even take your laptop to bed, but on the days when I get myself dressed smartly, do my hair and (oddly!) put on shoes before I sit down to work my productivity levels go through the roof. It’s all in your mind, so if you feel like a useless blob, you’ll start to believe you are one and if you feel bad-ass you’ll act bas-ass!

Feeling like starting a business? It’s the best thing I ever did! Read more advice for becoming self-employed.

Loves x xx

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posted by onetenzeroseven in Business and have Comment (1)