Being relatively new to Etsy and also to San Francisco I was starting to feel completely out of the loop as far as current local events went. I also decided it was time I got to know a few more crafty people and (hopefully) make some new friends.
As always I found that, once my decision had been made to achieve something, it wasn't nearly as hard as expected to get there! A few minutes of googling found me a wealth of information. I'm going to spare you the nitty gritty and jump straight to the fun part :)
First of all I joined a San Francisco Meetup Group called San Francisco Beadwork Artists. Their concept is simple - its purely social, meetup once a month to learn new beading techniques from another member and maybe also trade some beads. Its fine to bring your own projects to work on too if you don't fancy the one they are offering. Unfortunately (this is becoming a recurring theme for me) without a car it is really awkward for me to get to the usual meetup location so I did not go last month and I'm not sure if I will go this month, even though this one appeals quite alot.
San Francisco Etsy Team were accepting new members! I applied to join sharpish and was happy to get accepted to the group :) This group is a lot more focused on promoting the group, its members and local handcrafted products but also seems to be very friendly and welcoming. Its absolutely great for finding out about local craft events and also getting involved in them! Several of the members are dedicated towards finding and creating new opportunities, like the trunk show that happened a few weeks back at the Artist Xchange Gallery in the mission.
I headed down there to take a look at their displays and meet some of them and was not disappointed that I made long walk in the very hot sun. You can read more about the event on the SF Etsy Blog.
I have been using DeviantArt for a few years now but I have to admit that I only discovered their groups a month or so ago. Whilst I had a vague awareness of them I assumed that because I was not a premium member I wouldn't have access to them. I'm so glad I finally investigated further because groups are great for so many reasons. I have now joined several but the one relevant to this post is Etsy Sellers. There are 2 reasons why this group is great. The first is that I get daily pictures sent to me with new items listed by the member. You can only submit 2 items a week so generally the pictures are also carefully selected to be the artist's best work.
The second reason is that this group will critique your Etsy shop (if you ask them to) and let you know how they think you could improve it to get more sales. I haven't had the guts to try it yet but I will soon!
Etsy Twitter Team when I found out they were taking in 30 new members last week! Another non-localised group like the Etsy Sellers on DeviantArt this groups focuses almost exclusively on marketing its members via the internet but aims to be the authority on handmade items through building and spreading an awareness of the range on Etsy. Mostly this happens via Twitter where people tweet about their favourite items from each other's Etsy shops. There is also a Shop of the Week feature where one member's Etsy shop is chosen and the member interviewed and featured on the blog.
Look out for more items from members of these groups featured in upcoming posts!! :)