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Featured on Jun 13, 2011

Dave Brown

"Love your work. Work your love."


Dave Brown lives in Brooklyn, NY. By day he’s Etsy’s social media specialist and by night, a blogger, author, and record label owner. Dave’s a huge fan of hockey, chicken teriyaki and the film Rushmore. He thinks Glee sucks but adores Larry David. In 1999, he founded the blog Holiday Matinee which serves up daily doses of creative inspiration.

  • Title: Social Media Specialist, Etsy
  • Age: 35
  • Location: DUMBO
  • Contact: @holidaymatinee

What does a typical day as a Social Media Specialist at Etsy look like? What is the first thing you do to start your day?

The best part of being in a field that's constantly evolving is no two days are ever the same. Today started off inspired by this. However, my typical workflow includes includes curating Etsy content that is engaging, authentic and creative. I then respond to a lot of tweets and Facebook comments, collaborate with cross-team projects in developing social media campaigns, track our analytics, check-in with my awesome intern (Laura), strategic planning, reading RSS feeds…and try to sneak in some time to develop our Twitter Artist Series and Etsy Dudes initiatives.

You’ve followed your inspirations and are now in a position where you are doing what you love professionally. What advice do you have for young people trying to find their career paths? Do you have any words of inspiration for new creative minds looking to design and create products to share with the world?

Working dreams won't get you rich but amazing things happen when you take risks. In summer of '98, I sold my drum-kit for gas money and convinced my college roommate to drive me from New York to California. All I kept were a pair of chucks and my Beach Boys records. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was playing and it was at that moment I decided to invest in myself. I had thirty bucks, a landline and a ton of motivation. I've never written a business plan yet I have three businesses for over a decade now. I can't read a lick of sheet music yet I've toured the world managing bands. You wouldn't want me to adjust your camera's F-stop yet I've worked on three films and produced a web-series.  I don't know anything about book publishing, so naturally, I wrote and self-published my own book. I can't draw but I've been an art director on projects for Zappos, MTV and TOMS. I don't drive a Ford but I'm continually hired to help promote their vehicles. I grew up attending public schools and battled with reading comprehension yet now lecture at Ivy Leagues. I don't own cable but I've licensed music to Californication, Nip/Tuck, CSI and Grey's Anatomy. The words CSS, HTML and Java all mean nothing to me yet pretty soon I’ll have an iPhone app. The point of all this? Life changes the minute you start doing what you love. And guess what, it's never too late to get started. The ride’s going to be bumpy but man will it be fun.

How did you come up with the title “Holiday Matinee” for your blog?

Like most kids raised Jewish, there was no single day filled with more boredom than Christmas. While friends were opening presents, I ate Chinese food and played cards with my family. During high school I started taking my Grandmother to see a matinee during Christmas. It was typically an over-the-top blockbuster but it was fun and has become tradition ever since.

In your introductory post on Etsy, you drop a lot of music references and state that you’ve been able to work with a lot of influential musical artists through your high school fanzine and Holiday Matinee. Who is your current favorite band/musical artist? What was the first album you ever bought?

Yeah, I've been really luck to work with a lot of great bands over the years. And I'm a huge music-doc junkie. Just watched the Wilco movie I Am Trying To Break Your Heart for the nth time and still got chills. Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Sam Cooke, Coconut Records, The Tree Ring, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr and Mayer Hawthorne. The first album I ever bought on vinyl was Tribe Called Quest's "The Low End Theory", first cassette was Neil Young's "Heart of Gold", first CD was Guns and Roses "Appetite for Destruction" (came in those big non eco-friendly cardboard boxes) and the first album I ever downloaded from iTunes was the soundtrack to Rushmore.

Social Media, Writer