Etsy UK Captain’s Summit 2016

This month I took part in the 3rd Etsy UK Captain’s Summit in Cambridge with Lottie from SimplyCharlotteB. The Summit was an opportunity to share help and advice on team issues like how the Etsy Made Local Christmas markets went, while catching up with friends and partaking in tea and cake. Lots of tea and cake!

Etsy Admin organised the event around the theme of the Great British Bake Off!  I have to say a big thank you for all the effort that went into making it a really great weekend. I was very happy that I didn’t need any of my emergency food. Big big-ups to Francesca, Ajeet, Sarah & Susannah for looking after everyone so well and for the constant supply of tea and cookies.

One of the highlights of every Captain’s Summit is getting to chat about shared experiences with fellow Captain’s & Leaders. You will not find a more humble, honest bunch of people than the lovely friends that I get to meet at the Captain’s Summit. They not only give you tips on things that work well but they also share the things that didn’t go well, in the hope of helping other teams to avoid the same pitfalls. This is the sign of a real community.

Big shout out to the Brighton team, the Glasgow team, the Merseyside team, the Portsmouth & Southsea Consortium & the Nottingham team for keeping it real. Also sending a big wave to the Cambridge Team for being the hosts, the Sheffield team who we travelled to and from the hotel with and the other new Captain’s and Leaders that we met.  Not forgetting Rachel from TheDorothyDays, Captain of the Dorset Team who sadly wasn’t able to attend. We drank tea and ate cake on your behalf!

After all this fun there is always plenty of work to be done. Firstly all those notes need translating from excited scribble into an interesting and fun-filled calendar of team events.  Before that though we did some pondering on what being in a team is really about. This was what we came up with.

TeaT – is for tea break

No matter what your beverage,  taking a break for a cuppa, a cake and a chat is really important for your concentration.  If you work alone at home having virtual colleagues to chat to on your break is just as beneficial.  Being part of a team that has an active chat thread  can be a welcome break.


E – is for education

26.5% of active sellers are in teams.  Having a supportive team means you get the help and encouragement you need to adapt to the changes that sellers regularly face.  Team members work together to stay updated on things like postal increases, new VAT rules and changes on Etsy.

ActivitiesA – is for activities

Find events to get involved in locally or online through sharing with your team members in the team forum.  This can be webinars, workshops, twitter hour or selling events.  Get involved with the Etsy community while taking part in Etsy Boot camp and have fellow team members keep you motivated.

Meet-upM – is for meet-ups

Getting out of your studio to meet with fellow crafters or sellers is very important.  Just having the chance to get together with like minded people, to share cake and advice makes all the long hours toiling away seem worth it.

In short – being in a team is a great way to connect with the whole Etsy community. 🙂

Check out the IDEAS Birmingham blog for more information on the UK Captain’s Summit.  There are lots of educational things we can be doing with our teams now to prepare for events later in the year.  Please comment if you have any specific ideas you’d like to take part in.



  1. Victoria Sol
    27 March 2016 / 18:50

    Yay, great post! 🙂

  2. 28 March 2016 / 12:28

    This is a great post, thank you! I think it’s really valuable to have adopted colleagues, for contact with people who understand what you do and the highs and lows that come with that. I think we can learn a lot from each other and offer lots of support and encouragement, not just for future events, but for the day to day stuff that designer-makers do. Together we’re only going to get stronger!

    • 28 March 2016 / 12:35

      Thanks Rachel, I couldn’t agree more. Following your creative dream can be very daunting. It’s great to know there are other people out there that feel the same and are happy to share their experiences both good and bad. I especially like having people to chat to like you would in an office environment as it’s often all the small things that you miss. 🙂

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