Artizan Made: A Model for Collaboration

by guest blogger Rachel Biel

Rachel Biel shares the story of an on the web handmade community and the labor of love that built it.


Artizan Made website market categories


In September of 2013, I launched Artizan Built, a collective of on the net stores selling handmade goods. The structure went through a number of incarnations till I uncovered a blend of instruments that operate properly for us. A website write-up on our website describes these equipment and some of our background. That clarifies the how. My emphasis right here on Artsy Shark is on the why.

A little bit of qualifications

In September of 2019, my server ruined equally Artizan Created and a different web-site I ran, TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Artwork List. I had started out two other tasks at that time and was confused and devastated by the decline. Covid hit and I had to shut down the other assignments. I didn’t have the strength to re-do the website create up for Artizan till February of 2022. I realized how much get the job done it would be and wasn’t confident I wished to go via it once again. At the time I bought started out, I remembered why I like this so a great deal and how others may possibly also want to use this design as a device.

How we use it

Our target is on residence décor and eco-style. Each member has a profile and 50 solutions in our Marketplace. Most customers have their individual stores, both on Etsy or on their possess web-sites and we import from them and hyperlink back. Some just have portfolios on their websites and can use our cart at no excess price tag. The goods are tagged with regardless of what fits from our 200 categories which then get highlighted in our weblog and then promoted on Facebook and Pinterest. The target is to generate a destination that showcases high good quality handmade merchandise and then ship folks in excess of to the members’ sites. We are generally internet marketing, not providing.


handmade work by members of Artizan Made


We have an worldwide concentrate and operate with studio artists, truthful traders, little importers and ethical classic. As an case in point, the Member Profiles (revealed over) represent needle felting and portray from Israel, embroidery from Switzerland, fiber art from Texas, embroidery from Germany, home décor and garments from Tajikistan, crafts from the Peruvian Amazon, metallic artwork from Haiti, and crocheted children’s toys from Bangladesh.

The Current market has top classes which split into subcategories, also obvious in the sidebar. Classic pictures (impression at prime of website page) were being employed for entertaining, but also to give recognition to the previous and to the strategies we honor.

The 200 types let the products and solutions to show up in distinctive strategies. They include the apparent ones for property and trend, but also incorporate tactics, colors, elements and a lot of other groupings. Some illustrations are our Blue group and Beaded Category.


Artizan Made ecommerce website blue and beaded categories

The Blue Group (still left) and Beaded Category on the Artizan Produced site.


How can others use this model? Our setup is labor intense, but could be simplified. What if a team of five friends obtained together and shared a website? Every single human being could have a single activity and they could pool their sources, have a shared mailing checklist, divide social media responsibilities and so on. The target could be by site or possibly by concept. A market place with children’s products might have toys, apparel, academic methods and even meals!

Quite a few several years in the past, a team of 12 textile artists in my on the net local community came collectively for an physical exercise. They had acknowledged just about every other on the web for a long time, but lived in different countries and experienced under no circumstances satisfied as a group in “real” daily life. In their personal terms:

We are twelve quilt artists who embarked on an on the web artwork problem with each other in September 2007. For 4 decades, we each and every designed a 12×12 inch quilted artwork piece on a selected topic or color palette. For 2012, we designed rectangular pieces, 20×12 inches. Sweet, our closing 2012 challenge was exposed on 12 December 2012 – 12/12/12!

The success are showcased listed here:


Twelve by Twelve Quilt Challenge

The Twelve by Twelve Intercontinental Art Quilt Obstacle collaboration


Their collaboration led to developing a website, publishing publications, and exhibiting. We followed them with pleasure! Most of them are nonetheless generating and have their individual web-sites. What if they had included a market to their 12×12 site? With all of the attention they generated as a team, they could have benefitted by promoting their other work as properly.

Why generate a Marketplace?

Like a chamber of commerce, a current market can signify you. There are several groups and businesses out there that you can be part of, but if you have an notion that could generate notice, this model may possibly be just the detail.

I have worked with the handmade neighborhood for about 30 decades, the two as an artist and as an advocate and locate that levels of competition is a great deal tougher now than it was back then. Artists who offer on the web have so quite a few responsibilities to maintain up with that making their own perform will become a challenge. Doing work with a group can reduce some of the promoting load.

Remaining views

  • Most of my friends have offered on Etsy or are nonetheless there. Etsy has generated controversy ever given that it shed its dedication to the handmade neighborhood. But I feel that it is nonetheless the ideal system to have a store especially as global promoting turns into far more sophisticated. However, Etsy’s search engine has generally been weak and for several sellers, it’s tough to get noticed there. Importing merchandise from there to a Market place and then linking again will help a focused audience find that store.
  • Trying to keep solutions up to date on a Current market is a problem. As a alternative, we have text saying “this is an case in point of a past product I have created. Pay a visit to my store to see what is at this time available”. If the get the job done has a identical glimpse, the client ought to uncover a thing they like. If products adjust a ton more than time, we can do a new import.
  • At least a person human being in the group needs to be quite techy. Or, absolutely everyone can pitch in to shell out for an individual to operate points for them.
  • A smaller team with a lot less goods and fewer categories would be considerably a lot easier to deal with. We have 30 members on Artizan Built with a closing objective of 200. That will give us ample profits to find the money for some pricier advertising and give me a stipend for my time.

I am delighted to solution queries about this design. Please take a look at my site write-up on Artizan Designed and go away your questions there so that many others may possibly master from our exchange.

Creativeness is the beginning of generation. You picture what you motivation, you will what you picture and at past you produce what you will.
― George Bernard Shaw


Guest blogger Rachel Biel labored with the handmade neighborhood for above 30 decades and sees it as section of a much larger way of life that life effectively with our planet. Her route led to 18 many years in Brazil, 4 decades at St. Olaf Faculty, and 20 several years Chicago and she finally landed in Paducah, Kentucky in 2005.  


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