Supporting Our Local Creatives – Myself Excluded

I have always struggled to access my creative side. As a child I consistently preferred PE to arts class, and now as an adult you are far more likely to find me running the trails than at home crafting or perfecting my cross stitch. Luckily, for someone who greatly appreciates art and handmade goods, but who cannot create a single artistic thing, I could not have landed amongst a more talented bunch of neighbors than I have here in Truckee/Tahoe.

Children s Hands 2 by mickeyd600To view the talent of our community, just stop by a few local stores. Pop in to Riverside Studios in downtown Truckee to see the innovative railroad tie sculptures of local metalsmith Pat Blide, or the gorgeous jewelry by Sondrea Larsen. Check out Trunk Show in Tahoe City for “locally handcrafted art, jewelry, & stuff” — all of the items sold are made by artists in the Tahoe basin. In summer, the many festivals and street fairs allow artisans to share their work with a large crowd of shoppers, tourists, and art lovers. These shops and events highlight a slice of the talent living in Tahoe and provide Main Street exposure to the beautiful work they do. But of course, we live in the digital age! So how do many artisans keep up? Answer: A little website called ETSY

If you missed every single Truckee Thursday this summer, don’t fret, this is another way to support your favorite local artist — from the comfort of your own home. Etsy is a craft marketplace with strict rules of what can be sold on its site. The products must be either handmade or vintage, and what began as a small craft site has bloomed into a marketplace boasting 40 million items for sale.

The sheer magnitude of options on Etsy can be overwhelming — especially for the seller. Differentiating your product, registering your business on the site, paying the right taxes — all of these challenges and more can be daunting to even the most tech savvy millennial. Luckily for the Tahoe basin, Krista Tranquilla, our very own talented jeweler and successful Etsy entrepreneur, is here to help. Krista teaches a series of classes at the Sierra Small Business Development Center designed to empower creative people and create pathways to entrepreneurship with Etsy.

I’m happy to live in a place that cultivates a strong culture of both entrepreneurship and the artisan trade – and it’s only partially because it means I don’t have to worry about my complete lack of craft skills. The Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship course celebrates, encourages, and supports local artists as they become creative entrepreneurs and find success in the online marketplace. To learn more about the series or to apply for the next class in November, visit I look forward to discovering your artistic endeavors on!