Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The mothership: Etsy Headquarters!

I’ve finally sorted through the memories, errr…photos from our blissful weekend in New York. I thought Toronto was big, but New York is the Mecca. Toronto’s subway system feels unsophisticated and Playmobilish; my neighbourhood’s streets seem so wide and so empty. Our traffic woes feel old-fashioned, circa 1970. Here’s a big city discovery for you - time takes on new meaning in an urban metropolis. It sounds trite, but it’s really true. Remember on Sex and the City, when Carrie found herself stuck in a yellow cab traffic jam, and subsequently took off running in her fancy Monolos for the subway, in order to make it to the Stock Exchange in time to ring the opening bell? To the cab driver, she had worryingly instructed “I have to be downtown in an hour”. That line used to throw me off. An hour? By goodness! But now I’m wiser. Full blocks of traffic clog the city (and up the meter) like nobody’s business in NYC. Being late really is kind of fashionable.

On to Etsy. Birthday morning, Guy arranged a surprise tour of Etsy’s headquarters in Brooklyn, NYC (!!!) Borough- newbies, we confused one address for another and found ourselves off track and late, and our trek to the mothership took the form of epic adventure. One sun-dappled walk across the Brooklyn Bridge later, we were at Etsy Headquarters, - or at least in the vicinity of. Etsy is one of many companies (communities?) that makes their home in an industrial monolith warehouse. Picture this: Floors and floors of white hallways and largely-unmarked metal doors. Super insider. We felt very much like mice working their ways through one of those wooden mazes (on a timer, no less). But then I spotted this:

Now more than an hour late, the sight of handwritten script made my heart swell. We were here! (almost, we were actually at the Etsy Craft lab). A quick redirect later, and finally, HOME.

I took all the standard pics. But they’re MINE. I ran my hands over the fabric typewriter, stapled the plush Stadler, and made a (very important!) phone call via fabric phone. What’s more to say? The Etsy folks are just as you imagined they would be – your best friends, your crafternoon pals, your blog buddies. Walking through those metal doors was like entering a portal to the best high school cafeteria I could imagine: no cliques, just one big community – of Handmade! Sincerely, Etsy is everything you hoped it would be and more.

At this point, things get a little bit fuzzy - I totally nerded out, to be completely honest with you. (side note: I think I now fully understand how my sister felt, meeting Tom Cruise - 1999, not the creepy years ). I don’t really know what I said to Julie, who gave us our very own bang-up tour of Etsy – But THANK YOU, secret admiral for humouring me as I took it all in, all pie-eyed and wide-mouthed.

A final note: my favourite part was visiting the Editing suite, where This Handmade Life is put together. I was thrilled to meet all of the nicely be-specked nerdy types within, and tell them that their video portraits make my workday so much happier (who wouldn’t love to hear that?) As we all know, Quit Your Day Job fantasies are best experienced in the cubicle. Thanks Etsy pals!

1 comment:

  1. cool tour pics. the pone time i went to the new etsy offices, there was a blackout there. i couldn't tell because it was daytime but everyone was stressed so i beat it. this looks like a better view of the experience.