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Tis the season…

Happy Holidays everyone!

Even though the holiday season is so crowded with different meanings and preoccupations, I like to think of it as a reminder to make connections and to give. Contrary to the messages we are bombarded with constantly during this time of year, this does not have to involve spending lots of money.

One of the coolest ways to give is to help someone else. It feels good to both the giver and the recipient and doesn’t have to cost you any money at all. There have been several shop owners on Etsy that have helped me in a multitude of ways. Recently I have had the opportunity to do the same for other new shop owners.

Months ago I became involved in the BNR community on Etsy. BNR stands for ‘buy and replace’ and it is a type of treasury. Basically, a curator (who makes the treasury) runs the show and features different shops in the BNR treasury. Other Etsy sellers come to look at the shops and chat with one another in the comment section of the treasury. A seller can decide to buy an item from one of the featured shops and then they can replace that shop in the treasury. It is a great way to get exposure for your shop and to meet other people on Etsy.

When I first entered a BNR treasury, it was kind of overwhelming. Some very nice Etsians stepped up and helped me out. They explained things to me and gave me advice. At first it was just about the BNR and how it worked, but as time progressed I realized that I could ask for advice about anything. It was amazing to be able to throw out a question and have other sellers tell me about their experiences and offer their suggestions. Soon I had made friends on Etsy!

It made me feel connected.

Now, when I go into BNRs I feel like an Etsy pro! When I see new people I reach out to them. I remember what it felt like to be new and unsure of myself. I try to make new people feel welcome and I offer my guidance. Sometimes the new shops I meet end up emailing me asking for explanations on how to do something or for some feedback and suggestions on something new they are trying out. It feels great to use my experiences so far to help others.

I hope that all of us, in this holiday season (and always), can remember the easiest and simplest gifts of all. Reach out to the new person, the person who seems unsure, the person who is outside the group. Offer a smile, a kind word, a sense of connection. Offer your assistance to others. Your life experiences are valuable, share them. If you do this, you will start a chain reaction, which is why these are the gifts that truly keep on giving.

Thank you to everyone who has helped (and continues to help) me along this wonderful journey!

I wish you peace, love and joy always!

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