Hello Etsy was a smorgasborg of awesome. This is the first conference I’ve attanded, but I think its safe to say it was uniquely personal. A relaxed and open atmosphere pervaded the epic ewerk building, and it seemed no stone was left unturned. From the nametags to the elevator signs, everything had a special Etsy touch, which really made an open and friendly atmsophere to connect with some truly inspirational people.
I could probably talk for days about how and why I never wanted Hello Etsy to end, but here are my highlights instead:
Getting My Moo On. Everything about Moo rocked. They sponsored Hello Etsy, and offered 50 free personalized cards to all attendees, which was awesome for several reasons: the cards looked great, it was a like a game to exchange moo cards with everyone and see what they did with theirs (“You should Moo me!”), and I don’t feel spammed by Moo’s marketing efforts–they gave a lot, what they gave was quality, and I’m happy to support and spread the word. This is the kind of marketing that all parties can feel good about.
My mouth was happy. Among my favorite culinary treats at Hello Etsy was Wonderpots frozen yogurt on tap–really delicious and fresh merry-making for your mouth. Can’t wait to go to the store.
Local yokels. There was a strong emphasis on highlighting and supporting local businesses; and Hello Etsy truly walked the walk that they talk about. Other than Wonderpots froyo, LASERN created the super hip laser cut nametags (LINK), my friend and local berlin letterpresser Sabrina of SmallCaps printed the flyers, and Marco Clausen from Berlin’s local mobile Prinzessinnengarten which is just feet away from the 4HWW meeting’s home at betahaus gave an amazing talk about combining urban spaces, gardening, community, food.. all good stuff.
The totally chill vibe, bro. Even though it was noisy at times because there were hundreds of people, I felt totally relaxed and at home. Everyone was so approachable, and it was a great feeling to be surrounded by happy creative nerdy internet people like me. I was so stoked (but not really surprised) at how warm everybody was, including Etsy’s new CEO Chad Dickerson and Dragon’s Den Dragon Doug Richard. Meeting them was just the tip of the colossal iceberg; among many others and in no order, the following folks totally rocked my day: my favorite Etsy blogger Danielle Maveal, Nicola Rowlands who makes cat-taco greeting cards, Amanda of Buses Trams & Strawberry Jam, James from the amazing Berlin blog duo Uberlin, Etsy’s super personable head of accounting Sinohe and his fantastic son Ethan who gave me a tour of the control room, the owner of Frauelein Herz fabric and handmade store in Berlin, two lovely ladies from the Travelettes, and Etsy’s head of European communications, Matt, who came up with the idea for this mindblowingly cool conference.
Variety was the spice of life. There were so many different people at different levels and I think it made a cool, well-rounded mix. From heads of multi-million dollar corporations to folks just thinking about starting a store for the first time, it really helped me think about each of the talks from different perspectives, and also to realize there’s not much separating these people but time and work.
Impromptu Awesome. Within the first few seconds of arriving at Hello Etsy early Saturday morning, I ran into and got to meet my favorite Etsy blogger Danielle Maveal. She invited me, my friend and client Adam Fletcher from the Hipstery, and a few other awesome folks to join her on stage for Etsy’s Share Your Success panel. That was such a cool and unexpected experience, and you can watch the video of our talk here and get some insider tips for success in business.
Juicy tidbits of inspiration and advice. There were way too many talks to attend, and many at the same time, but luckily they are are all viewable online. Obviously not all of them suited everybody since there was such a wide spectrum of folks there, but my favorite tidbits were:
- Be yourself, seriously. Charles Festa‘s stand-up routine on his journey with the legendary Threadless tshirt company. As Uberlin said in their writeup, he was totally himself even on stage, and that’s always a good thing. His awesome Chicago accent paired with the fact that he looks like my UC Santa Cruz (probably that awesome beard) just made me like him all the more. Watch his talk here.
- As a small business owner, you know all the solutions to your problems, but sometimes you just need a sounding board or listening mentor. When you hear youself telling them the problem, usually you’ll discover how to proceed on your own. Founder of small business support company, Enterprise Nation and co-founder of StartUp Britain, Emma Jones gave excellent tips and advice on running a business from your home, with a bit of that classic, dry English humor thrown in.
- Start by making friends, not pitches. Representing Twitter, Rachel Bremer’s Secrets to good PR talk was damn good: informative, succinct, and actionable.
- “The most successful people I know aren’t lucky, they’re just the hardest-working. They’re the ones who send you a reply at 3:05 am when you send an email at 3:03.” Etsy’s new CEO Chad Dickerson shared his personal story and delivered a powerful dose of inspiration in his talk on finding your courage. He highly advocates sharing success along the way, helping others while you do your thing, and following your intuition even when your own mom tells you to quit. He seems to do a lot of inspiring over at his blog too. Watch his talk here.
Thanks Matt, Emily, and all the organizers and participants of Hello Etsy.. I’m blown away and can’t wait for next time.