Friday, August 20, 2010

haters gonna hate?

.....and it happened.  Most of us knew it would.  An epic thread erupted in the forums, pointing fingers at us.  I got involved on page 1 and just wrapped up reading all the way to page 41.   well for f*cks sake, I'm going to be honest about it.

Before we get anywhere into the debate, let me restate the basis of Curation Nation.  CN began with a group of people who simply love making treasuries.  I was not a founding member, but I was invited early on.  I remember getting so excited when the team became official with Etsy.  But why start ANOTHER treasury team (that's right, CN is not the first)?  Because one of the greatest thing about the Etsy community is the willingness and the means of its members to support and promote each other.  A group of people who enjoyed supporting, encouraging, and promoting each other anyway decided to make it official via their love for treasuries.

Straight from the CN Team Page on Etsy: [Curation Nation is] A treasury building team who is focused on helping each member build their business with promotion and support by being positive and encouraging while maintaining a good reputation with other Etsians.

To help promote Etsians on Etsy but also to help the members of the group personally. We’d like to have our team members use their strengths to help each other. For instance: One of the Team Leaders has been an office manager/firm administrator for 30 years. Accounting, taxes, how to run a small business, etc. These are things she can help other sellers with. Everyone has a strength in addition to being "crafty".

To build relationships with team members vs. having a long list of names of people who are on a team.

That, simply stated, is the goal.  The goal is not to get on the Front Page.  It is to get others on the Front Page.  The goal is not to scratch someone else's back in hopes of getting yours scratched in return.  If I want my husband to scratch my back, I just ask.  I don't scratch his for an hour hoping he'll offer to scratch mine (we all know how that would work out).

On the topic of "the thread" which will not be linked to, simply referred to... a few points must be made.  CN does not intend to be a FP monopoly.  When we get more than one team FP a day, it's exciting... we rejoice and celebrate, have our fun, and move on with our lives.  We post them here on the blog in case team members missed it.  It is not to brag or boast, simply to record.  However, monopoly does happen.  In "the thread" dancesippydance (non-member) said, "I get what you are saying about the monopoly... that's just business."  To think that the FP will be curated by a different curator every single time and that repetition of featured shops should never occur is to have no grasp of the way that business works.  Commerce is not fair, by any means. 

view the fp as a magazine cover. a magazine cover is meant to grab your attention and make you want to view the contents.  I don't imagine there are a lot of magazine editors in meetings saying "yea, put her on the cover and she'll sell bazillions of copies...but that's not really fair to the other starlets" (dancesippydance)

Etsy chooses the FP's.  We just make treasuries.  Lots of them.  Because we love to.  (I guess I also love sentence fragments?)  It is a simple fact that the more treasuries you make, the more FP's will be chosen from your work.  That is just the way that probability works.  Let me state, again, that CN team members are only required to create 3 treasuries a month with 50% or more team members.  So claims of stuffing ballots or putting our own eggs in our own baskets are quite empty.

Is CN "gaming the system"?  It is possible to be interpreted that way.  But it is not intentional.  The more lottery tickets you buy, the more chance you have of winning the lottery.  But all it takes is the right ticket.  CN members seem to have the right tickets (.....for now. Etsy's favor comes and goes).  We are incredibly grateful for this and try to pay respect to the other fantastic treasury makers of Etsy.

In the end, there is more to life and success on Etsy than being on the FP.  Some shops get lots of sales and hearts from their features, but others do not.  This much is true:  dwelling on repetition or lack of FP appearances will not get you sales.  It will not make you successful, and it probably won't help you sleep at night.  There are better ways to occupy your time.  Go create something new and beautiful for no other reason than to create.  Read a book.  Fly a kite.  Eat a cupcake.  Be inspired.  Create an Etsy team.  Make treasuries until your eyes get dry.

CN members are incredibly supportive of each other and are united by a love for creating and for Etsy.  To all team members, haters gonna hate.  Keep it respectful in the forums.  If incorrect information is being presented as fact, do your best to provide the correct information.  If you are a non-member who has problems with the team, please contact one of the team leaders (links provided on the right) rather than take it to the forums and get another strike towards muting yourself.

It was suggested in "the thread" that CN members make up a blog post (and present it to the Storque) about how to make a FP treasury.  I think this is a fabulous idea.  I would love it if all team members would message me and tell me what they love about treasury making and what they think makes a treasury FP worthy. 

