Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why Join?

Why Join a Team? 
Why Join This Team?

I wanted to take a moment and talk about why I joined this AWETeam (Art Walk Etsy Team).

First, an introduction:
I'm Marsha. Here is my "About" page on Etsy.
I am the current 2013 Captain of the AWETeam.
Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio, 2013 Captain of the AWETeam
My Etsy shop is Marsha Neal Studio.

This is how and why I got involved with the AWETeam.

As anyone selling on Etsy that wants to succeed by following most of the guidelines and tips that gets tossed your way for "Etsy Success", I wanted a fast way to get my work out there in front of as many people as possible. I wanted to expand my audience visually.

I saw a link in one of the Etsy Team Newsletters for First Friday Art Walk on the calendar, clicked through and found the AWETeam.

I joined the team, and at the time I had also just picked up being Captain of our local Delaware Etsy Street Team, and was trying to find ideas to get members there involved too. Basically we got involved by "tagging listings" to participate. Tags are a hassle to deal with. Easier now then back a few years ago, but still - it's a huge time suck because you have to deal with individual listings. So that really died off in a few months. Awesome...

My Original Thoughts About This Team:

1. I can join this team and get my work seen every month!
2. I can help promote the week before First Friday to get the word out about this monthly event, and not worry too much about it the rest of the month (it is First Friday right?!).
3. I can help make treasuries to promote the team. I can help write up blog posts. Help share items and treasuries socially when I'm included in one or notice something I really like from a fellow team maker.

You know where that lead right...
I dabbled a little. Life got crazy for a bit, so I slacked off. Who doesn't. I had questions about the team, Is there an actual Event? Well - it is First Friday. So I guess that day is the "event" right?
I have no idea.

Clearly this team and it's members had a great "family feel" to it when I joined. But somehow it seemed to me that people were a bit burned out. Not just this team, but all over the place, Etsians seemed to be turned off from the changes going on at Etsy with the Forums being turned into Teams, and things being a bit chaotic and new all over the team boards. Not to mention all of the social media outlets popping up, and the way people were communicating was making things even more thin on the team boards.

Things change constantly with technology and with life. And volunteering your time for a team can be draining if you are not "getting" anything out of being part of it. This does not mean sales. This also pertains to relationships made on the team, common connections, events, leads, funny stories, etc.

Not to mention that you SHOULD be focusing on your work, and checking in with teams here and there. 
Not 24/7...

Back in August 2011 my personal family life all of a sudden started to get over run with family member sickness and deaths, volunteer responsibilities taking up too much time. It was crazy. And I just could not keep up with any of the teams I had joined as I had to focus on life and my business.

Towards the end of 2012, things finally seemed to lighten up a bit for me. I started to refocus and try to say "No" to more pleas for volunteer help. It was then that I was approached by Chris, the Captain of the AWETeam (she had taken over for Sarah as Captain back in the summer of 2012). Life and other commitments had gotten the best of her, and the AWETeam really wasn't getting a lot of member activity, and we discussed options, one of which would be closing the team.

My first instinct was: I have no time to lead another team. I am volunteering for 4 groups as is (3 Etsy related), running my business, and having a family (my kids are 5 and 3). 

But my heart and head stalled that reply and said to me: C'mon Marsha...

One Last Hurrah...

Overhaul the team. 
Get new goals set. 
Set things up to run as best they can with minimal upkeep and effort.
Re-work the idea of involving Location and Theme based teams seriously this time.
Talk to Etsy Teams. Apply for their Grants. 
Make this something awesome to be a part of for 12 events a year.

Apologize along the way to the people that don't like change and let them know that there is a clear goal. It may be a bumpy path, but the result can be amazing if things work out and we go about things slow and steady, keeping an open mind and not getting spread too thinn.

So here we stand. 

The end of February 2013. 
An overhauled team. 
Trying to get people (shops) and teams involved for a blog hop style "Event" for First Friday.

How awesome is it going to be to sit on your computer device and click away and see new AWETeam member work!

To Blog hop all over the world via Location Teams threads!

To check out Theme Related Teams to find things you are into but had no idea how to find them!

Our AWETeam now has threads for:

~ THE EVENT: First Friday Art Walk Weekend (monthly)
~ Welcome and Role Call (annual thread to keep info updated for active members)
~ Chat (hey, what's up?!)
~ Treasury (team and non-team)
~ Colors and Seasonal Theme Threads (a place to put your items that "go" to give our shoppers and treasury makers a pool of similar related items to pick from).

We have a new FaceBook Page.
We have a new Twitter Page
@FirstFridayEtsy to chat with us. 
#AWETeam to link up First Friday Events with us

This blog itself is in for an overhaul and making it look "Clean and Artsy".

And that is just the basics. 

There are lots more that can be done to keep things fresh here all month long.
Maybe follow up posts from things that happened at live local First Friday Events from Etsy Artists participating in local art walks...

Being part of teams is something you do not only to promote your work, but it is to help build a sense of community for yourself and others.

To have a common goal and have fun getting there. 
And it really does not take much effort to be part of a team, not really.

Doing easy things, like commenting on a treasury, adding it to your favorites, sharing it socially, commenting on a team thread every few days (at very least, once a month) to say Hi. Look around the discussion boards and add a quick comment on something someone posts to encourage them or at least acknowledge them makes you both feel important. And that builds good feelings and connections, and builds community and makes us a team.

Can you imagine doing that on a regular basis?
What about 12 times a year?
What about for the week before First Friday?
Maybe even randomly through the week?

