I'm excited to announce that I'll be the new leader of Crown Town Handmade for the upcoming year! I'm honored to be taking the reins from our founder, Amanda Aileen, who has been a truly inspirational leader over the past year and a half.
I've learned a lot about leadership and running an organization from Amanda. She was a stranger when she contacted me and a few others through Etsy about a new group she was putting together in October of 2009. It's hard to believe that our small group didn't even have a name at that point- just a handful of people with ideas, itching to connect with other crafty entrepreneurs. The economy was at an all-time low and we were all in need of new energy and encouragement for our micro- businesses. Our Prize Pack Giveaway was our first group project.
It's amazing how far Amanda has taken Crown Town Handmade since that time. We now have around 40 members, hundreds of friends and fans in our community, and we host well-attended free monthly Make-Out Craft Nights for the public. We have been involved with events at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, hosted an official Etsy craft party and formed strong relationships with supportive local shops like Beadlush and Century Vintage. Features in Creative Loafing and Charlotte Magazine helped to spread the word of our group and attracted new members. Internally, we hold monthly business workshops to help our members become better entrepreneurs. Our online discussion board has allowed us to pool our craft show experiences and share opportunities, and some of our members have utilized our growing internship and skill share programs. We have been able to do all of these things because Amanda created and maintained an organized and active leadership structure.
Crown Town Handmade has certainly brought renewed energy to our members and our community. Connecting with this group was, for me, the spark that made things really start happening with my own business. I hope that I'll be able to give back to the group all that it has given me. It's my turn to steer Crown Town Handmade and build on what has already been created. I am excited and ready for the challenge!