Thursday, March 31, 2011

Handmade With Purpose

Did you know that many, many people involved in the handmade and blogging community love to support their communities and those in need? It’s true! The other night during the Twitter chat for #setupshop (ask me if you don’t know what this is, it’s cool!) we talked a lot about the way that handmade shops and bloggers can raise money or support charitable causes and organizations. It was so inspiring to see people excited about learning how to give and serve in different ways! At the end of the session, a few of us wondered if there was any sort of blog that highlighted the charitable endeavors of those in our community. We thought it might be something we’d like to work on in the future.

Imagine our delight when the very next day, several of us were contacted by someone within the handmade/blogging community – who has participated in these Twitter chats before – saying, “Hey, I actually have just started a blog like that and I’m about to kick off a full month of spotlighting shops and blogs that do the things you’ve been talking about!” The person who came up with this awesome blog & idea is Lindsay, who has the cutest Etsy shop called Paint Me A Picture. She also has a facebook page for her shop and you can follow her via Twitter.

We quickly jumped on board, and I immediately bulldozed my way into her project. I’ve got to hand it to her, she responded so nicely – she actually thanked me for my ideas instead of saying, “OMG STOP EMAILING ME YOU FREAK!” (Ok, no one has ever said that to me before but I’m just certain it will happen eventually). Turns out Lindsay is sweet and funny and has a heart for helping others and wants everyone to know about the shops/blogs that are giving back, so that we can support those businesses which will in turn support the organizations and causes they give to. And I am ALL ABOUT THAT.

So what’s her blog? It’s called Handmade With Purpose and starting April 2nd, there is going to be a month of posts dedicated to sharing info about shops and blogs that donate/create/fundraise/promote for worthy causes! AND! It’s likely that after April, the blog will continue and provide great content about HOW you can get started with using your shop/blog as a platform for giving back . . . or how you can tighten up your game if you’ve already started down that road.

I gotta tell you, since deciding to put more effort into this blog, since diving into the handmade/blogging world in Twitter, since getting active with my local Etsy team, I have struggled to find MY PLACE. My little niche, you know? This is something I’ve dealt with all my life, actually. I get along with everyone and have friends in all the cliques, but don’t belong to a clique myself. I’m never enough of any one thing, I’m a big mixture of a lot of things. At different points in my life I’ve found others who are like me – the mixed bag – and we got on famously. But that only happens every so often. Anyway – before I start to regale you with stories about high school, let me get back to my point. This whole “giving back” thing? That’s something I can get excited about, for reals. That’s something I can promote shamelessly and that energizes me when I was JUST complaining that I’m overwhelmed. It’s something worthwhile that feels like it’s what I was MEANT to do. It’s why I started my shop with the intent to use it not just to make money for my family, but also to make money for things I believe in and want to support.

But – enough about me! If you have a shop or a blog that gives back to your community (locally to globally), get your butt over to Handmade With Purpose and sign up so you can participate. If this isn’t something you’ve incorporated into your shop or blog, but you want to learn more about it, get over there and follow the blog. You’re gonna see some inspirational stuff during April and at the very least will be exposed to some cute shops & blogs.


aPearantly sew said...

I'll also be participating in Handmade With Purpose. Isn't Lindsay the best?! I just love that girl!
Can't wait to read all about the charity you will be donating to. Gonna go take a look at your shop right now :)

Ashley said...

She IS the best . . . and I've only known her for a day or so! ;) I think it's going to be so fun to get to know people through the organizations they care about, you know?

I'll check out your shop too. Are you on Twitter? Uh . . . am I already following you?! ;) I'm @SewSoDef. Waddup, using "Sew" as "So"!! Ha.

Lindsay - Paint Me A Picture said...

You're so awesome! Thank you for this.
I will be emailing you tonight.
Busy day :)

eNVe said...

Ohh. thanks for sharing Ash!!! I'm all about giving back too! I'm glad there's an entire blog dedicated to that very thing.. maybe you can spearhead an etsy team that's a spin off of the blog (if it hasn't already been done). :)

ps. I'm a mixed bag too and I feel the same way you do about being a jack of all trades but a master of none. maybe that's why we get along so well. :) Love u girl! don't change a thing about you.. unless it's only to get more awesome.

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