Well, I made it to Toronto and the Etsy Canada Captains Summit. The iconic Etsy orange sign greeted us when we got to the MaRS incubator in downtown Toronto. The facility is super nice and there were lots of other interesting companies hosted there. Etsy is my jam though.
I admit I had a bit of a fangirl moment outside of the Etsy office. Even if it is just the mini-Canadian one. I mean… I’m at Etsy.
We got to take a look around the office. Sometimes drawing the curtain back wrecks the magic but this was more of a fun thing. It was neat to see the interview set up from some of the Etsy CA videos. The actual workspace office looks a lot like every startup office I’ve worked in that thought open concept was a good thing. The lunchroom / craft table was exactly what I expected from an Etsy location. In other words, the whole place was just what you see online: cheesy, tongue in cheek, aspirational quotes on the walls. Crafts and swag and orange everywhere. Slightly crooked but well meaning plants and succulents in unique, embellished pots all over. Canadian, indie food things*.
In the first round of talks, Etsy Saskatchewan (that’s my team!) won a happy prize for our rebrand last year. It almost makes the two days and hundreds of facebook messenger messages discussing everything worth it. Plus it comes with Etsy money to spend which is I can always use.
There was a lot of workshop stuff over the two days. Sections on how to manage teams, organize events, keep track of finances. Individually organized sections on topics nearer and dearer to us: self-care, resource sharing, regional issues, securing sponsorships, using social media effectively. All with the cheery, slightly zany Etsy touch.
I traveled with my partner and my daughter this time so I used the outside of work hours to hang with them – they hit the zoo, the science centre and a work related factory tour while I did my thing – and missed a little of the Etsy socializing. If I’m fortunate enough to attend again, I’ll make sure and do the social events. Etsy did do one of their Eatsy offerings on the second day. They brought in TO locals, Jack and Lil, to cater lunch. It was a sort of South African fusion food thing and it was pretty darned tasty. I’m not a big eater but I did my best to try everything.
We got home and my head is full of ideas and inspiration again. Coming up right away – next week in fact! – is the Etsy Saskatchewan Spring Pop Up in Saskatoon. I’ll be there. It runs 10 to 5 on April 8th at Sation 20 in Saskatoon. You can get more deets on the event page and if you’re there, stop and chat!
* Maple filtered water is something that did not need inventing. The packages were adorable but it was pretty much exactly what I thought it would be: slightly sweet, mapley water. Do I lose my Canadian cred for not really liking maple flavour?