I was going to write about something completely different tonight, when I happened upon this sweet, lovable doll from Dmollison’s shop… Her name is “Nushkie, the Little Girl Friend.” The description that follows is…
“Once upon an online forum, a group of women got together to share and promote their creations. What started out as a Natural/Waldorf Toy Promotion thread on etsy, has turned into one of the most wonderful collection of friends one could ever imagine. We laugh together, give advice, and support each other’s shop. These dolls are dedicated to the wonderful women on this forum. These are the Girl Friends. So this is Nushkie…”
I was honored to find a doll in Denise’s shop that was named for me (my daughter really) with a link to my shop. Her description above kind of summarizes my own feelings about the Naturalkids Team on Etsy.com. Not only do the artisans of this team use natural materials to create toys, decor, clothing, dolls, nature table accessories, soaps and teas (many of the items a parent choosing a more natural path for their family might need), use recycled packing when possible, etc…but the values we share go beyond our products and a certain kind of “brand image,” or marketing “hook.” What we have come to learn about each other and the kind of support which we give each other personally and through non-competitive cross promotion demonstrates how so many of the human values, such as natural living, reverence for childhood, friendship, etc…permeate our very lives. We aren’t a faceless company shipping from an industrial park, but actual mommies with big imaginations, huge talent and a sense of purpose to make this world better for not only our children, but the children and families who purchase our handmade treasures.
Here are a few examples of the ways we support each other through cross promotional inclusion rather than competitive exclusion…
I guess not too long ago sellers including, fellow needle felter Haddytwodogs, began the forum thread to promote natural toys and other products for children. (One of her fairies is pictured to the left.) She, along with many of our group pop onto the thread to chat about each other’s work, thus promoting each other. More directly, she also takes cards from her fellow Naturalkids Team members to sales meetings.
Creating likenesses of each other as products with links to each other’s shops, such as the one mentioned at the top of the article and this sweet “Elfie the Mermaid Sister” from Woolcomesalive honoring LittleElfsToyshop pictured to the left.
Woolcomesalive’s shop owner Jen also keeps the team thread refreshed every month and wrote a beautiful article in Etsy’s Storque section, featuring through quotes and images many of the team artists. “Handmade Kids: Natural Kids Team Nurtures Naturally.“
Woodmouse (her bird ornaments featured on the left) gave our shops exposure by inviting us to help provide prizes for her make-baby-stuff.com children’s room decor contest.
Cozycottagecreations organized a promo swap, collecting and distributing all of our promotional materials back to the group, so we could each include a few cards of our “competitors” in our product shipments to customers. Her gorgeous felted apples are pictured at left.
Bellawinter, whose work is to the left, spent hours organizing and designing a wonderful brochure for the team. She, like so many are also doing the time consuming task of building etsy treasuries (mini galleries with links) to feature fellow Naturalkids Team artists.
We all appreciate these three ladies for maintaining leadership of the team Fairiesnest (see pixie ornament)
FaerieRebecca (see Waldorf Doll) and woolies See wool horse… as well as the other members of membership team… cozycottagecreations
shelleycaskey, and tricoteria.
Sara of woolies was instrumental in researching and securing adspace for the fall. An even deeper thanks must go to Rebecca of FaerieRebecca as she and her husband designed, wrote the code for and are hosting the naturalkidsstore multiple gallery showcase presence to support the sellers participating in the future ads.
All of these women, including my fellow bloggers, listed on Naturalkids blog homepage, as well as folks like, Freedomrainbow, who seems to spend all her earnings on all of the rest of our products! …help to support the health of their creative community through generous support of time, talent, money and heart. They also support the health of our children and the planet by creating natural items that ignite the imagination, using earth friendly materials that come from nature.
Why do we do it? Because we all benefit when we support and promote each other. Why do we provide natural items for children and their parents? Because we all benefit from products that nurture the imagination, the soul and the environment. Our values come from our hearts, through our hands, into the hands of children and families…and when they are no longer needed return to the earth, leaving the legacy of fond memories. The circle is completed naturally!
Thank you for reading.
Rebecca V…aka www.nushkie.etsy.com