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Making Magic: 2017’s Maker City Summit

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for Custom Love Gifts, Events, & Prints; creating and shipping a thousand-jar order, designing a styled shoot, and preparing to attend the Wedding MBA conference in Las Vegas for a week are just a few of the things we’ve been doing. However, last week, we had one of the most thrilling experiences on this list–participating in the Ask the Experts panel at the Maker City Summit! Alongside such amazing makers as Hunter Foster and Lindsay Miller of Designsensory, Tommy Nguyen from Right Click Designs, and the photographer behind the eponymous Shawn Poynter Photography, we had the incredible opportunity to meet one-on-one with dozens of local makers to answer questions in relation to our individual areas of expertise.

As we answered queries about Etsy shop reviews and social media, we were overwhelmed with gratitude to be a part of such a creative and entrepreneurial city. As Mayor Rogero and Etsy itself dubbed Knoxville as the first Etsy Maker City in the United States, we reflected on the last five years of our Etsy shop, realizing how valuable our experience with this platform has been and how the creation of Etsy has so clearly influenced an entire city to make their creativity the the focus of their professional lives. Indeed, as The Maker City website states, “Etsy Maker Cities pair strong municipalities that value entrepreneurship, sustainability, and responsible manufacturing with the creative and innovative spirit of the Etsy community. The result? Empowered micro-businesses, strengthened local economies, and collective commitments to change how we buy, sell, and create goods. […] Through the Etsy Maker Cities program, Etsy champions a new model for economic prosperity, one that promotes sustainable production and empowers people to build creative businesses on their own terms.”

More than anything, we wanted to take the time this week to express our gratitude to the Etsy Maker City Summit for including us, to our Etsy customers for supporting us, and to all of the other makers in Knoxville who have contributed to the creation of this amazing and creative community. We can’t wait to see what next year’s summit will bring!

Want to learn more about the Etsy Maker City Summit? Take a look at the video below!