Saturday, October 6, 2007

Etsy :: The Storque :: Spotlight :: Etsy Teams Spotlight: Etsy PlushTeam

Photo by nervous onion

On behalf of Etsy, I am proud to introduce the Etsy PlushTeam! Sarawearsskirts had the pleasure of interviewing Etsy PlushTeam leader Megan Green (moogancreations.etsy.com) about this fun and successful Etsy Team. What's most rewarding about being on an Etsy team for you?
I love the support and friendships that have been created through being on a street team. I have had the opportunity to meet so many like-minded artist that I might not have had the chance to meet, let alone work with. Everyone serves as such a great source of information and inspiration.
What inspired you to start the Etsy Plush team?
The PlushTeam was an idea that had been floating around for a while amongst a few other plush designers. The concept always seemed to fizzle out one way or another. So after a while, I had contacted some of my fellow plush creators and the ball just kept rolling. It seemed overnight that we had twenty artists lined up, and now after just a few months we have close to fifty awesome plush designers. My concept for the team was to create a way to bring all of us together under one roof, so to speak, and spread the plush love. By working as a group we could raise so much more awareness to our shops than we could have as individuals.
What makes handmade plush toys and creatures so special?
One of our first projects as a team was to create a Plush Portrait, a self portrait of ourselves in a plush format. I was really surprised that the immediate response from many team members was that every plush they have created could have been considered a self portrait. In the creation process of making plush creatures you start to create an identity with your work. The more care and attention you offer your doll the more their characteristics truly come to life. Each doll develops a back story and you can let your imagination run free. Every doll becomes an extension of who you are.
What are the team's general goals, and what do you consider success for the team?
Our goals are really all about team support and marketing for one another. Everyone is great when it comes to giving shout-outs to other team members who have had some press. I consider us a success when we are lucky enough to grab a team treasury and someone sells from within the list. Or when someone outside the group comments on the team blog. It's the little things.
How do you delegate work among the team?This has been very, very tricky and something I am still trying to work on. For the most part I do take on a lot of the responsibilities, but I am trying really hard to ask for help when needed. I am currently trying to form committees for different areas within the team, like projects and marketing. Everyone has been great with stepping up when needed and very patient when I get behind on team tasks. I hope with the creation of the committees it can allow others to take on a more active role and allow everyone to feel like they are giving and getting something back.
In what ways does your team communicate? Do you communicate daily, weekly, etc.?
Many of us communicate daily through a private Flickr account. It's been a great tool for everyone to meet up when they can and check up with all the latest team details. Finding a time for everyone to attend an actual meeting is very difficult. We have members from all over the world and everyone leads such busy lives, so newsletters are another great way for everyone to stay informed and in the know without pouring through all the thread chatter.
How do you balance running a successful Etsy shop and leading up a large team?
This has been another very difficult struggle for me. Learning to delegate is allowing me some room to breath and pay some much needed attention to my shop. It's basically a juggling act. Some days I spend all my time on Mooganness and others I try to devote to the team.
Any other thoughts on teams and Etsy?
Etsy is great! It's amazing to have such an easy format for artist to sell their work to the world. As for teams, I think every seller on Etsy should join at least one and help out in the group when and where you can. Street teams are only as rewarding as the amount of time you can put into them. So step up and join, start a team within a team. Be proactive and supportive of your fellow sellers and team members. I sometimes think we as artist see each others work and say "I can do that" or "I can make that but so much better." Or sometimes consider each other our competition. I think street teams can help bridge that ugly gap that we as artist put upon ourselves and each other by encouraging artist to work together and appreciate what each artist can bring to the group.
Also check out our blog, http://www.plushteam.com/. Stop by and say hi. We have some fun things "stuffed" up our sleeves!
Thanks to sara for the opportunity and the team exposure!

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