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Alice Nell
January 13, 2014

Member of the week: Katja Muñoz

The multifaceted Katja Muñoz is a pro at juggling several demanding tasks at once. Not only did she study international relations and conflict resolution for which she is currently finishing her PhD thesis, she also runs her own jewelry label KM Berlin and is the captain of the Etsy Street Team. Within the frame of the latter function, she has co-organized several events with betahaus, which you might know as Etsy Labs.

The Etsy Street Team represents one of the biggest DIY communities in Berlin and you are its captain. What is it in the first place and what are its functions?

Running a successful “micro-business”, as I would categorize myself in, takes a lot of time, dedication and most importantly know how. That’s how I came to first look for workshops that would help me advance with my jewelry label KM Berlin.

When I discovered the Etsy Street Team Berlin, which is a community of around 300 entrepreneurs selling services or products on Etsy based here in Berlin, Germany, I found a network of like-minded people all eager to advance their business through networking and experience exchanges.  I basically ended up becoming one of two captains sometime in July, and since then, Maja, my co-captain, and I have tried to push the program of the team into a more educational direction – a choice we made based on our own needs as small businesses.

Check out what our team is up to on our team site on etsy and on Facebook!

What is your favorite type of project within its frame?

Up until now I loved the Etsy Lab - Making of an Editorial Lab, which I co-organized with you guys the best. It was a follow up event on a previous collaboration between Etsy and betahaus Barcelona and consisted of a Live Photoshooting Session that introduced the participants to the production secrets from behind the curtains.

I was completely surprised by the wonderful feedback and press reach we picked up. It was a blast!

Besides the fantastic Etsy work, what do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Well, besides my time dedicated to coming up with a cool curriculum for the team, I am also writing up my thesis for my PhD in Conflict Resolution from 9 am to 5 pm (hopefully finishing that piece of work in a couple of weeks) and of course working on my jewelry label from 5 pm to 9 pm, so to speak.

What brought you to the DIY field? How did the passion develop?

Maybe it was all this theoretical exposure to mechanisms and processes underlying conflict that I have been studying for the past couple of years for my PhD – but somehow working with actual tools and seeing my work progress in front of me really became a great way of balancing all this library time, theorizing and endless ours in front of the computer. In the beginning it was more like a hobby, which turned into a passion and then into a small business.

What is your motivation behind organizing community workshops?

The goal was and still is to organize Etsy Labs benefitting Etsy sellers, which go beyond the usual taxes for dummies workshop or build your company 101. These are, of course, all very important things to know, but… been there done that… In our educational program, I look for things that would benefit me as a small business, and would be super cool to know! I am always looking for interesting ideas, which would also benefit the etsy seller community on what to organize next

… maybe with you?

We have co-created three Etsy Labs together. Why did you choose to cooperate with betahaus instead of any other space?

A short time after Maja and I took over the captainship over the team, several things happened. The Etsy Germany HQ had relocated, which left us needing to look for new places to organize our labs. Around the same time the betahaus team contacted us for possible future collaborations. There was not much to think about: Betahaus is centrally located, a hub for startups in Berlin, and hosts regular educational courses. Their philosophy just fits perfectly with ours and we didn’t even look for other places.

Curious to know - what’s the next event we should be looking forward to?

That’s a good question… There are some ideas spooking around.. one would go into the direction of actually creating a ready to send off PR portfolio, instead of just listening to somebody up front telling you how to do it, or what would be the best way of adding pictures. The other one would be to organize another photography workshop… maybe on how to create a lookbook? Or outdoors.. or beauty shoots…we will see how 2014 progresses.

But I am more than thankful on any suggestions!

What is your favorite food?

All kinds of pasta, but I guess if I had to choose because my life depended on it, I would say Amatriciana  .. and quesadillas!

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