Thanks again to the team.  You are awesome, and I do not have enough words to express my gratitude for your support both on Etsy and in my personal life.


  1. Very great article Ashli. I've posted many times in the forums on how to make a great treasury. I should compile them!

  2. Some people have just TOO MUCH time on their hands. I am amazed at how often this actually comes up. We had the same issue with the BNR treasuries and the WWES team on twitter. It is too bad that a few unhappy people can take the wind out of something that was intended to be good! It just needs to be let go! Continue doing what you enjoy doing~

    PS I love the treasuries!!

  3. I'm not a member but I've been participating because It's a challenge and I love making treasuries! Wouldn't worry to much about what other people say, I think it's great that you guys get so many front pages. Keep it up!!!

  4. I'm surprised the thread wasn't locked for calling out.

    On another note, I LOVE the chippy paint background on the blog!
    Keep on keepin' on CN! Y'all rock the FP for a reason.

  5. I am so very sorry to hear this. I haven't been to 'the thread' yet, but I'm sure the major beef is the number of front pages you folks score. I say more power to you! Beautiful treasuries make the front page. If you make them, the etsy ptb's will choose them -- regardless of team affiliation.

    The Oh Canada Team recently incorporated treasury challenges with a system based on your model. I thank you for your inspiration, and wish you all continued success. Even if it ticks off others ;-)

  6. I'm not on the team but I love to make treasuries and I include people I meet and like and are on the other team I am part of and I do it because I like it, how is that any different, I am not going to read the forum because I dont like negativity.

  7. I'm sorry for the people that read the forum post (i haven't yet) and get a bad impression of our team.

    I'm so grateful for our team. It has made us try to have a better shop, so we can give our team members great items to add to their treasuries.

    How is this not a violation of the forum policies?

  8. Thanks to all non-members (and members, mwah) posting here. Even if you are not a member of our team, you are welcome to participate in our treasury challenges. Not only is it fun, but you increase your shop's ability to make it to the FP! We love the other teams on Etsy too and try to promote ALL Etsians!

  9. I could not have said it better.

    Side note: I started selling on Etsy last December and have been teaching myself along the way. But why just stay to myself? There are so many wonderful people out there trying to teach themselves, too. That's why I love ETSY and CN - it is full of people willing to support and cheer each other while teaching each other. Etsy really is a place where we can live out our dreams. It just requires an open mind, open arms, lots of hard work, and mega heART.

  10. Thanks for the encouraging words! I love being a part of CN. I haven't even been in the FP treasuries, and I still love it! I think any time something is successful, a lot of people attack it.

  11. well said! i enjoy making treasuries and while i can't make one everyday or as often as i'd like, i enjoy featuring people i've met in real life, on twitter, sellers i've purchased from, sellers i'd love to purchase from, members of CN as well as members of other etsy and treasury teams.
    those that are complaining, should take the time to learn how to make a treasury. the more you make, the better your skills become at making them. which is why i believe the challenges have been so successful and you've achieved so many front pages (cheers!). i haven't participated in a challenge - i usually curate from inspiration - but i'm happy to know that if i'm ever stuck, i have colleagues to help me out :)

  12. Well written Ashli. I have been so well received by this team. I love being a part of a wonderful group of sellers that are here to encourage and support one another. Treasuries help us to do that. They are fun to make and a way to peek into each other's shops to see what's out there.

  13. I am not a team member but I think what this team does is great. Keep it up everyone! I really enjoy participating in the challenges and will be a non-teammate teammate as long as this team exists!

  14. I joined Etsy late. As compared to 1.5 years on the *bay*, that is. And I was SO excited about it because it was focused on artisanship, not just marketing any old thing to make $$. Then I discovered treasuries, which I immediately liked making. But THEN I discovered you folks at CN and your treasury challenges, and it actually CHANGED MY LIFE, lol! I now use treasuries as a tool to stretch my imagination and get my creative juices flowing!

    I looked at dancesippydance's treasury page and she has made five. FIVE! Geez Louise, I've made five PAGES of treasuries in 2 months, because I discovered that it was such an amazing creative outlet and inspiration for me. There is NOTHING else like it, literally. How can a person who has barely even TRIED it criticize in such a way? As the short guy in The Princess Bride said: Inconceivable!

