Sunday, June 14, 2009

1000 Markets – From Cyber Community to Real Life Friendship

One of the benefits of being a part of 1000markets has been getting to know all the amazing folks who inhabit this venue for artisan merchants. I opened a shop on another site about 4 months before I discovered 1000markets. I haven’t made any real connections with other shop owners even though I joined several groups. I felt isolated in my creative life.

Then I discovered 1000markets. I was blown away by the elegance of the site, the concept of markets, ease of setting up shop, and most of all the level of professionalism, workmanship, and artistic expression. I literally froze in my seat staring at the computer screen – shop after shop filled with the most amazing work. Stunned at the explosion of creativity before my eyes, I thought to myself – I have finally found a place where I am surrounded by my peers. By people whose work I respect and admire and who fill me with a sense of wonder and limitless light. People whose work and spirit inspire me. This grand virtual experiment has attracted such kindred souls!

In the last 5 months, I’ve spent many many hours on the phone with Pam Tarpy (thetatteredgypsy) working on Passport Market while getting to know each other. I feel blessed to have connected with her. We have so much in common. I also enjoy cyber relationships with my other “spiritual sisters”(and brothers!) - Manny, Diane Ferguson, PattyMara, and the members of Passport, EarthBorn, Bohemia Esprit, MindBodySpirit, Peace&Love, Old Town, and Jewelry Artisans' Marketplace.

So…you may be wondering what does all this have to do with real life. Well…when I read PattyMara’s (PattyMara’sSacredHeartCafe) post that she was in NYC for her daughter’s wedding I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to meet her in person. We made plans to meet in the East Village for lunch and upon meeting, there was an instant connection – we could not stop talking! It was as if we’d always known each other. We went to a unique teahouse, Podunk, and shared sacred space and food and the most soul satisfying tea. The hours flew by. And all of this would have never happened if it were not for 1000markets. A place to sell my jewelry and find amazing friends! Who would have imagined!

My advice to those of you who are new to 1000markets or who just haven’t connected with anyone yet is to get involved. Visit shops and leave a note. Read the community and market forums and post a comment. Be active and you will be rewarded because this is not just another artisan venue – it’s a community. A community that reaches beyond cyberspace!

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