Made By Hand By Me: A Co-Op Artisan Network

9 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

If you're selling your handmade work online,
you know how challenging marketing and promotion can be. No matter
which venue you choose to house your shop, getting potential patrons to
view your work is one of the most difficult aspects of an artistic
business. Enter Artisan Co-op. We are not a venue. We are something entirely different. is a free online community created to provide artists with an array of innovative tools they can use to connect with potential buyers.
With you spend your time and effort promoting your work, not
a venue. And you can tap into the experiences of other artists, free
from the constraints of any particular sales site. Registration is easy and best of all, free! Here you'll find community, camaraderie, and the following tools to help you reach your goals:

Your Artisan Directory
listing is a free place where all of your web identities can become
one. It's a comprehensive home for all of your shop links, blogs,
websites, twitter... every link you'd like to share. With a photo, a
description of your work, and all of your links in one place, buyers
can find you by name or by the category of your work.

Artisan Spotlights
allow you to create a visual collection of your work, or the work of
others, in which every item links back to its listing no matter where
on the major handmade venues that listing may be. Spotlights are a very
valuable tool because they are so easy to share... they can be posted
(and stay fully functional) on your blog, or a link can be added to an
email or used on Twitter. If you create a particularly stunning
Spotlight it may be picked up by others and posted on sites and blogs
across the web, gaining extraordinary exposure not only for the
presented work, but for the curator as well. All of your Spotlights
will stay active until you delete them.

With your free membership comes your own blog space.
blogs are unique in that you can choose to share your thoughts with the
entire community by publishing your post to the front page.
Front page exposure gets your post in front of a multitude of web
surfers who visit our site each day. Some rules apply, but in general
any member is free to share their posts on the front page, and have
their post link tweeted by In addition, you can
choose to have your post reposted to any of your Blogspot (Blogger) or
WordPress blogs with just a few clicks, thus eliminating the numerous
steps normally required to repost.

The Forum
is a place to meet and discuss issues relevant to members in an
evenhanded, unbiased environment. Ask for advice, tout your latest
creation, or just chat... you'll find a community of your peers with
shops in every handmade venue on the web, happy to share their
experiences. Clubhouses
are where members gather in groups based on location, artistic
specialty, venue, or other interest. Clubs can be private or open to
all and each has its own forum. Don't see what you're looking for?
Create your own!

Other outstanding features include Handmade Wishlists,
which allow you to create and organize shareable photo wishlists and
registries with items from any of the major handmade venues; a
multi-venue search that finds the handmade items you're looking for
with one click, no matter where they're listed; an ever changing
gallery of handmade items randomly selected from member Spotlights
called Window Shopping,
currently being featured on blogs and sites all over the web; and a
chat feature open to all members. Best of all, while is free to members, ad revenues collected will be used to
alert buyers to our Artisan Co-op, our members and their work.

put it into some analogies if it may help. Say you sell in three
different cities. Obviously, you can't be in them all at once, so you
have three trucks and two employees, and you all drive to each city.
Once you get there, well, your products are exposed to those folks in
each city for sure, but you had to spend three times the amount of
people and time to get that exposure. The folks from City A are
comfortable in City A, and they don't want to shop in City B, even
though it only takes 30 seconds to get there.

Now, wouldn't it
be great if you could eliminate your employees, and your trucks, and
still reach all the people from all three cities, letting them choose
where they buy and shop? That is what the artisan
co-op is all about. We are the farmers market or craft fair that allows
you to make those personal connections with your customers online, but
there are no booth fees, because you already have 3 booths elsewhere.
So now you have that single place that you can promote instead of three.

So what are you waiting for? Register now and start promoting your art, not a venue!

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