I Heart Art: Portland

From 2009–2012, I served as a founder and co-chair of a pilot project called I Heart Art: Portland, a collaboration between Etsy, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Museum of Contemporary Craft and the Portland Etsy Team. Focused on professional development and advocacy for Portland's community of makers, the project has provided workshops and networking opportunities open to all creative business owners. In addition to two co-chairs, a council of eight dedicated volunteers ran the program over the course of three years.

Key programs included live-streamed Saturday morning workshops, speed-dating-style networking events, and a series of salon discussions. I Heart Art: Portland also hosted one of five simultaneous Hello Etsy conferences in 2011 and included a dynamic conversation between Duane Sorenson (Stumptown Coffee Roasters) and Rebecca Pearcy (Queen Bee Creations), moderated by Diane Gilleland (CraftyPod) as the headlining keynote.

In November 2010, the project was replicated in Baltimore, Maryland, in partnership with Maryland Institute College of Art, and in June 2011 in San Francisco, in partnership with California College of the Arts. However, the project ended and partnerships dissolved in 2012 as Etsy turned its focus toward online education for a broader spectrum of Etsy sellers. The I Heart Art: Portland website has since been taken down, but my own passion for the maker community and professional development led to the founding of Maker's Nation.