If you said Yes. Then consider joining up with us.
Be part of something bigger.
Make your work, share your work, and help with our community by promoting and connecting.

Click HERE to join.

I'm going to go work in the studio for a bit!
Hope to see you on the discussion threads.
And to celebrate the March 1-3, 2013 First Friday Art Walk Weekend in just two days!

2013 Captain of the AWETeam

PS - As a child, I loved "Go Dog Go" by P D Eastman:
I always REALLY wanted to go to the dog party on top of the tree. 

And for me, that's how First Friday Art Walk is. Like that Dog Party. I really didn't realize that until after I quick doodled this out yesterday.
Disclaimer: Figurative and representational drawings are not my strong point.
I was never allowed to take art classes until I decided to take Ceramics in college, for which I have a Masters Degree.
I was previously educated to be an Entomologist concentrating in Wildlife Conservation through the University of Delaware.
And for what life has put at my doorstep, I've got to have a good sense of humor:

Marsha's Interpretation of First Friday Art Walk Party

Monday, February 25, 2013

First Friday Art Walk Starts Friday!

This next Friday, March 1 starts First Friday Art Walk Weekend here on the AWETeam blog.

The week leading up to First Friday is traditionally the busiest week for preparations for First Friday as it is really "crunch time".

We have a handful of AWETeam members that make treasuries consistently, but this week, many others step up and add team treasuries which at times can seem like an explosion of art through these team member curated collections...

Click Here to see Introduction by JCStrong

Click here to see Glorious Green... By MaryHarding

Click here to see Metal and Ice by JCStrong

Click here to see Handmade Artisan... by KathyLindemer
We've got some Location and Theme Based Etsy Teams starting to get involved with First Friday Art Walk here with us this month!

It's really going to get exciting around here on Friday.
You will be able to see all kinds of new items in a blog hop format from:
1. Members of the AWETeam
2. Location Based Teams
3. Theme Based Teams

It will be a delight to see so much great artwork all in one place (this blog!)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Integrating Into Etsy Teams

The AWETeam is an Etsy Team.
Art Walk Etsy Team to be precise.

And although this team is not run by,
All of the people on the team sell their work through their own shops on

Members have joined the AWETeam to promote their artwork and the work of other team members.
All with a monthly team sponsored event goal in mind:

The Girls Original Serigraph by BFHughes

This monthly event happens over the First Friday Weekend of every month.

That's 12 events in a year.
12 deadlines for every member on the team to get themselves pulled together.

And the rest of the time, you can spend doing what you love to do...
Painting by JCStrong 

In 2013, the AWETeam is getting organized to open this event up to teams:
By giving them their own blog posts for First Friday Art Walk.
This will allow people to pick what kind of art they want to see:
1. Individual shops members from the AWETeam.
2. Location Based Teams.
3. Theme Based Teams.

March 2013 will be the first integration of all three Team posts for the First Friday Art Walk Event.
It will be considered a "soft run" to iron out the details.

We're hoping to move into full-on promotion for the April 5-7, 2013 First Friday Art Walk Weekend with the help of Etsy Teams.

So grab your favorite handmade mug and fill it with your beverage of choice...
PorcelainJazz Handmade Stoneware Mug

Get your thoughts together and get your inspirational "to do" list written... 
JDaviesReazor Mixed Media Collage

Having these 12 First Friday Art Walk Event deadlines gives every person plenty of time to plan ahead for participation.

 Don't leave your listing updates until the last minute.
There is always next month too.
Don't stress.
Art Walking is fun!

Get yourself into the routine of planning ahead.
Give your shop a visual overhaul.

All of these little steps to make your shop successful for the upcoming season.

Vintage Book from CarriesAttic
The next First Friday Art Walk Weekend Event is next weekend:
March 1-3, 2013.

How are you preparing?
Art Walking is about seeing awesome art and hanging out with friends!
Join us for some fun...

Individual shop owners: 

Location and Theme Based Teams - Give your Team an Event to look forward to!
Get the Team Captain or Leader to sign up:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Colorful Treasury Collections

Here are some AWETeam Treasury collections created by members of our Art Walk Etsy Team that include all or mostly all AWETeam members...
Add Some Spring Color by Michele Delp
A Touch of Warmth by JCStrong
Red and Blue by MarshaNealStudio
Want more?
Search AWETeam treasuries on
Look for treasury collections that include items from our AWETeam members HERE.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentines Day Finds and Spring

As we approach the middle of February there is still time to find a special gift for Valentine's day.
Check out some of our AWETeam member shop listings through our "February Themed Listing Thread" HERE.


And spring is right around the corner!

As Dix Cutler shows off in her treasury collection
Collection by DixSterling
Looking for something else, check out our AWETeam Blog page where you can virtually window shop through AWETeam Member Etsy Shop Minis.

Friday, February 1, 2013

February First Friday Art Walk Weekend on

Welcome to the official First Friday Art Walk Weekend post for the AWETeam on
The AWETeam (Art Walk Etsy Team) is a group of Etsy sellers that get together every month to show off their new work, and help promote the work of fellow team members.
See our discussion threads with the details HERE.
Our AWETeam Treasuries HERE.
February First Friday Art Walk Finds by DixSterling

Here are some of the new listings from shops on our team.
To see the entire thread for more great finds and promotions, click HERE.

And don't forget to come and window shop our team shops all month long for that perfect something you might be looking for through our AWETeam Member Page full of Etsy Minis that are updated as new items are listed.

Happy First Friday!
Hope you are able to get out and see some art locally in your area and look here all weekend long as our members can add new items and promote their shop through the FFAW Event Thread HERE.