By Jaclyn Carlson
I am a huge fan of Etsy. I love to shop on Etsy, buy gifts, decorate my home, treat myself and secretly hope to someday have my own little Etsy store. It's an inspiring website and anyone who has seen photos of their US headquarters will see that it looks like a pretty inspiring place to work as well.
What's even better is that Etsy has recruited some local talent to head up their Australian operations and I was lucky enough to chat with Angela D'Alton about her new position.
1.) What is your background and explain what you were doing prior to Etsy?
Prior to becoming the Australian Community Manager for Etsy I was the founder and director of Leeloo.com.au, an online store and blog dedicated to supporting and nurturing the talents of emerging designers and artists from Australia. I did that from 2007 until the beginning of this year. Before that I worked in various roles, including an extensive career in Information Technology, a fair bit of retail, a lot of administration and I was even a Massage Therapist/Reflexologist at one stage! My heart was always living in the world of creativity though, and I found it difficult to 'fit' in those worlds.
2.) How have you dealt with a change in careers and/or new direction?
Very well! It was a conclusion drawn by myself and my husband that I was really not cut out for corporate life. I love working hard, however I needed to be able to commit myself to a job in which I believe in what I do every day, you know, a good reason to get out of bed. I've always been a believer in supporting artists and grass-roots communities, especially within our own country. Given the background that I had in customer service, and I.T., combined with my huge love of fashion and design, starting my own online store was a natural choice, a marriage of sorts between my technical corporate background, and my creative artistic passions.
3.) What advice would you give to other women thinking of change but might be hesitant?
Start small, and make little changes every day that lead you towards your dream. It takes time, hard work and a lot of learning and listening. Don't start by taking huge risks. Maybe find a middle ground part-time job for a little while as you find your feet in your own business, but don't let the dream go. While it might seem scary, doing something you love is far more fulfilling than you can imagine. Staying positive can be difficult during times of knockbacks and the low energy days, but trust that you will bounce back and eventually find your routine, and the discipline that you need. The world doesn't owe you anything, you need to go after what you want. Most importantly, no-one will believe in what you're doing unless you believe in it.
4.) What's up next for you in your new role with Etsy? what advice can you pass along to Australian women thinking of joining Etsy?
My new role at Etsy involves the support of the growing number of Australian people who have their own Etsy shops, whether they are designers, artists, vintage enthusiasts or supplies providers to the creative community. I'm planning events to inform and inspire, as well as being a point of contact for feedback to our head office in Brooklyn, providing the Australian perspective.
If you are keen to join Etsy, I definitely recommend it. There's no community as kind as this one! Etsy provides sellers with a great deal of support, guidance and education. New tools are constantly being developed to ensure great experiences for all of our members. It's an affordable, easy and fun way to reach a large, global audience. Etsy gets over 40 billion unique visitors each month. There are also heaps of great resources available in the Seller Handbook section of Etsy's blog. Also, with the support of myself and my Melbourne-based counterpart Kirsteene Phelan, there will be lots of local happenings coming up. We're looking forward to a fun and exciting 2012! Visit etsy.com/sell to get started.
Still want more? Make sure to check out Etsy Success Sydney as part of the Vivid Festival. I'll be back next month to report on the festival.
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Jaclyn Carlson is the author behind the Sydney-based blog, Little Paper Trees. When not documenting her expat adventures, she can be found working for one of Australia’s top design & homewares trade shows. Passionate and prone to wasting hours on Pinterest, she has years of experience in marketing, advertising and PR and aims to put Sydney’s creative women in the spotlight with her monthly column.
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