Birds of a Feather Really Do Flock Together

To tell you the truth, when Sherri (from Literary Sherri) and I first brought the idea of a regional TpT meet-up to our local meet-up group, I was kind of thinking that maybe we could get about ten people to come.  Then...through some amazing teamwork from the event organizers on our WNY TpT Team...this happened...

Oh, and this...
Back Row:  Robyn, Amy (yes, TpT Amy), Sherri, Ellen, Susan, and Selma
Front Row:  Jen (THE Jen Jones) and me!
Not Pictured (but super critical to the success of the event) Karry from Yay for PreK, Lora from Kinders in New York and Donna from Worth a Thousand Words.

And, what a meet-up it was!

But...before I spill all the juicy details of the event...perhaps I should start at the beginning.  Our goal from the start was to gather other TpT-ers and spend time really, truly learning from one another.  We wanted to plan a day of collaboration with tons of tips and tricks for how to grow our TpT businesses.  So, for several months we worked together to plan this event.  There was a bunch to do - registrations, payment coordination, communication with attendees, gathering donations (over $10,000 worth), making and designing the decor, creating an agenda with tons of meaningful content, stuffing goodie bags, preparing the giveaway prizes and coordinating with one another.  Thank goodness there was a team of us!  Thanks Lora, Karry, Selma, Susan, Ellen, Robyn, Donna, and Sherri!


About the Donations

Teachers (and TpT teacher-authors) love free stuff, so a couple of us took on the task of asking a lot of people - businesses, etsy artists, friends, and national companies to contribute to this event.  And the coolest part was that sometimes they said, "Yes!"  (See a listing of some of the donors below.)  I'm not kidding when I say, that the overwhelming response from those who donated was "We LOVE teachers!"  How cool is that?   On the day of the event, the swag was overflowing...

Goodie bags for each attendee.

Here's what was inside the goodie bags.  Do you see that red card on the bottom right?  There's a link on the back of it that provides access to over 3,000 pages of digital donations from fellow TpT teacher-authors.  That's right, our own community of teacher-authors donated to the event.  Pretty amazing!




Teachers Pay Teachers donated a tote bag and water bottle to each attendee...and Acco donated 2 project notebooks that we stuffed inside each bag.  Plus, TpT sponsored the breakfast!  Thanks and Yum!

The giveaways were epic.  Hue donated 3 iCreate Hue document cameras that were raffled off.  Plus, each person's name was pulled from a bag throughout the day.

Then, they came up to the table and picked a prize.  The prizes, were amazing...gift cards to TpT, a 1/2 hour Skype session with Rachel Lynette, handcrafted awesomeness from Etsy artists, themed gift baskets donated by each WNY TpT Team member, and so, so much more!


Our Special Guests

We were all so humbled by the fact that Jen Jones from Hello Literacy offered to not only attend our event, but also present to the entire group and host 6 round table discussions...oh, and she did it all on her own time and dime.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Jen came to the Birds of a Feather Flock Together meet-up and shared all her insight with each of us and she didn't ask for a thing.  I loved her before I met her, but let me just say that having spent time with her on Friday and sitting in on her presentations on Saturday, I have even more respect, love, and gratitude for her.  She's humble and smart and real and talented.  Do you use her fonts?  If not, get over to Hello Literacy right now.  This lady's got it going on!


Another amazing addition to the event was Amy from TpT.  Have you met Amy before?  If so, you already know that she's warmer, kinder, brilliant-er, funnier, and awesome-er than you can even imagine.  Amy's the type of person who makes you feel like you've been friends with her for years after just a two-minute exchange of words.  I love that!  I also love that her passion for TpT and the teacher-authors that work so hard absolutely oozes out of her.  She's a careful and thoughtful listener and a sweet and beautiful person.  She participated in every aspect of the day.  I didn't think I could love her more, but somehow, I do!


All the attendees!  I'm nuts about all the people I got to meet on Saturday.  I love that they put their lives on hold to grow a TpT community (#tptflock 4eva!).  I love that they came into a room of strangers and opened their minds and hearts to one another.  I love that they shared their experiences and ideas so that we all could do a better job.  It's pretty invigorating to be around 50+ people who are passionate about the exact same thing as you.  If you're like me, you try to explain TpT to other people (and their eyes glaze over), so being in a room with people who know about custom categories and thumbnails and site-wide sales is just plain awesome!  Oh, and I loved that there was a whole spectrum of experience in the room.  There were people who were just starting their stores and people who are total TpT rock stars...and the best part...you couldn't tell the difference!



I have so much more to tell you about the event...but that's coming in another blog post!  Until then...here's a couple more pics to hold you over.



Custom Signs by Our Hobby to Your Home





Goodie Bag Donors:

Cobble Works - Open fabric pockets
Making a Nest of It - Mini-notepad, clothespin bookmark, store coupon
Sparkly Something - Sparkly clothespin
Sweet June Bug Designs - Jumbo paperclip bookmarks
The Class Clown - Covered Binder Clips, milkweed seed packs
Unshelved Designs - Coupon
Roberson Museum and Science Center - Coupon
Hello Literacy - Lanyards
WNY TpT Team Organizers:  Literary Sherri, Brain Waves Instruction, Ellen Weber, Kinders in NY, Selma Dewani, Yay for PreK, The Math Spot
Laura Love to Teach - Coupon
Poppydreamz Digital Clipart - Coupon
Worth a Thousand Words - Coupon and hand sanitizer
To the Square Inch - Dice Game


Some of the Etsy Artist Donors:

Paper Sushi - Custom rubber stamps, wedding designs, packaging

Love Small Town USA - Personalized wedding gifts, jewelry holders, key hooks
MagnaMemos - Magnetic dry erase memo boards with magnets
Watch My Dive - Quilts, blankies, blankets, and fabric baskets
Gifts by Gaby - Personalized gifts and home decor
Jo-Elle Coastal Crafters - Candles, pillows, and decor
Said in Layers - Notecards
Our Hobby to Your Home - Wedding and family signs
Queen Bee Inspirations - Greeting cards, wedding and party signs and props
JDoore Creations - Handmade cards and paper goods
Betty Lou Designs - Fabric headbands


Thanks for stopping by!

3 comments:

  1. Simply amazing! What a wonderful day for to share ideas, tips, and form new friendships! When is the next one?!?!?!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was wonderful to learn new ideas and make new friends! The gift bags were a fabulous surprise too! I can't wait until next year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So cool! I'm glad you all had a blast.

    ReplyDelete

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