The Etsy Texas Crafters, a group of more than 500 shops on Etsy.com, will have a booth at Maker Faire where they’ll be demonstrating several upcycling projects and will be handing out goodie bags from ETC members. Here’s a little background on the group and more information on what you can expect from their Maker activities. Can you give a little background on your organization (mission/history, etc) Etsy Texas Crafters is a group of more than 500 shops on Etsy.com (an online marketplace for handmade items, as well as crafting supplies and vintage treasures), dedicated to spreading the word about Etsy to Texans everywhere. Etsy lauched in June, 2005, and they created Street Teams the following February. The original purpose of the Street Teams was to promote Etsy on a local, grass-roots level. While the scope of Etsy’s Teams has evolved over the past 3+ years, they are still a vital part of Etsy’s overall marketing strategy. Originally, Etsy created 4 Street Teams for Texas — basically, North, South, East, and West. Those of us who were members of Etsy at that time and wanting to be involved in Etsy’s Street Teams simply did not feel that this organization fit us very well. So, we decided to band together, bridge the state & form one big team open to all Texans, regardless of whether they lived in major metropolitan areas or tiny specks of towns. Our goals are simple — promote Etsy, our team, our team members, and ourselves. What project(s) will you be demonstrating at Maker Faire? The theme for our booth will be upcycling — the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value. Many of our members already focus on upcycling in their crafting, so it was a natural selection for us. Specifically, we will be offering demonstrations on creating jewelry using new and old components, creating 4 bags from 1 pair of jeans, turning a milk carton into a bird feeder, and creating T-Shirt pillows. We will also be offering several make-and-take projects, including Bamboo Tile Decoupage, Crackled CD Pendants, Denim Tote or Water Bottle Carrier, Felted Wool & Fabric Brooches, a variety of Gift Boxes created from Greeting Cards, Magazines, and Lightweight Cardboard, Puzzling Halloween Pins, Stemware Tags, T-Shirt Tote Bags, and Upcycled ACEOs (Art Cards). We will also be distributing two different goodie bags — one for anyone who stops by our booth, and a very special mini version of our Taste of Texas goodie bags for those who sign up for our team’s monthly newsletter. Our Taste of Texas goodie bags are stuffed full of coupons, promotional items, and samples from our team members — and “samples” is a bit misleading, as they include jewelry, light switch covers, pincushions, and other full-size items in addition to sample-size items. The mini versions we will be offering at Maker Faire will have few items in them, but we promise they will still be full of awesome ETC treasures! What do you hope to impart to Maker Faire visitors this year? A new way of looking at things they might normally throw away. An introduction to Etsy, as well as to our Team and Team Members. And lots of really great projects that they can take home with them! Did you participate in Maker Faire Austin last year? As a team, no. Several of our members attended or participated last year, which has helped build the excitement of our team being there this year. We are really looking forward to this!!! If not, what drew you to want to participate this year? As I mentioned, several of us were there last year, some as Makers, some as Volunteers, and some as Visitors. And we all loved it! So, when the Call for Makers went out this year, we jumped on the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing and one-of-a-kind event and to spread the word about Etsy & ETC in such a creative environment. How would you describe the Austin craft scene? What do you think makes the Austin craft scene unique? Diverse. Unexpected. Eclectic. Indie. There is an amazing creative spirit in Austin that simply is not present in many other Texas locales. Austin thrives on individuality and encourages creativity in all aspects of life. There are no rules in Austin’s craft scene, and there is absolutely something for everyone!