With an impressive resume as Etsy's trend expert and TV show judge, Dayna Isom Johnson—who you might recognize from NBC's Making It—wants one thing: To show off some of the coolest makers on the planet.
Dayna started working at Etsy seven years ago, in the website's public relations and marketing department. After five years in her role, she saw a need for —which now exist as monthly reports published on the site—that highlight the extremely talented makers behind cool items (like these ) to help their work take off. Now, with two years as trend expert under her belt, Dayna, and Etsy, are exploding. ? They've been all over Etsy for two years now. ? That also started with a maker on the site in 2016.
And even in the moments where Etsy shops aren't leading trends, they're fast to catch on. "Etsy sellers, because they are making small-batch productions, are so nimble and can make something within a flash," says Dayna. And in that flash, the item being made likely has more of a story behind it than if you bought it at a major chain. "I spend hella money, but I love it because everything [on the site] has a story, and it's not just a thing that sits on a wall. It has a story that has a deeper meaning," she says.
Besides admiring the items, Dayna has a major appreciation for the people creating them. "The second-favorite part of my job is getting to know the maker community. I love learning their stories and what inspires them," she says. Now, in her role as a judge on Making It alongside Simon Doonan—and hosts Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler—she's working with makers in a whole new way.
"I am incredibly proud and honored to be a part of such a groundbreaking show. I truly believe it's groundbreaking because there's no made-up storylines, there's no, you know, pushing of negativity," says Dayna. "The show is about inspiring people to make things, coming together with family and friends, putting your phone down, and getting creative."
That doesn't mean that everything's so cheery that Dayna goes easy on people. Part of her judging role is encouraging contestants to push themselves beyond what's safe.
"I see crafts every day. I work with these makers every single day, so I'm looking for something I've never seen before. Is the craftsmanship on point? And are you bringing that originality?" she said. "I don't want to see something that's been done 10,000 times before."
Follow CQ on .