    And for my efforts I've not only had the privilege of achieving three FP's in that time (one of which was, yes, related to CN!), I have gained a fuller understanding of marketing in Etsy; made a few new aquaintances (who will perhaps become friends over time); and been absolutely INSPIRED at times to create new items JUST because of the content of one of my treasuries. For the first time EVER I feel like a real artist, lol!

    If a person who hasn't even TRIED it wants to complain, don't you all listen to her. You have created an absolutely amazing team here, and I'm working my BUTT off to make enough stuff for 4 pages so I can officially apply to join you. Meantime, here's a very public 'thank you' for the encouragement and kind words I've received despite not being a team member!

  15. I'd like to offer a few words of support. I can say the following about CN members..lots of nice folks here..AND they take the time to comment in the treasuries that I've made and to also include me in theirs.

    I'll put in the time it takes to make my shops on etsy the best they can be..why because my parents raised me to work hard, and keep trying...and I know that you all spend a lot of time working to do the same.

    Wishing you all the best

  16. Just thought I'd add that dancesippydance was not the OP of the thread..... just a poster who had some valid points about how the business end of the Etsy FP works.

    Thanks for all of the encouragement everyone!

  17. I must admit that I was one of those that worked my behind off trying to figure out the “Etsy way”, and had the same question that seems to be at the heart of this drama. “Why do I keep seeing the same faces on the FP?” Even though I was chosen several times by numerous shops and many times by Etsy admin to be on the FP, in gift guides and in the Storque, it still wasn’t enough for me. I LOVED the feeling of success that I got from being on the FP and wanted to be there (the occasional sale it brought was a nice bonus too)!!

    I feel like my age and lack of computer knowledge put me at a disadvantage when I joined Etsy. When I joined, I didn’t even know how to upload pictures, I relied solely on my hubby. I didn’t have myspace, FB or twitter and I had no idea what a blog was (still haven’t figured that one out). All I did know was that our merchandise and shop was good enough in comparison, that we should be seen and should become a successful Etsy shop.

    I’m not a “Negative Nancy” and I wasn’t going to put others down because they were where I wanted to be, I simply worked harder in figuring out how to network successfully. I now post regularly on FB and Twitter (and LOVE it!).

    I was not invited to join this team…I watched and evaluated the works and camaraderie and I liked what I saw. I decided that I wanted to be a part of it. When I contacted Yvonne and Eileen I had no idea if I would even be accepted but it was worth a shot. I found them both to be such sweet and inviting souls (especially after they let me join - lol). Having been invited onto the team with nothing but kindness and open arms and warm hearts means more than you‘ll ever know. (Hey and FP five out of six days ain’t too shabby either - lol) On another note…..A very dear Etsy friend also asked to join this team but was declined. She has no hard feeling and decided that she could still be a part by participating in our Saturday and Wednesday challenges and has been featured on the FP twice by being in our team collections!! I admire her and encourage her to continue to enter our challenges. She in my book is already a winner!!

    In saying all this I want to say to those that have a problem seeing the same faces on the FP……YOU can DO SOMETHING about it… work harder, create your own team, you are invited and welcome to join in our team challenges, etc.

    And to my teammates THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You are all so talented, interesting and have enhanced my life (and my shop) tremendously!! Hugs ♥toni

  18. have said exactly what I felt in my heart. I too didn't know beans about this computer. Upload? Download? Wait..what?? I feel so honored that this team accepted me as a member. I work full-time and can't make as many treasuries as others, but I will continue to try to do my best and I know my fellow team members will accept that and will continue to encourage me. This team is about encouraging one another. And, as has been repeatedly mentioned, anyone can join the challenge treasuries. And that's what I'm about to do right to see what the current challenge is all about. Here's hoping....

  19. Wow. This is why I don't visit the Forums any more. I find only discord there, and I work hard to keep mostly positiveness in my life.

    I love being a part of this team; it's full of wonderful creative supportive happy people. It's saddened me to know that our team is being smacked about somewhere.

    Please, my fellow beautiful team members, ignore the negative voices and let's just focus on making pretty things. 'Cause that's what we do. And we do it well!

