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.


  1. I love Trudy! I wish I were able to post in the forums and say so!

  2. Fantastic story.. I followed the whole thing, and enjoyed contributing to the Fund too..... I think they are both amazing women, and I thank you for posting this on your blog !!! The power and heart of handmade is truly felt through your words, and their actions !

  3. I teared up! Love the Etsy community!

  4. Thank you for posting this ... the etsy community is a beautiful thing and I am so happy to be a part of it!

  5. Today, I am proud to be part of this community. THANK YOU all. :)

  6. OMG..I thought I had posted in here for God's sake what did I do wrong again?

    Fineheart.. You just have no idea what this means to me. Really..I was just so touched..and MY God..Celtic you know is just in everyones thoughts and prayers..the community rallied around her..Wow..

    I know I can be a pain in a** on the forums at times..ha..God knows..I mean I added it up.. 6, 837 posts..Good Lord..I would be rolling my eyes too..

    but you know when the forums work..they work...and for you to recognize Celtic and I's connection..Is the most heartwarming thing I have ever read about me..I mean it.. no one has ever done anything like that for me..and I will remember this the rest of my life..

    Knot..I love you too..I know that is sincere coming from you.. you are not a huggy..kissy I know that came straight from your heart..Thank you and I miss you more than you know..

    Angela..thank you so much for everything.. Your kind words also mean a lot to me..and Good Lord I'm crying again.. I am just so touched..

    Gypsy...I have been tearing up more or less since Celtic started the thread..and then forget it..I read this..and just hit my soul..

    April..You were the first Team I was in... HHU.. I have always felt bonded to you..thank you so much for everything.. I am just a slacker with teams..Never seems to be enough time and energy for everyone...I guess basically I'm just not a joiner..

    You know I stopped going on the forums.. since the change.. when we were scooted off to teams..

    It will NEVER be the same.. but for yesterday and today..the old forums came back ...I can't believe that they left it open so long..hmmmmmm I guess we are benefitting ( sp) from what's going on lately and they are cutting us some slack...

    I don't care what the reason is..I am just thrilled...

    You all..mean a lot to me.. I just don't think for one second that you can really know.. I am just so honored to know all of you..and thank you so very much for everything..Celtic is really in pain right now..

    She is just so thankful for all of you ..and so am I.... Love Trudy

  7. Wow, that was a beautiful story! Trudy really is a wonderful person, and I love that we, can share things like this! :)

  8. Awwwwwwwww Pap...Thank you so much for your words..they touched my heart..and yes..such an out pouring of love and support for Celtic and myself.. ( I'm just along for the ride..ha)

    When Etsy Community rallies together it's a wonderful thing...You are so cute.. I am used to your baby kitty...xoxo Trudy

    I don't know why it says unknown...Jeeze I just noticed that

  9. What a wonderful story! I couldn't stop reading once I started. We need more Tudys in the world don't we?

  10. Great Inspiering and encouraging story! Thanks for sharing!

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