Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sometimes, It Is More Than Just Business

A lesson in humanity. Paying forward and getting a reward back doesn’t have to be instant to be well worth it. The Etsy Forums have always been a source of knowledge, laughter, entertainment, and lately, much controversy, drama, and some heartache. Today, it brings me something truly unexpected: perspective.

Here’s a short story.
An Etsy artist is grieving over her twin sister who had died tragically. A shop owner reaches out to her and sends her a gorgeous handmade necklace as a token of her sister’s memory. They become good “virtual” friends though the Etsy Forums.

Fast forward. The shop owner’s husband falls gravely ill. The woman who lost her sister in the story above now becomes the comforter of the shop owner who first comforted her.

Now, how did I get wind of this via the Etsy Forums? 

Today, the shop owner whose husband is ill thanks her artist friend very publicly on the Etsy Forums. I happen to be a huge fan of this woman she thanked, Trudy. ArtbyTrudy has a virtual fan club and we all chime in and yell our praises for Trudy.

Trudy. She is a source of many laughs, late night chats, and camaraderie. She is a precious woman who does not know the power of her presence, online and off. I am sure. I say that because although I have never met Trudy in person, she is a wonderful motivator, a great source of wisdom, and a very amazing woman to know. Although we both find that owning a small business online is like navigating through a magic maze which changes every time we think we have found the exit door, she manages to have sense of humor through it all. Trudy's fun and positive outlook is infectious. She always manages to bring a smile to my usually frustrated face.

Back to the story.
As Trudy would, she comes in on the Forum thread and finds post after post of accolades and praises sent her way. Trudy immediately switches the focus from herself to her friend, ACelticgirl2, and puts it all out there. Trudy simply states, please visit ACelticgirl2’s shop profile since she needs our help. Trudy is not a subtle gal. She speaks unassumingly and she is always frank and to the point. Because of Trudy’s track record of never steering me (or any of us) wrong, we all click on ACelticgirl2 Profile page.

... which simply it states:
“This is all you need to know about me right now. One day at a time."

I followed the link as many others did. We support ACelticgirl2 in our own way. Some donate, some send notes, some simply say a quiet prayer. Just because we know Trudy asked. And just because we know that a few years back, ACelticgirl2 did something selfless without ever expecting anything back.

Why am I sharing this today?
It's been months since my last post and much much longer since my last business advice. But you know, sometimes, something bigger comes our way and we just need to say something, acknowledge its presence and share: yes, sometimes, it is not always about business.

I am hoping that this post will be read as it was intended to be: a small tribute to two women who make me glad to be part of an amazing community of artists, small business owners, collectors, hobbyists, experts, and people who do care.

In the midst of crazy world events, busy-ness, insane deadlines, and lost confidences, I find that indeed, there is a real community inside Etsy. And, Etsy Corp in New York with all its faults, triumphs, failures, and imperfections, has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Editor's Note: Photograph is the property of ArtbyTrudy.

If you enjoyed this post, please pass on to your virtual planet on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, blogging or e-mail.