How Etsy Helps Me Host

(Derek is on vacation and I was thrilled when he asked me to be a guest contributor. So let me introduce myself, my name is Sommer Smith and I am the Sales and Marketing Manager at Boom Goes The Drum)

I am not an expert designer, a DIY aficionado, or a professional chef, but I love to entertain in my home and I can make a mean cocktail (I have the trophy to prove it!). But thankfully in my line of work I have been surrounded by experts in all things food, floral, digital art, design and events; basically masters of creating amazing guest experiences. So on the weekends I enjoy taking the things I have learned from my expert colleagues and applying them to my modest and comparatively small-scaled dinner parties.

Recently, I needed to up my game. A dear friend is expecting twins and I will be hosting her baby shower. To make it high stakes, this same friend hosted my baby shower and it BLEW MY MIND. I have to nail this.

For months I have been planning and admittedly have started and stopped many themes.  I blame this on blogs like PoppyTalk, Vintage Revivals, and Rifle Paper Co. for sharing irresistible ideas . My challenge is always execution – financially and visually. My usual budget is minimal, but my aspirations are high. I need to get creative when it comes to bringing my vision to life and keeping my credit card from going bananas.   The source I always go back to is Etsy.

For those who are not familiar, “Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. “ For artists, craft enthusiasts, vintage seekers, and online shopping fanatics (like me) this e commerce site is a daily addiction with its abundance of vintage and handmade items.

Here are few sellers and/or products I love and that have been instrumental in creating an “experience” within my dining room and what I hope will be a successful baby shower. Wish me luck!

Cute Grab and Go

I am a sucker for all things paper and to combine it with dinnerware is perfection! I also love how simple and straight forward these cutlery bags are for guests and it really works for a causal garden party or in this case, a baby shower!

Source: Le Partie Sugar

Linens and Things

Sometimes I use Etsy purely as eye candy, due to time restraints or shipping costs, I look to Etsy for inspiration and then go to my local stores  foraging. New or vintage, table cloths are so much fun and are usually one of my first purchases. This vintage tablecloth on Etsy is a perfect example, I loved it and then I hunted down a similar one at my local thrift store.

Source: Finnish Treasures

Personalize it!

Online invitations are  user friendly and convenient, but I don’t like the limits on customization.  I was searching for a suitable template and I wandered over to Etsy (by accident of course), and I found the solution. A graphic design company, Chuck and Axel, on Etsy customizes invitations that are printable and/or electronic.  I sent the event details and within 24 hours I received a design proof!  It was quick, inexpensive,  completely personalized, and not to mention they were amazing to work with.

Source: Chuck and Axel

Banners

Ask any of my friends, I was obsessed with tissue balls!  I loved the volume, texture, lightness, but after hours of folding, cutting, and fluffing, I decided I need something new and less DIY.  Once again, Etsy was my saving grace and I found this great shop from Belgium that makes wonderful banners out of vintage paper and maps.

Source: La Mia Casa

This baby shower has been a labour of love (pun intended) and I could not have done it without the amazing network of Etsy artists and shop owners.