Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

hostile etsy team takeover: critique my leadership skills

A mentor once told me, "You have good ideas spacefem, you just need to bring people along with you."

This was echoed when I took the strengthsfinder quiz... which labeled me as an idea person and gave me this advice: "Finish your thoughts and ideas before communicating them. Lacking your Ideation strength, others might not be able to "join the dots" of an interesting but incomplete idea, and thus might dismiss it."

(I believe "ideation" is an awful, made up, junk english word, but let's deal for a minute to move on)

This trait is hitting me this week in an etsy team I'm on.

The back story: Trading is popular on Etsy. There are several trade teams where people do this.

I was a member of the biggest etsy trading team, but it frustrated me that to find items to trade, I'd have to just click on those shop names one-by-one. So I emailed the leaders and said "I'm a website writer, how about I write a site that automatically catalogs items from team members' shops?"

no response. not interested.

Then this random startup team invited me to join, I pitched my website idea to them, they said "go ahead!" They made me a leader, featured the site, everything.

Then those captains vanished. After a lot of messes that weren't cleaned up, I let Etsy know and they promoted me to captain.

I was happy, but secretly wondered why on earth Etsy needed Yet Another Trade Team. I contacted the leaders of the other bigger team again, asked if I could link my website to their team and we could have a merger! Again, no response.

But rather than start a campaign, I realized something... I could just step up and make this team just what I wanted! It could totally be the team tacked on to my website, rather than my website being a random thing tacked on to the team, like it had been.

So I changed the team name, logo, everything... without asking anybody.

Someone did ask what happened, and I posted this explanation about how I really thought it would help set us apart.

You may have noticed I changed our team name & logo... maybe it would be nice to explain why. Well, that and Lisa ( was attentive and/or brave enough to ask "What happened to Yay for Trades?" and that question does deserve an answer! So the short story is that I decided to rebrand.

For a few reasons...

1) First, I hated the hot pink. Sorry.

2) Second, I think the only thing that really sets this team apart is the fact that we have a website automatically cataloging our items, giving us exposure and helping us search for team listings. Otherwise, what's the difference between us and every other trade team? And I dunno if you've searched lately but there are LOTS... bigger teams, older ones, more active ones, why would someone join this one? So emphasizing the website makes it clear to people that we have something extra.

My immediate goal in the next few weeks is to promote some more team leaders, I'm not comfortable with everything just being me... and that's what inspired me to re-brand. I wanted to ask them, "Do you want to help lead OUR team... that we all own, can change, have input towards" rather than "do you want to help lead this team I got left with when the charter captains went AWOL." If I'm going to get people on board with something, it's gotta be something my heart is in... that's why I changed everything.

I'm sure I sound crazy, but I promise I have the best interests of the team at heart. If you're skeptical, stick with us a bit... there is always a method to my madness. I'm a big idea, jump-in-the-deep-end kinda girl and I don't always do everything 100% right, but I will appreciate everyone who sticks around through the turmoil I churn up. And although this may seem heavy-handed (I didn't talk with anyone, just did it) I really do love feedback and don't mind people questioning me.

So now that I've got that out, I feel better.


I'm writing about all this hear because I can't write a ton of stuff about my work projects, they're proprietary, but I can divulge everything about Etsy teams and you all can look from the outside and say "Wow Spacefem, you sound like a crazed dictator" or "Wow Spacefem, that team is lucky to have your vision!"

Tags: etsy
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