Saturday, July 3, 2010

Treasury East

I was thinking about Treasury East today and how it has changed not only how we promote on Etsy, but how we team build and create relationships among sellers. Rob Kalin has stated his vision for Etsy is to become more community based (i.e. social commerce) and I am now a believer in this dream. I have drunk of the Kool-Aid, and I'll tell you why.

I was very skeptical of Treasury East (TEast) before it launched. No one likes change, but I felt letting everyone create treasuries all the time took away from the specialness of making one. Made it less exclusive, easier to attain - face it, more supply should equal less demand. I didn't even use it when it launched, preferring to stare at my monitor for 15 minutes awaiting the fleeting Main or West opening.

Once I started using it, I enjoyed the wider space - it allowed me to stretch my figurative arms out and changed the whole design and layout. Even still, I felt selfish for making too many at a time, I wouldn't dream of having more than say, five.

Then I really got rolling. I created the Beyond Bridal Team with Jill from ThreadRare and found how useful TEast could be for team building. It allows us to promote each other, to discover our teammates products and talents, it allows us much more opportunity for a team front page (still waiting Etsy! ;)

This team building is a very important aspect of Etsy - on your own it would take hours and weeks and months and years to promote yourself enough to stand out. Teams help you with site questions, open doors - if you're not on a team you need to find one or create one! I have recently joined the Curation Nation Treasury Team and am so excited to have created two recent team front pages. It has lead to treasury challenges, like this one from claireandjanae's blog - which are such a fun way to design treasuries and find new shops!

This brings me back to realizing Rob's community based merchandising dream. I thought it had to do with the Forums at first - which is why it left a bad taste in my mouth. I don't think the Etsy experience should be dependent on the whims and moods of the ever arguing forums. But that was my misinterpretation. I also worried this "community driven" aspect would lead to a kind of incestuous, favor giving relationship between shops (bear with me, I'm not trying to be creepy). I assumed it would lead to shops buying from shops - moving money around Etsy, but not bringing any fresh capital in. Buying favors, building, dare I say, mafias? I worried, and still do, about bringing fresh clientele into the site.

This is a separate issue, and has to do with social commerce, but I have strayed off topic. I am now behind this direction because in the past year I have built such wonderful relationships with other sellers. I have found such a good community within Etsy, and meet new people every day. Treasury East has allowed me to go beyond Twitter, Facebook, blogging - building connections on Etsy instead of outside of the site. It allows me to promote my teammates - and in return, get promoted as well.

Now, down to the nitty gritty - has all this community hand-holding, Kumbaya signing led to sales? In a word, Yes. My sales have increased - I believe the driving force behind them is front page exposure. The front page has some powerful magic and it's pretty hard to get there alone.

Rob stated "In social commerce, our focus is on people, not products. It's our job to build tools for you to use, that help you promote items as you'd like to." Treasury East is this useful tool that is launching our networking beyond what was previously possible. I realize I sound like an Etsy boot-licker, but I'm excited about the direction Etsy is going and thankful for all the creative and talented people I meet everyday and the opportunity it gives me to make a living doing something I love.

I would love to know what you think - please comment on how TEast has changed your Etsy experience. Feel free to link to your latest treasuries!


michelle said...

Great post Analisa! I agree with everything you've stated. I'm still waiting for that FP exposure more often, but I'm so thrilled to be on the Curation Nation team. You guys are the best :)

Waterrose said...

Wonderful post. I felt the same way when T.east rolled out. But have since changed my really does hold a lot of possibilities.

Anonymous said...


I think you described it beautifully! You my friend are an example of the many wonderful people I have met through Etsy. Even more than promoting my shop, I want to promote and share all of the wonderful shops I've come to love. TEast allows me to do that to my hearts content!


Jen S. said...

I was pretty uncomfortable with the idea of T-East at first, too. But I definitely think Jill (Threadrare) hit the nail on the head about the team building aspect, and that has been quite evident with Curation Nation. The extra exposure I've received has definitely helped my sales, hearts, and views.

I also really like having the ability to create a treasury on a whim. Before T-East, inspiration would hit and then maybe sit in Poster Sketch for who-knows-how-long before T-Main or T-West opened up. If it turned out to be a wait, that treasury just didn't seem so fresh anymore.

Then, there's the tagging feature they added this week. Oooo yeah. I love that too!

Cristy said...

After connecting with others, I am seeing my business grow much faster than if I would have ever tried to do it all alone. T East and Curation Nation have been huge in getting my shop front page exposure, and I love the ability to tag that was just recently added. I'm not going to lie, I kinda miss the excitement and thrill of the old treasury system, but I think for long term, this new system is going to be much better.

Great post! Thanks for sharing!

Little bug jewelry/Jane said...

I agree, I am having so much fun with Teast lately!!

janaemadsen said...

I like TEast- you don't have to wait to get a treasury all the time. some of them are really weird though...
and I LOVE treasury teams and the new search feature makes my life SO happy.
p.s. of course food counts for the month challenge. I love food.