Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Berlin... day 3

I was up early cause I couldn't sleep.  Nothing to do with being excited and everything to do with the experimental jazz music coming from the upstairs apartment. I swear.

Made my way to Wilhelmstr on the bus, via a donut purveyor (I was worried I might not get another chance to eat donuts.)  It was a beautiful beautiful day, and I was super excited so when Amanda and I met up and found Ewerk itself - a building which was originally an electrical substation built in the 1880s we squealed a little.  Check out the awesome building Hello Etsy was held at.

Went into the main hall and it was like an etsy seller's dream come true. There's cute tablecloths on the tables with herbs planted in milk cartons. There's a mezzanine level with sewing machines and Marimekko fabric to use and super nice ladies to help you make whatever you want. There's a fridge full of Innocent smoothies, a 'write home' area sponsored by Moo

Innocent Smoothies (Photo by happy serendipity)

Smoothie Hats! (Photo by Matzen)

Berlin-HelloEtsy-8 (photo by Miss Minoes)

Danielle who writes the Etsy newsletter was there with a lifesize 'treasury' made from cardboard,

The Etsy stand
(Photo by happy serendipity)
the bathrooms even had Dear Colleen  hand towels and handmade soaps in beautiful soap dishes.

Everything - even down to the signage, nametags, and gosh darn cushions on the seats -  had been thought out and executed stylishly - a whole electrical substation full of awesomeness.

HELLO ETSY Berlin, September 17 & 18, 2011

But most importantly, a whole electrical substation full of nice, talented, interesting people.

The conference was kicked off by an unavoidably motivational talk from Doug Richard. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom I took away from him about what young business means:

Tom Hodgkinson from the Idler followed with a talk (which started with "I'm 43, living in rented accommodation and have no money") about being self-employed- and later, being self-employed as a parent. I really enjoyed his talk, I think it was the one which stuck with me most throughout the course of the weekend.  I was also so glad someone asked the question about 'giving up an interesting life and blaming it on your kids.'  (The secret is not being afraid of losing everything.)

Some books to note: The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts, and The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris.  Also, check out Tom's article in the Independent, 'This was business with a punk spirit.'

The third talk was by Charty Durrant, and I like this photo by Matzen - I think it sums up what she had to say.
Charty Durrant

She finished up with this great quote:

After a break sponsored by cheese pastries and earl grey tea, we were back in the main hall for a "Finding your Courage" talk from Chad Dickerson, who is the CEO of Etsy.  You guessed it, his life story was very inspiring - deciding to move to California when he was young despite everyone (including his mom) telling him not to - he told us "Noone will be as committed to your dream as you." I really liked the point he made about recognizing that there's no failing.  Every time you think you've failed, you're actually a little bit closer to finding a solution.  Go your own way.

Lunch was a delicious veggie soup served in a stylish glass jar followed by amazing Wonderpots frozen yoghurt.

Two lectures after lunch were upstairs, on the roof.

HELLO ETSY Berlin, September 17 & 18, 2011

And finally, Farai Chideya was my favourite speaker of the afternoon.  She told us about her best friend from Alaska, an Etsy enthusiast who bought her wedding rings, the necklace she wore on her wedding day as well as the wedding day glassware from Etsy.  "Craft is soul."

A delicious mango cocktail was the icing on the cake of a very special day!  Tasty.

Cocktails at least!! (Photo by happy serendipity)

"Courage is about listening to your heart."


  1. Wow ... you just made me feel so excited for Etsy and for life! You are definitely my creative genius guru person of awesome.

  2. Thanks for sharing the little treasures you gleaned from your adventure. It's great to see like minded people out there. This event sounds like the motherland of awesome. :)