A lot of work has gone into this show and I am so proud to be a part of a company like Etsy that offers such an incredible avenue for independent creative businesses.
I flew into the city bright and early on Monday morning with just enough time to get a little coffee, grab a pair of pantyhose (tmi?) and scoot my way on over to the Martha studios. Upon arrival, the line for the show was already backed way up and the best part was the entire audience was made up of Etsy shop owners. I saw so many familiar and new-to-me faces — it was truly inspiring.
I stood in line just behind the famous Sue Eggen of Giant Dwarf (who's even more beautiful in person if that's even possible) and spent a good deal of time talking with Mary Cooper of Super Duper Mary Cooper and Linda Ellet of L'esperance Tile Works who both got into the line shortly after I did.
Sue Eggen, Giant Dwarf
Everyone invited to sit in the audience was asked to bring along something they make and sell in their Etsy shops. I wore this pair of earrings I'd made from vintage chandelier crystals and brought along the below necklace I'd made from a vintage Kay tap shoe tap (more necklace details available here).
As we entered the building from the outside line, we were issued official tickets that were color coded, had our bags checked, passed through security and were ushered into two holding rooms where we'd wait for further instructions.
There was much chatter and excitement as everyone got a chance to meet one another in person — telling the stories behind their items and what kind of journey they made that morning to make it into the show taping. This part of the process was one of my favorites since I got the chance to chat with so many people I've only interacted with online previously — it was almost like one giant reunion.
We were encouraged to wear bright solid colors to the show since they apparently pick up and read much better on camera. I had a black dress I was originally planning to wear, but once I read the note about bright colors in my reservation, I went with my go-to green dress (remember it from the HGTV & Etsy Design on a Dime episode we taped back in September?).
Those with blue color coded cards were called upon first from the holding rooms — score!
It turns out, the Martha show staff had grouped all of us on the Etsy staff together to sit down on the front row of the studio floor — so we were technically in front of the main audience and in front of the majority of filming. I thought for a moment, we'd escaped from being featured on camera — below is a view of the main audience seating area in the actual taping studio from where I sat.
The Martha staff were all so personable and very cool — they even made it clear that we could use our cameras and phones to take photos of everything so long as we stayed in our seats and turned them off on cue when cameras began rolling with Martha.
Can you feel the excitement?? This is a shot of Michelle and I once we realized we were literally sitting on the front seat of the front row for the taping:
After being seated, I snapped as many quick shots of the set as I could before we had to turn off our cameras during filming. This gives you an idea of all the different nooks and crannies that made up the full studio.
It was so fascinating to me to see how many vignettes and filming sets there were on this one large set — everything from a test kitchen, to crafting zones, home decor setups, laundry and mud rooms, even an entire faux greenhouse overlooking a faux city. I tried to capture shots of the ceiling in each photo to show just how many lights, cameras & microphones were hanging down — it was so surreal.
Here are my views of the main audience (sea of 100% Etsy shop owners) from where I was sitting down in the studio chairs once everyone had filed in and was seated:
Seated down low with me were several of my coworkers who also happen to have Etsy shops. From right to left you'll see Sarah, Danielle, Morgan, and Sarah.
You can see where the colorful attire came into play and how it really did brighten up the look & feel. Once seated, the Martha staff came around and asked us to try to hold up the pieces we'd made and brought with us at all times so the camera could pick them up. It was really cool to be able to scan the audience and put faces to all the familiar products I'm so used to seeing on Etsy everyday in my work.
Once Martha was ready for taping we were all instructed to turn our phones and cameras completely off for the duration of the filming until they said we could turn them back on. The taping itself was extremely well done and highly organized — almost every single segment was shot in one take. Martha was a pro and looked fantastic.
Here's the one shot I got of Martha while we were allowed to have our cameras back out after taping wrapped up. She's standing in the middle there in the brown pants looking up at and thanking the audience after the show.
When all was said and done, we were ushered out row by row and as we left, the Martha staff snapped individual photos of every single audience member holding up their handmade item to profile on their site. I was pretty impressed with that.
Here is the shot from Martha's site of me with my necklace:
Heading out from the show, I picked up my jacket and luggage from the checkpoint before they told us to pick up our Martha swag bags...
These are Martha's "swag guys." They thought it was hilarious I wanted to get a shot of them, even though the look on this guy in the foreground might make you think otherwise. I bet they have an eventful job, no?
I'll leave you with a final shot of once more, where we were seated —my beautiful and talented coworkers from right to left: Kim, Julie, Sarah, Danielle & Morgan
I mentioned thinking for a moment that we'd escaped being in the line of audience filming — though there is an Etsy fashion segment that took place literally right in front of our chairs, so you just might get a peek at each of us during that segment if you aren't blinded by the incredible handmade and vintage Etsy fashion being modeled by even more of my coworkers, their children & office pets.
What an opportunity! One for the memory books. Don't forget to tune in this morning at 10am on the Hallmark Channel to catch the full episode (check your local listings here).