Friday, September 23rd, 2011 -
Etsy, the virtual market place for creatives and their handmade products is a big opportunity for many users, but a collection of useless bells and whistles at the same time. Really everyone can create an own online shop on Etsy, with more than 10 million members; mainly in the US. As they are on their way to expand to Europe now, they were holding the first ever ‘Hello Etsy’ conference in Berlin.
Last weekend CEO Chad Dickerson himself made it all the way from Brooklyn to Berlin to join the Hello Etsy conference, a Summit on small Businesses and Sustainability. A casual get-together event for the Etsy-community – that describes the atmosphere and the people just fine, who were bustling about when I entered the colourful venue on Saturday morning. The speakers talked boisterously, but also the participants were happily chatting while waiting in line for the toilet, during lunch on one of the long ale-benches or while knitting in one of the armchairs that were supposed to give the conference a living room touch and feel. Enough healthy and good food was provided, except from the soup for lunch that didn’t really allay my hunger.
Lots of Etsy sellers flocked to the summit to gain some tips and tricks on how to improve their online store, but also buyers and many others who came along to share their views and experiences on the topics DIY and sustainability. The natural table decoration- basil, chives and Co plus vegan and vegetarian meals made sure the green factor was visible throughout the whole conference. Children and Dogs not to be missed at those kinds of events of course. A diaper here, a bottle of ChariTea there, some hand-made bags and pillowcases and everywhere in-between people walking around with the Hello Etsy fabric goddie-bags.
The E-Werk, a listed substation is an interesting event location for sure, although reaching the conference rooms with small elevators wasn’t most convenient. Downstairs though, you could always find a spot in the big conference hall or in the catering and workshop space. But once you did make it into the elevator, 8 floors up you stepped out on the balcony gazing over the whole city of Berlin. The sun surely did her part that Saturday afternoon, giving the attendants the chance to rest festival-like on the floor in front of the entrance, cooling down with a frozen yoghurt, or stocking up on some sunshine on the building’s terrace. I didn’t make it to the mutational Yoga sessions at 8:30 am, but I did make it to many interesting presentations from international speakers.
A little too American for my taste how the Etsy family presented itself, but in the end I received an entertaining and informative mix of awesome-American stories, like Dickerson’s speech on ‘Finding your Courage’, local reports from the Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin and the success story of SuperJam inventor Fraser Doherty from Scotland, who convinced with his juvenile charm. Overall a stimulating weekend, that makes me look forward to our own BEYOND FASHION SUMMIT even more!