The Etsy Captains Summit


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.

Etsy Canada Office

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.

The Hot Seat

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*.

Etsy Saskatchewan Rocks

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.

An Etsy Eatsy Lunch

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?

Gone to the Birds

polymer clay bird beads

This time tomorrow, assuming all goes well, I’ll be in Toronto for the Etsy Captain’s Summit along with my Etsy Saskatchewan co-leaders. I haven’t been to Toronto in years. Heck, I haven’t flown in years. Which of course makes me a little anxious. Whenever I have to picture “anxious” I get birds. Ideas are bunnies in my case since they always seem to multiply. Anxiety is definitely, chirpy, squawky, pecking, fluttering birds. Maybe chickens.

As a result of being mildly anxious I’ve been a bead making machine the last few weeks including – with no trace of irony – a lot of bird beads. Which you can find in my Etsy shop of course.

I will try to relax and enjoy my trip to Etsy Canada and come back with my head full of idea bunnies rather than anxiety birds

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal!

Bead Soup Focal Bead Piece

I admit when Sam, my partner, sent me the focal I was not sure what to do with it. It’s way more freeform than what I work with. I tend to make very graphic, straightforward beads and my designs tend to go from those. I asked my much trendier kiddo what she thought of the bead and she was surprised I hadn’t seen it was obviously a sea bead and needed a lovely sea treasure theme. I decided to go with that and wired up a very simple chain necklace with a few of the pale stone nuggets from the bead soup to go along with the pendant. I added a handful of tiny turquoise rounds here and there.

If I end up taking this apart and redoing it, as happens a lot with my more complicated jewellery, I’ll do a little fuller multi-strand piece I think. The barrel orientation of the focal had me flummoxed but I’m catching on. You could go full shipwreck treasure with this bead.

Bead Soup Necklace in Action

I convinced Chloe to model the necklace for me. She made the suggestions for the design that I eventually went with so it was only fair. The very serious face lead to me telling her to smile which got me the frowny face and then, finally, the smiley one. Thus is life with family modeling my stuff.

I am posting this Friday night my time with just the one piece. There were a few other pieces from the accent beads on my studio table half done and, if I make it to the shop on Saturday, I’ll finish a few others up and add them to this post. In particular I want to turn the quartz nuggets into earrings at least.

You can get a look at what Sam Waghorn, my partner in the Bead Soup Blog Party this year, made on her blog or maybe her Facebook. Want to see the other blog hoppers? The whole list is on Lori’s Pretty Things blog.