Join Us on 12/1 for the West Elm + Etsy Handmade Holiday Workshop & Mini-Market!

On Thursday, December 1st, West Elm stores across the country will be featuring gifts from local Etsy sellers, and Herban Lifestyle will be representing at Tyons Corner, in McLean, VA! At the Handmade Holiday Workshop & Mini-Mart, guests will have a chance make a holiday craft with an Etsy team and support a local charity. The Capital Region Etsy Street Team (CREST) will be at the Tysons event, and handmade ornaments and gifts donated at the event will benefit Jill’s House, a Vienna, VA non-profit that provides respite for children with intellectual disabilities and their families in the Greater Washington, DC area.

If you live somewhere other than the DC area, you can visit one of the other 37 West Elm locations to participate in the festivities, and contribute gifts and decorations to local charities chosen by each store. For more details, visit the West Elm website or RSVP on the Handmade Holiday Workshop & Mini-Mart Facebook Event Page.

So, I hope to see you on December 1st, from 6pm to 9pm!

West Elm
7866 L. Tysons Corner Center
McLean VA 22102


meeting with Etsy CEO Maria

wolf1252Last Sunday, the Capital Region Etsy Street Team (CREST) had the opportunity to meet with Etsy CEO, Maria. She is spending time talking with various street teams, getting to know the people behind the storefronts, and it was also a chance for us to ask her some Etsy questions. It was also a great chance for the members of CREST to have a chance to meet each other IRL, putting faces to the now-familiar names.

We were all struck by how accessible and down-to-earth Maria was. She told us about her background at Amazon and NPR, which had prepared her for her role at Etsy through experience not only with online retailing, but more importantly, virtual community-building. It became clear as she spoke to us that she sees Etsy as so much more than a place where crafters can sell their stuff. She sees its value and uniqueness in the opportunities for people to come together around a common desire to be creative and to be part of something genuine. The handmade movement has been growing over the last several years, and it seems to be just one aspect of the movement by many people away from the mass-produced, impersonal, throw-away culture.

I recalled a moment five years ago, entering a knitting shop on 14th Street in NYC, and seeing one of my neighbors (a former super model and wife of a rock legend), sitting in a side room taking knitting lessons. Here was someone who could have any material thing she wanted (someone who had a limo drive her to the grocery store), and there she was, with wool and wooden needles in hand, learning how to create something with her own two hands.

Besides the great satisfaction of creating a tangible product, there are many other reasons to love the handmade movement: handcrafted items from local sellers don’t have the unfair labor practices that are often associated with mass-produced items; the quality of handcrafts is so much greater than any factory-made product you could buy; plus, there’s something about the love that goes into a handmade product — it’s a tangible intangible that brings a totally different quality that commercial products are simply missing.

As we discussed with Maria, there are many things that Etsy can do to improve the experience for their sellers and buyers. But, they are offering something that nobody had done before — create a space where people can come together, share the authentic handmade experience, and find some really cool stuff in the process.

MALL is a 4-Letter Word: Buy Handmade on Black Friday/Cyber Monday

sale_bannerThe Capital Region Etsy Street Team (CREST) is holding a Black Friday/Cyber Monday CREST promotion. The following stores have contributed items for a Gift Box, which will be given away through a random drawing. Several stores are also offering discounts.

To enter, post a comment on the CREST blog along with your name and email address. The winner will be announced on the afternoon of Friday, December 5th.

Athena’s Olive Tree
Gift Box Contribution:Layered Candy Cane Soap Bar
Discount Offer: I’ve placed 42 items on sale and will be giving away a free item to a random person who purchased from my shop in the month of November… and i’ll be giving 5% off any order placed ON black friday! Ends Midnight EST.

Gift Box Contribution: I am offering up one of my wet-felted wool scrap yarn balls.  Multicolored ball about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
Discount Offer: I am offering free shipping on all items.

Bella Tote
Gift Box Contribution: an attractive reusable tote!

Bette’s Bags
Gift Box Contribution: Small fabric wallet or credit card holder.
Discount Offer: Free Shipping

Gift Box Contribution: I am offering up a pair of new jade and sterling silver earrings. Valued at $8.
Discount Offer: free gift wrapping on all items, free shipping on orders over $30. Early bird special: Make it a gift set! Limited number of free earrings with the purchase of a necklace.

Designs by Erin
Gift Box Contribution: 2 knitted bangle bracelets: 1 light green & white cotton yarn, and 1 baby blue acrylic and blue Lion’s Brand Homespun yarn

Elizabethan Creations
Gift Box Contribution: Set of 4 yo-yo coasters in blue
Discount Offer: 20% of everything in shop

French Roast
Gift Box Contribution: a pendant (value $15)
Discount Offer: free shipping to the US (discounts overseas) 

Generations Tie Dye

Gift Box Contribution: A 12″x60″ hand-dyed blue and gray silk scarf

herban lifestyle™
Gift Box Contribution: organic holiday cookie sugar scrub
Discount Offer: 20% off all items in my store

Jellybug Artworks
Gift Box Contribution: a fused glass pendant. 
Discount Offer: $5 off on every $25 spent at my shop with free shipping on orders of $50 or more. 

Gift Box Contribution: a small redecorated spice tin (“Warm Fuzzies”) that the recipient can fill with glitter, bath salts, powder, or tea, spices, etc.

Katie’s Kritters
Gift Box Contribution: a duo of Christmas pins, Santa and Mrs. Claus

Mishutka Design Studio
Gift Box Contribution: Victorian Pink Rose Tags (Set of 6) Delicate roses and lovely pink ribbons are perfect together in these Victorian style gift tags. Delightful vintage tags to decorate your gifts! Or use them for scrapbooking and as bookmarks.

Gift Box Contribution: Original upcycled bookmark and an original watercolor Christmas theme card
Discount Offer: Free shipping 

Gift Box Contribution: On The Go Pouch – A cute little japanese fabric pouch to stash you stuff!
Discount Offer: 15% all items in my shop

Silver Dot Jewelry Designs
Gift Box Contribution: Crystal Rose Necklace A faceted rock crystal quartz briolette is accented with a lovely rose gold vermeil charm and suspended from sterling silver chain. Necklace length will be made to customer specifications. Necklace retails for $33.50
Discount Offer: BOGO Sale – Buy One item and get lower priced or equal value item at 50% off.

Undefined Village
Gift Box Contribution: 5×7 photographic print, matted and signed
Discount Offer: Buy one get one 1/2 off all prints 8×10 or larger.

Wild Honeysuckle Creations
Gift Box Contribution: A pendant or ornament.

Happy Shopping!