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!