We finally have a real website!
Visit KCHST.com to access all of the awesomeness!
We finally have a real website!
Visit KCHST.com to access all of the awesomeness!
Please RSVP on the Eventbrite link so we know to have enough supplies on hand. This years theme is Crafting for Community. We’ll be creating t-shirt market bags and every attendee will be asked to donate at least one bag to the Market Square Farmers’ Market so they can sell them to make some money to support local farmers and artists and craftisans. Please bring at least one t-shirt that needs a new life!
We were featured in a Knoxville News article about the Etsy Craft Party and you can read the story here.
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
We look forward to creating with you at the Etsy Craft Party!
This month we are changing things up and trying our first ever conference call meeting! In person meeting attendance has been low so we’re giving members the opportunity to call in and participate. We’re hoping this will work well even though we have scheduled this meeting to take place at the Fountain City Panera. We’ll assess the call quality and see if we need to do it in a quieter environment in the future.
Here is the link to the meeting reminder.
Here is the link to register for the call. It’s simple and you receive instructions immediately.
Check back here on the blog for links to the meeting handouts too. We’re trying to make the meetings easier to attend whether in person, on-line or via the phone. Please give us your feedback so we know what works or what we should change!
We’re making some changes to the Knoxville Creative Hands Street Team and the website over the next month, so be sure to drop back by and check them out! Here are a couple of changes you can expect to see…
New online option for attending meetings and workshops. We know your time is valuable and that many of you have more obligations than you can shake a stick at, so we’re going to be implementing a way for you to participate by logging onto your computer and attend virtually. This would also allow us to record our events and save them for viewing at a later time.
We’ve announced the next few meet-up and workshop dates over in the calendar section and we’re working on some ideas for a holiday event that will give members the opportunity to sell their art and craft items.
This blog will become a real website! We’ve been planning to do this for a while, but, like you, I have a to-do list a mile long. As soon as I get a chance I will be upgrading us from this blog site.
Our goal with all of the changes is to experience an increase in the number of Team members participating in the monthly meet-ups and the workshops we hold. A lot of effort goes into keeping the Team informed and provide information and education that the Team has asked for, but we need participation to keep it going.
Remember, this is YOUR Team! It will be as awesome as you make it! Let Lahla and I know if you have suggestions on how to make the Team better, ideas for workshops, or if you would like to lend a helping hand with the Team by taking on some tasks or sharing your knowledge at one or more of our workshops.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Lisa Mueller, Team Captain and Lahla Deakins, Team Manager
Knoxville Creative Hands Street Team held a photography workshop and shop check-up on Saturday and if you missed it we hope to hold another one in a couple of months. We broke the two hour workshop up into two segments and the weather cooperated so we could shoot outside in natural light. Each participant was asked to bring the camera they typically use to photograph the items they list in their Etsy shop and one or two of their items for the hands-on portion of the photography segment. Lisa Mueller, Team captain and photographer at ALM Photo led the photography workshop and members were also assisted by her husband, Allan. Allan was a great asset to anyone needing technical assistance with their camera settings.
After Lisa guided members through some basics and they went outside to shoot, Lahla led the Shop Check-Ups. Each member was given the opportunity to have their peers give suggested tag words and descriptions for their item they brought. This is a great way to increase the search optimization of their items on Etsy. Everyone left with new ideas for photographing their items and how to describe them as well as tips on how to improve the appearance of their shop.
We’re taking suggestions for future workshop topics and be sure to keep your eyes open for the next workshop to be offered.
Everyone needs a website. Maybe you’re in the process of getting one; maybe you’ve got one already, and it’s not working as well as you think it should be, or you’re just ready to grow your business and web presence.
But your website isn’t magic! It won’t bring in business by itself. So many folks think that “put up a website” equals “sell product, make money”; it’s the reason there’s such an emphasis on search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO). I’m calling bullshit. I’ll show you how to see through the smoke and mirrors and create a website that works for you and your message.
And you’ll leave with a free step-by-step guide for creating practical, effective web strategy (that’s fun, too!), including tools for creating a web-centric marketing plan and the key metrics you should watch for and work with.
A word from the workshop leader, Danielle Nelson of Life Unconstrained.
Hi! I’m Dani. I’m a solar-powered web designer, teacher, and strategist, and I have a passion for helping folks with big ideas and visions that will change the world. I create websites and strategies that help you boost your signal, reach the people you’re meant to reach, and help those you’re meant to help.
* Donations are accepted in appreciation of Dani presenting this workshop.
Details and RSVP
Knoxville Creative Hands Street Team is excited to announce our 3rd annual Fall | Holiday Show & Sale! This year’s event will be held in conjunction with the Homberg Art Market on Saturday, November 5th from 12pm to 5pm.
Please complete the Fall | Holiday Show & Sale application and return with your check by October 26, 2011.
Please share this flyer with family, friends, fans and followers!
Follow KCHST on Twitter @KCHSTknoxEtsy
Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/KCHST
|Etsy shop link:||http://omshanti.etsy.com/|
|Tell us about you and your Etsy shop. What do you create?:||All-natural bath and body products — luxurious soaps and healing salves, nourishing bath oils and cleansing body scrubs. No artificial ingredients, no fragrance oils, and nothing I can’t pronounce.|
|What made you want to become and artist or craftsperson? What and/or who influenced your decisions?:||I’ve been crafting for years — though I started with the fiber arts, embroidery and costume-making. In college I joined the SCA, which is a group of people who recreate the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe. You can buy the clothing — but not when you’re a poor college student, so I learned to sew.
