Etsy is not just a website, it is a worldwide community of very creative people. Etsy orginizers do a lot for their members - there is help with promoting shops and handmade items, but also with making new friends and staying together for lots of good reasons.
One of the recent occasions for Etsians to get together was "One Million Pillowcases Challenge". Main idea of which - is to meet with your local crafty fellows, chat, make pillowcases and donate them to charity. See details here.
And this how our Bulgarian meet up went on:
Etsy – it’s about people and things that are unique and different. I bet our meet up for Million Pillowcases Challenge was one of the most unique and different of all times. Don’t you believe me?
First of all – it was first ever Etsy Meet Up in Bulgaria.
Second – the organizer was Belorussian nationality – nothing to do with Bulgaria – and hardly spoke any Bulgarian.
Third – the chat held on three languages in great mixture – Bulgarian, Russian and English – we all knew a bit of all three.
Fourth – the meeting happen on a Black Sea beach – one of the beautiful things Bulgaria has to offer. (Must note here that in America, where it's all started, etsians would get together at some kind of workshop or somebody's home where they have tools and supplies to make things at the meeting)
Fifth – we don’t have a workshop or anything like this here just yet, so we made all the pillowcases at home and took them with us for a walk and posing on the beach.
Domoshar: “One Million Pillowcases Challenge” – Wow! Sounds so big and serious! Well, our contribution was not really numerous but quite colourful! It was fun, people were really nice, the weather was almost perfect - as you can see it was such a windy day that the pillowcases are about to leave the rope…
I believe the pillowcases number will reach 8 when everything is finalized, as we have six documented here, one like the second one that did not make it to the rope and one waiting at the post office.”
Sixth – it probably was the smallest ever group of people – three members attended! We must know our heroes: Domoshar, Plad and BukiBuki.
Seventh – people who could not come have sent the pillowcases by post to donate to a good cause: annasavenko, KetiNKD, knittingFashion, marialozeva, MilenaCh.
Eighth – we didn’t have any craft shop to supply us with fabric, so we used our leftovers.
Ninth – all the pillowcases appeared to be so different! Not just designs – the sizes! Please take a moment and look at the photos – there is a creative hand and a kind heart behind each.
If you travelled a lot or, even better, lived in another country you’ll know how much the style of life differs from the one you use to in your home country. You’ll be surprised for example if I say that in Bulgaria and other Eastern Europe countries to shop online is still not the most common use of Internet. And to give something to charity – also is something unusual.
We’ve decided to donate our pillowcases to St. Nicolas Orphanage in the St. Trinity Monastery in Bulgaria where homeless children and adults can find shelter, warm food and clothing. We hope our pillowcases and cushion covers will make their temporary home even warmer.
Plad: “Our meeting continued with a walk in the Sea Garden in a pleasant chat. We’ve exchanged a lot of information and ideas on how to improve our stores and sales on Etsy, shared our knowledge and experience.
I was very comfortable in this company, I felt that straight from the start! We all are very similar with similar interests and with the same passion to create beautiful things. And each of us was looking for a place to show our creations - and here comes the turn to thank Etsy for that place and for uniting us and for the reason of the meeting which gave me that wonderful feeling - I have new friends.”
Here in BG are so many original artists and crafters! But the world doesn’t know about them just because not all here can speak English and use Internet. So to be on Etsy and support an event like this for the people of Bulgaria must mean to think quite wide and open. Bulgarian Etsians supported the idea of meeting and donating with great enthusiasm, and if half of them wasn’t on holidays and the other half didn’t live so far away, we could have a much bigger Event. And next time we will! We are now starting an Etsy Street Team for Bulgaria and a group on Facebook. There was so much positive feedback and interest about it all that we might become quite a strong Etsy community here. Except other reasons to stay together for crafters in BG being in a team will give help, support and Etsy education, because many of them still have limited Internet and language skills.
So, we did it and it was great! And this Meet Up was as different and unique as everything and everyone on Etsy.
Reported by BukiBuki