As Renee and I consolidate our learnings from our weekend spent at Hello Etsy in Berlin, firstly let me share with you some of the highlights of the weekend, and why, in our opinion, this is possibly not only the best conference ever, but potentially one of the most important to the global economy.
Upon arrival at e-werk on Saturday morning (an amazingly maintained ex-electricity station) when we registered at the desk we were presented with our delegate pendants. Seriously amazing…… Everyone went berzerk over how awesome they were. You can see why. Our organic cotton tote bags which contained our delegate packs were screenprinted in fluoro green (Renee) and fluoro orange (me).
The schedule was well organised, everyone was friendly and smiley, there was potted herbs on top of Marimekko fabrics on the common area tables, there were etsy purchased organic soaps, in handmade soap dishes in the bathroom, and even screen printed tea towels to wipe our hands on.
There was organic coffee and tea, with fresh organic milk for refreshments. If you felt like something a little fruitier, you could grab yourself a juice from the burda style stand, whilst sitting in their retro lounge furniture. (All of our meals over the weekend were locally sourced, organic and fair trade, with vegan alternatives and very tasty).
The various halls for the sessions had been indicated using huge, easy to read chalkboards in the chosen Hello Etsy font. There was a book stall featuring books written by some of the speakers amongst other tomes on pertinent topics, amongst magazines (including Apartamento for example). The balcony in the common area had a stall featuring Nahinstitut Moritzplatz, a community based sewing collective set up with several sewing machines where, should you wish to, you could be given a length of Marimekko fabric (of your choice) and make yourself, say, a cushion, or a tote bag.
The main hall featured an immaculately laid out stage, including an original Scandinavian turquoise blue lounge suite with a suitably matched coffee table. All over the stage were potted flowers, and the lectern was one of those cute old-school styles with a ‘lid’. The sound system meant everyone could hear, and the enormous screen meant everyone could see.
There was even free wi fi.
This all before anyone even spoke a word. The speakers and the sessions that we attended will be something I remember for a long time, possibly for the rest of my life. They were moving, motivating, inspiring, eloquent, heart-warming, encouraging and educational. There was way too much learnt while we were there, so what I’m going to do is a regular “what I learned from Hello Etsy” style of post. This will be fortnightly or thereabouts, and will hopefully succinctly and concisely contain what I’ve learnt and what I think is important for us all, and obviously important for the indie design culture both globally and nationally.
So here is the first of many posts on Hello Etsy 2011.
If you have some time, I strongly suggest you watch the videos that are currently online here, with all of the sessions being uploaded in the near future. You can also check out some photos here, and here, and we’ll be uploading some on our Facebook page in the next week. Thank you to those of you who followed us during our live-tweeting (I’m sure the time difference made it often times tricky!) as it encouraged me to keep with it.
We will also introduce you to some of the incredibly lovely people we met whilst we were there. We look forward to working with Etsy, especially with Kirsteene, the newly appointed Etsy Australia co-ordinator in her quest to enhance the local independent design community by providing support, information and education.
Thanks to the Etsy teams in Brooklyn and of course to mega-Matt Stinchcomb and his team for such a well-organised, positive and important experience to all that attended.
Thank you once again to everyone who supported us in making this journey, both via contributions to Indie GoGo and your general positivity through our network online and in real life. It has meant so much to us and we will be forever grateful.
P.S. If you want to see some pics of our travels, we’re still uploading!