[Charles] Looks like tonight's little meetup of Etsy makers has turned into a huge scale shindig. Last night we stopped by Tempus to meet Coryn Enfinger from darkcycleclothing and chatted a bit while they hurriedly greeted folks and planned out vendor space. There are over 250 people on Facebook that say they will be there, there are over 130 artists that RSVP'd on Meetup, and well even if only half of those folks break away from their computer screens for a few hours it should be a massive turnout for the smallish gallery space on Florida Avenue in Seminole Heights. They are setting up 25 or so vendors outside around the courtyard space and there is first come first served wall space in the converted garage that Tempus uses for all their shows.
We will be there with some of our latest pieces of furniture, but the main attraction is meeting all the other artists and talking shop with a growing community of people that are taking solid steps toward a new marketplace. If you don't know Etsy yet, well I'm sorry but I'll give you the short version. It's an online marketplace built around giving crafty people a place to sell their wares to anyone in the world. Say you like making toe rings from the palm fronds in your yard and you've always wanted to sell them but you don't have time or know how to market yourself to stores. Etsy allows makers to bring their products to market and it can be a few items or thousands. The website is already made (it's sort of like Ebay but you pay for things outright - no auction) so you just have to be good about describing what you make and taking photos of it. Then you can sell anything that you make, even things that are made from something else. Also you can sell vintage items like clothing. The artistry of individuals is where Etsy really shines - we've purchased earrings from an artist in Australia and these sort of small items that are easy to ship are really the best sellers on Etsy. Go check it out if you haven't and just do a search. You can search based on types of items or materials - like steel? or marble? how about Tampa artists only? Do a local search. It's a pretty amazing tool.
Anyway, the point is, tonight come meet some of those amazing artists that are reshaping our handmade world through this website in person. Tonight you can chat them up about how it works or how they make things. You might even fall in love with someone's art that lives right down the street from you.