In June Barack Obama sat down in Marc Maron’s garage to record a conversation for Marc’s podcast. Did you tune in?
The episode was remarkable on a number of levels, most importantly because the President of the United States was talking to a regular guy in a regular space for a show that went straight to the Internet – no big networks, no fancy studio, and no polished host (Marc is a comedian and his show is called WTF). This was Obama talking to a regular person in a space that regular people occupy. Listening to it I felt like I understood Obama better. He was just a guy talking to Marc. The lines of communication were open in a new way.
I’m not Marc Maron (that’s for sure!) and I’m not going to have Barack Obama on my show (nope!), but I admire this effort at frank and open conversation with the powers that be. In the world of craft one could argue that Etsy holds that power now and to me the biggest challenge Etsy faces is seller disenchantment. I’d like to play a role in opening up a conversation between sellers like me and Etsy. I’ve got a podcast. What if Etsy came to my space and we just talked?
So I sent some tweets, then some emails, and had a phone call and I’m excited to say it’s going to happen.
On September 16 I’ll be recording a podcast interview with two Etsy executives: Heather Jassy and Stephanie Schacht. Heather is the Senior Vice President of Members and Community. Stephanie is the Head of Responsible Seller Growth. I want to take a minute to introduce you to each of them now, before our conversation, because I’d like your input as I go about planning what we’ll talk about.
Heather Jassy came to Etsy in 2010. She grew up in south Georgia and has an undergraduate degree in English and a master’s degree in psychology. She had a therapy and consulting practice before shifting to working in the tech world, first at Lockerz and then Etsy. Heather is an avid reader of the Etsy forums and of blogs that talk about Etsy. The part of Etsy that Heather oversees, members and community, makes up 25% of the company. She lives with her husband and daughter in Hudson, New York.
Stephanie Schacht oversees the vetting of Etsy sellers who want to work with manufacturing partners. She is a sociologist with a PhD from Princeton and she had triple major undergrad at Vanderbilt in Economics, English and East Asian studies. Prior to Etsy she worked in the local food movement and has a keen interest in community and sustainability. She lives in Brooklyn.
To get your juices flowing I recommend the most recent episode of Rendered where Heather responds to sellers’ concerns about the site. (I’m also a guest on this episode). The show is just 15 minutes and I think it might spark some ideas for further discussion.
With the goal of opening a door for ongoing, real talk between Etsy and its sellers, I invite your participation as I plan the questions for my podcast with Heather and Stephanie. I’ve set up Google form so that I can easily gather your input. I would sincerely like to hear from you.
- What do you wish you could say to Etsy?
- What suggestions would you make?
- What’s frustrating you? What do you want Etsy to know?
Submit a question and let’s see what can happen.