Saturday, January 9, 2010

Human to Human

I was placing an order for some art supplies the other day. I had a question, so I called. I gave the customer service rep some item numbers and she informed me that they no longer carried those particular products. The catalog that I was ordering out of was 2 years old. humm... Maybe I needed to clean out the closet in my studio and get things a little more in order.

One of my biggest weaknesses is magazines. Mostly art, craft and cooking these days. As I started to clean out the closet, to update my catalog section, I inevitably found myself leafing through stacks of old craft magazines that I had put aside for one reason or another. I vowed to get rid of most of them...but needed to take one last look to figure out why I had chosen to keep them to begin with.

Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, Holiday issue December 2008/January 2009. No idea why I had even purchased it, yet alone kept that magazine. I rarely even see it on the stands. Yes...(as I thumb through) must have been the way they decorated those Christmas cookies...beautiful idea....

So I'm still leafing through the magazine and low and interview from Etsy's Rob Kalin. That must have been the other reason why I kept it. I read the interview, a couple of pages long and pretty uninformative (a puff piece)...but what really did hit me was the one paragraph where they ask Kalen how etsy got started. And I quote:

Q: You were barely out of college when you launched the website. How did you raise the cash?

A: We got etsy launched with nothing, then got written about on Boing Boing, a popular blog. Then we needed at least three servers to handle the demand. I had no money, so I literally walked across the street to talk to the owner of an eco-friendly restaurant and asked if he wanted to invest. He said Yes. EVERYTHING IS IN THE END A HUMAN -TO-HUMAN RELATIONSHIP.

I sell my work online. I'm on four selling sites and have a website. All are very different from each other. Some selling sites have a real sense of community, others just seem like a pile of "stuff". Yet others seem like an endless list of tags and key words. All 4 sites are at different stages in their development. Some are slick, some are clunky. Some burst with ideas and creative spirit, while others painstakingly plan out exactly which method of introducing creative ideas into the marketplace will be most effective to their customer searches. In all honestly, it can screw with your brain a little too much sometimes if you let it.

I guess what I'm getting at though, is that In the end I believe Kalin is right. It is about human to human relationships. Even those that take place online. When something is real and authentic it resonates with other people. It has soul. When it's slick and too contrived, we feel that too...but in a totally different way... AND we respond accordingly.

I hope all the masterminds who are leading the online art and crafting community forward into the future will take those words....human-to-human...into their heart, and their plans.

Pictured above:  Princess Fergurson


Abigail said...

Nice post and great pic! Aww Princess...

Diane Fergurson said...

Thanks Abby!


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