  20. More thoughts, 'cause I can't top thinking on this subject now:

    I do notice that particular Etsians do get a lot of play on the front page (we all know who, 'cause we all follow the front page religiously). Whether their treasuries are repeatedly picked for the front page, or if they are a particular shop who is constantly chosen to be in treasuries (which then gets on the front page), I say congratulations!
    Because like every other Etsian, it's a place I'd love to be, too, and I won't get there if I put others down. Supporting others & being thankful is the better way to be (as well as making beautiful treasuries & taking excellent photographs!). I've been blessed to be on the front page a few times since I started my Etsy journey. It's a thrill every time! And I want others to experience that thrill.

    Re. Treasury Making 101:
    There are many resources available to help people create treasuries, but the best education is just looking at the treasuries that do make it to FP or the ones that catch your eye when perusing the Treasuries - and then just start making. And making lots.
    Best piece of advice I can give anyone is use the Poster Sketch tool. It's my best friend when it comes to treasury-making! I sometimes re-work a gathering of items/images over the span of a few days - perfecting the flow/overall theme. (yup, I'm nutty like that!)

    I'll stop thinking now. ;)

  21. Heads up, be proud of your hard work. and don't give those who want to hate any "pleasure" by letting them know this bothers you.

    At the end of the day it's STILL etsy admin who picks FP..and by the way etsy admin I make FABULOUS treasuries and I include CN in lots of them..


  22. I am sorry I missed the thread - will look it up - maybe add something too!

  23. Thank you to all of the non team members who posted here. I create a treasury around you. Sorry, there was at least one of you I could not track down a shop for (rats).

  24. I just want to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to Eileen and Yvonne and Ashli and Cristy and everyone else who does so much for CN. I can't even tell you how much I love this team. A finer group of people you will not meet anywhere. I feel like I don't do nearly enough for what I get out of the team (not just front pages, LOL)! Thank you so much, all of you! ♥

  25. My heart has been given a big ole hug from reading all of these posts. I humbly thank all of you for your kindness and gratitude. The irony for me in all of the forum debacle is this point: Curation Nation was birthed based on the OP's original thought. Of course I wasn't filled with snark about it, but was filled with, "Huh? Wonder how that happens." sort of attitude. I asked to be on a Treasury based team and was declined. Being declined only propelled me to find some sucker *coughs and says, "Eileen"* to join me in creating a new Treasury based team. My biggest team "want" was a team made up of peeps who knew the importance of two words: support and encouragement. Treasury curating skills were important, but for me, NOT the most important aspect of being a team.

    Teammies, you have not disappointed me. I see how you help one another, are open enough to ask those who are more experienced for help, and genuinely care about the daily happenings of your teammies' lives.

    Thank you beautiful women! Remember, when the going gets tough, the tough curate Treasuries!

  26. Hi Team!

    Although I am aware of the recent incident(s)...I am a little late to this well written and appropriate blog response. Well done!

    I love my team! Really, I'm very proud of the way people have handled this situation. Our team leaders have been very professional and helpful and the teammates have come together not only with one another but also with others. I especially enjoy the treasuries featuring two teams coming together, or featuring undiscovered shops through pounce.

    But regardless of the theme, the fact is Curation Nation treasuries rock! This is evident in many ways. For one thing, I see the opposition as a kind of validation of success. There is always opposition where something good is happening, you can be sure of that!

    This point has been made before, but it's worth repeating. The bottom line is that the Etsy admin are the ones who make the final FP decision. Recently I've been in a couple of situations where this topic has come up and I've had the pleasure of hearing admin opinions. When asked about the forum debate in a virtual lab one admin said something to the affect that there are groups of people who work very hard, diligently and consistently at making beautiful treasuries and these treasuries are the ones that make it to the FP. It's important to keep this in mind. It is hard work and also a good eye which make our treasuries successful.

    As far as promoting goes, it's just a smart idea! There isn't a successful business in the world online or offline that doesn't use the tools available for them to promote with, or that doesn't use some kind of networking. And it's important to note that the team is an asset to the Etsy community at large. We are promoting and supporting all kinds of people in our curations. Plus, promoting others feels good! Making new friends and connections feels good! Creating a beautiful treasury feels good!

    That being said, teams are more than that as well. I honestly can not think of a place where I have received more encouragement and camaraderie than right here with these teammates!

    Thank you Curation Nation.
    Rock on!