On this week's episode of After the Jump, Grace Bonney is discussing the importance of real-life connections among the online community with two special guests. Morgan Evans is the community strategist for Etsy, and she's in the studio talking about some of Etsy's initiatives to get craft-makers together in their neighborhoods, collaborating, and building businesses. Joining Grace and Morgan over the phone is Rena Tom of Makeshift Society, an upstart company that aims to bring together creative professionals of all types. Tune in to this episode to hear about the Etsy Craft Party, why creative types in big cities are often isolated from their peers, and how meetups can foster the growth of independent and small businesses. This episode has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

"When you're in a smaller town you bump into like minded people more often. The choices are endless in a city - people go into their own micro groups...it's easy to silo your self away and not run into new people."

-- Rena Tom on After the Jump

"We've been experimenting with lots of ways to create the perfect event model and empower people to get together in their neighborhood. On August 24th we are celebrating Etsy Craft Party, a global event happening on a local scale. [http://www.etsy.com/craftparty2012 for more information.]"

"As things get bigger and bigger, wanting to get back in touch with singularity and one-to-one connections will become more necessary to us."

-- Morgan Evans on After the Jump