So you’ve spent some time thinking about what this camp will mean to both you and your teens by now, The WHY behind creating it at all. GOOD JOB! I firmly believe that unless you walk the walk your teens won’t truly connect with this camp.
Now to figure out the WHO… That might not seem like the next logical step, if you’re like me you’re thinking you need to design the camp and then find people who fit the bill. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) all our communties are TOTALLY different and there’s no guarantee that when you’re working on the branding exercises for Week 1 that you’ll know a branding specialist. So why start there? Instead, hit the pavement! Go to your local craft markets, your local Etsy team meetings, your local small,creative businesses and talk up this idea!
I know, I know… You’re thinking to yourself “WHAT IDEA!?! What the heck, lady, you haven’t told us what this even IS yet!” Just trust me (and be a little bit patient…). You’ve just put in the work of why the camp should exist. Once you finnd community members who like this idea and want to have a stake in it the pieces will naturally fall together. Here in Chattanooga we’re big fans of telling folks “Don’t do what we do. Do what’s right for YOUR community.” and this is no exception to that rule.
A natural place to start looking is by reaching out to local Etsy Sellers. You can search for these folks by hopping onto Etsy’s website and searching the Teams area for your city’s name, your state’s name or something else specific to where you live or the topic you’re looking to highlight. If you have the equipment to have folks skype in or video chat in some other way your speaker options can be limitless!
Beyond that think abut who owns the cool vintage clothings shops or who’s always selling at the farmer’s market? Who’s successful in graphic design, creating the best shop storefronts, or has the best local packaging? If these people aren’t in your own town that’s okay too, reaching out to a more global audience of speakers can show how the same ideas work for people all over the state/country/globe! Who do you know??? Time to reach out to just about everyone!
If you’re looking for some talking points for these interactions here you go:
- I’m creating a camp for local teens to learn how to start and run their own small, creative businesses from the ground up.
- I’m looking for local business owners, artists and creatives who would like to come speak to the teens on a wide variety of topics.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re Donald Trump, you just have to be willing to give 20 minutes to these teens to share: Your Story, Your Process or Your Talent. Having multiple voices from our community strengthens the teens’ learning experience and backs up the ideas they’ll be working on in a way that just one librarian can’t!
- I’m recruiting well in advance of the camp so there will be plenty of time to solidify schedules that work for folks. We’re finding our talent before we create our schedule so that it works for everyone.
- The general topics of the camp will be (I know you’ve been dying for these!!!):
Week 1 – Inspiration, Ethical Sourcing of Materials, Finding Your Brand
Week 2 – Brand Identity & Packaging
Week 3 – Pricing, Writing & Photography
Week 4 – Booth Displays & Stage Presence
Week 5 – A Selling Experience (Field Trip!!!)
Week 6 – Masters Class for Families on How To Open an Etsy Shop
EditSo maybe now that you’ve seen the topics for each week of camp you’ve already spawned some ideas about who would be perfect, go talk to them! Tell them why you think they’re perfect!
Your goal until the next post is to try and find at least 1 speaker per day. If you can find multiples it will only strengthen what you’re creating. Many times these speakers will be interested in coming for a half day or a whole day to see what camp is all about. (In fact, many of the speakers collected the handouts and articles we used to use on their own shops later. SO validating!) If this interests them then let them hang out as long as they want! They seem to want to dip in and out of the exercises your teens will be working on offering advice and personal experience that adds a meaningful depth to the camp.
It. Is. Priceless.
When you’ve got folks who are interested let them know that you’ll soon be following up with details about where and when the camp will be. And that’s exactly what we’ll talk about in the next post – The Where.