That was a lot of fun, and I still do it every once in a while, but several years ago I started to get interested in herbal lore. A friend of mine in the SCA started a business in which she sold herbs and other ingredients, and I felt it was my duty to support her. Soon I had a whole stash of herbs and essential oils, and figured it was time to do something with it! I played a little with bath salts, but not very much, and it was a couple years before I got really interested.
Not until I moved to Colorado, in fact. I’d spent fifteen years married to a man who said he loved me — and did all he could to make me afraid, unsure of myself, and thoroughly dependent on him for everything. I finally got up the gumption to leave, a little over four years ago, and moved out to Colorado to start over.
And spent a couple of years floundering, flailing around, trying to remember how to be _me_ and not ‘this guy’s wife’. I worked a series of awful jobs, just to pay the rent, and each one just dragged me lower and lower. I distracted myself, when I had the energy, by experimenting with the herbal ingredients I’d brought with me.
See, I’d spent my life in Pennsylvania, Land of Humidity, and moving to Colorado was eye-opening. I loved the dry, but it’s rough on skin, so I decided to use that herbal lore to fix the problem. It was fun, and a nice hobby, and didn’t go any further than that.
Until I was reduced to working at Walmart, which is when I decided I’d had enough, and turned my herbal hobby into a business.
I’m still scraping to pay the rent, but I know who I am now — who _I_ am, and not who someone else has defined me as. I’ve learned a lot and I’ve grown a lot, and it hasn’t been easy, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything — certainly not for a life of leisure as someone else’s possession, ever again.
So three years later, here I am, owner of a small business making moisturizing things for anyone and everyone who needs them. And loving it!
|Please describe your creative process. How do you do what you do?:||A lot of my ideas for scents come from friends and customers — someone will say, how about this, and I give it a try, and as often as not it smells REALLY good. Or I poke through all my oils for ideas, or find scent ideas online; once I even got an idea from a story written by a friend!
If it’s something medicinal I’m much more concerned with how it works than how it smells (though I don’t make things that smell _bad_). I have a library of herbal books for research, and I looks things up online as well. Then I whip up a small batch, and test it thoroughly. On myself first, of course, and then I have a couple of friends who are willing to play guinea pig for me. Only once I know it does the job do I post a new product.
|What handmade possession do you most cherish?:||I have a knitted afghan made for me by my aunt. She gave it to me a couple years ago, when we were both going through some tough times — she learned to knit as a sort of emotional therapy, and I was very pleased to receive a gift from her hands — it feels like a hug every time I drape it over my lap. It’s the first thing anyone’s ever _made_ for me and it brought she and I a lot closer together. I love it.|
|What advice would you give to new Etsy sellers? Or if you are new to Etsy, what is the most important thing you have learned since opening your shop?:||Marketing. Yeah, it’s tough. It’s hard to put yourself out there — we’re taught not to draw attention to ourselves, not to put ourselves forward, and that’s exactly what you have to do to get noticed.
I’m still not _good_ at it — the best I can say is that I’m less crappy at it than I was a few years ago — but I’m getting there. And you’ve got to do it.
|How do you promote your work? Be specific and include any links to your blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to be included in your interview.:||Mostly on Facebook and through my blog these days, though I do Twitter some and I have an email newsletter that I really need to start sending out again. Have some links:|
|What do you love most about being involved with local Etsy sellers as a member of KCHST?:||I love that Lisa contacted me out of the blue when I’d been in Tennessee less than a month! The KCHST show was my first here and I feel it’s a very good omen for how well I’ll do in Tennessee.
Y’all have made me feel very welcome (see, I’m picking up on the local lingo already!) and I love that there are monthly get-togethers. I really like that even some of the local Etsy folk who couldn’t sell at the fall show came anyway to visit and lend support. That’s awesome!
|What else do you do? You know, in your free time, those moments when you aren’t creating items for your shop or marketing or packing and shipping.:||I still play in the SCA, and I’ve recently started sewing again in the evenings. I have a cat (those of you who were at the show Sunday met him) who walks on a leash and I take him out to local parks to wander around — Lakeshore Park is my current favourite though I know I’ll find more the longer I live here. And I read voraciously.|
It’s time to celebrate! Last year’s first-ever global Craft Party was so much fun, Etsy decided to orchestrate it again this year on Friday, June 10, 2011. No matter where you live or what you love to make, you are invited to participate. Musicians, painters, sculptors, photographers, farmers, hackers, gardeners, designers, jewelers, bookbinders, printmakers, teachers, makers and doers of all stripes, as well as art enthusiasts, curators, vintage lovers and supporters of the independently made! We are being challenged to meet our neighbors and come together to make something surprising.
Last year, over 5,000 people participated in over 500 meetups from Dallas to Romania, and this year Etsy’s goal is for over 15,000 people to share in the spirit of Craft Party. We were encouraged to set up an event on Meetup Everywhere. It is a powerfully simple way for our creative community to, well, organize meetups everywhere. It’s free and designed to spark face-to-face gatherings around the world. You may find the invitation to our event here.
KCHST member Lahla Deakins of Burning Fork Studio volunteered to host the event in her studio and offer a hands-on mini-class to teach participants how to create a slab pot. The fee is $15 or $10 for KCHST members. Everyone is invited and it is a kid friendly-project. Other crafts will also be demonstrated and we’re looking for Team members to demonstrate their crafts at the event as well.
Please share this flyer with your friends and RSVP to the Meetup link as well. We look forward to seeing you on Friday, June 10th at 7pm!
PDF version of the flyer for easy e-mailing can be found at this link: Craft_Night_Flyer
Huge thanks to Lahla for helping organize our Etsy Craft Party!