The biggest benefit to me for being in the Handmade Dayton Etsy Group (besides the wonderful friendships!) is "My Creative Collective".
This is a term used by Kari Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace. I found her by networking on Etsy.com in their Virtual Labs speaker series. The values that I gain from My Creative Collective are too many to list, but some of them are:
* Getting Unstuck - have you ever had a glimmer of a great idea, discuss it with another creative person and it becomes a rock solid idea?
* Networking - When you are in business for yourself, you simply cannot have too many connections, right?
* Swapping materials - need I say more?
* Your Creative Collective gets ideas from you... AND you get ideas from Your Creative Collective... But I bet that if you give two artists or crafters the exact same materials, they will not come up with exactly the same outcome.
Guess my point is... that there are so many more reasons for having a Creative Collective than there are for not having one!
I know.. long post but if you've gotten this far you should know that one example of the Creative Collective is the pictures in this blog post. I contacted Julie on facebook and told her I wanted to help her with her photos. Not just take them but show her how to do it herself. We spent an entire evening together at her home. Staging and photographing her beautiful jewelry.We worked together till we ran out of light and then spent some time editing a listing. The result is I had fun (I love photographing jewelry) and Julie got some inspiration.