artisans http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9254/all en-US The Rise In Artisans: Global Lessons From A Local Movement http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-rise-in-artisans-global-lessons-from-a-local-movement <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/the-rise-in-artisans-global-lessons-from-a-local-movement" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/the-rise-in-artisans-global-lessons-from-a-loc...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/the-rise-in-artisans-global-lessons-from-a-local-movement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012940895Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From boutique chocolate makers and small greeting card print shops to handmade jean companies, the consumers are enjoying a renaissance in artisanal entrepreneurship. But what&rsquo;s behind the handmade movement? Is it a response to mass production, a push to return to simplicity, a desire to find greater meaning and creativity in our work?</p> <p>Or maybe it&rsquo;s a phenomenon that could only occur in the perfect storm created by new economic challenges and the connectedness of Internet age. Small businesses and independent craftspeople can now reach the masses and communicate their product, brand, and vision with nearly as much polish as the big boys.</p> <p>Sites like Etsy.com <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/8-great-business-ideas-you-can-start-today-1" target="_blank">have capitalized</a> on this zeitgeist by featuring the creativity and artistry of a broad range of sellers. Etsy&rsquo;s forum showcases the work of nearly 300,000 craftspeople from all over the world and connects them with a community of devoted buyers who want something more than what the mass market offers.</p> <p>But Etsy is just part of the story.</p> <p>This wave of independent artisans is on Main Street, too. It stretches from coast to coast in the US and touches nearly every nation on earth. Disparate, but growing, the movement connects buyers and sellers in a way that conventional business struggles with. There&rsquo;s something inspired and romantic about knowing who made your child&rsquo;s new doll and knowing the story behind the design and materials. People are drawn to the idea of putting a face with the brand on their handmade leather boots or understanding what inspired the artist who painted the piece that hangs over the sofa.</p> <p>Let&rsquo;s explore a sampling of unique artisanal shops and see how these veritable Davids differentiate themselves in marketplace of goliaths.</p> <p><strong>Mast Brothers Chocolate</strong></p> <p>Brothers Rick and Michael Mast founded their <a href="http://www.mastbrothers.com/" target="_blank">small chocolate factory</a> in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. They approach chocolate making like vintners approach wine making&mdash;through understanding the unique characteristics of the cocoa bean that vary based upon region, climate, and growing techniques. Their small-batch chocolates are crafted with beans from a single farm not only for consistency and flavor, but also to pay homage to the region and culture represented. Mast Brothers craftsmanship produces a chocolate that&rsquo;s free of emulsifiers, butter, oils, soy, vanilla, and preservatives. Even the packaging is a labor of love&mdash;chocolate bars are hand-wrapped with high-quality paper that feature designs produced by friends and family.</p> <p><strong>Tender Company</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://www.madebytender.com/" target="_blank">English denim company</a> is all about handmade. Its jeans and jackets are crafted from raw, unfinished, heavy-weight denim that&rsquo;s woven on small looms in Japan. In the true spirit of artisanal craft, owner William Kroll attends to every detail, such as hand-dying each garment in metal barrels behind his shop in Norfolk, England. Even the buttons and buckles on his garments don&rsquo;t go unnoticed; Kroll has them forged of solid brass in England using the ancient &ldquo;lost wax&rdquo; casting method. The result? Heirloom-quality clothing that conforms to their owners&rsquo; unique shape and lifestyle and only gets better with age.</p> <p><strong>Archive Bags</strong></p> <p>According its website<b>, </b><a href="http://www.archivebag.com/" target="_blank">Archive Bags</a> is a one-man operation located in San Franscisco, California. These durable bags are handmade one at a time and the full product line includes bike accessories, backpacks, tote bags, wallets, and cell holsters. Archive Bags devotes a large part of its website to a blog that caters to the urban cyclist and speaks to the lifestyle that inspires its products. Archive&rsquo;s approach to engagement is important to note. Artisans offer an organic connection with the customer by making the commercial activity secondary (or at least seem so). Web-based proprietors create a lifestyle site that&rsquo;s genuine and the products themselves become an adjunct to the celebration and enthusiastic exploration of it.</p> <p><strong>Is There Room for Some Artisanship in Your Business?</strong></p> <p>The challenges facing any artisanal business&mdash;fluctuating income, the long process of developing a following, juggling all the aspects of launching a business with minimal staff&mdash;are balanced by some very real advantages. Businesses that are part of the handmade movement tend to have closer relationships with their customers and can respond to changing demand, experiment with new products, and do custom work. They&rsquo;re driven by the immediacy of the consumer feedback and, like all businesses, use it as a source of innovation.</p> <p>If there&rsquo;s one principle that seems to unite most artisans at work today, it&rsquo;s the idea of quality over quantity&mdash;the notion that not only is bigger not better, but bigger may necessarily be worse. Most members of this cadre of craftspeople aren&rsquo;t hoping to grow their cottage businesses into global empires. Instead, they&rsquo;re mindful of the golden mean of success&mdash;sustaining their craft without sacrificing their joy, creativity, and freedom.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/the-rise-in-artisans-global-lessons-from-a-local-movement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-handmade-goods-buy-cheap-handmade-goodies">Sell handmade goods, buy cheap handmade goodies.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-oh-where-are-my-worms-be-on-your-toes-when-ordering-from-small-web-businesses">Where Oh Where Are My Worms? Be On Your Toes When Ordering From Small Web Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-hobbies-for-introverts">8 Best Hobbies for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center artisans crafts custom built customer service handmade product innovation small business Sat, 15 Oct 2011 18:04:24 +0000 Kentin Waits 747234 at http://www.wisebread.com Buying (and Trading) on Etsy http://www.wisebread.com/buying-and-trading-on-etsy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/buying-and-trading-on-etsy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/logo_0.gif" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="154" height="80" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Positively one of my favorite places to shop online when I need a present is <a href="http://www.etsy.com" title="www.etsy.com">www.etsy.com</a>. And I have to say, most of the time when I go to buy a present from this site, I have no idea beforehand what I&#39;m actually going to buy. I just browse endlessly by random criteria. My favorite is by color. I want to see something blue and voila! Everything from buttons to yarn to pillows and barrettes in blue.</p> <p>Etsy only lets vendors who are selling handmade items post their wares on Etsy. They are pretty strict about this. If a vendor even tries to post something not created , other shoppers and artisans will flag it immediately. When they say handmade they mean it---but there&#39;s such a broad interpretation of that. The t-shirts a friend of mine silk screens are on there, my old zines are on there, and restrung jewelry made with vintage beads are there too. </p> <p>If you want to set up shop, etsy boasts some of the lowest cost fees around and the percentage cut is tiny. It doesn&#39;t have the traffic of eBay yet, but it doesn&#39;t have the high cost either and stuff can sit in your store for three months straight from one posting. A girlfriend of mine who dyes her own yarn has sold about $500 worth so far with not that much effort put into it. You can go in with a few artists in your area and have one store between you. </p> <p>On the flip side, since artisans and artists make up this site and ususally can&#39;t help themselves when they see something fun, clever or beautiful, you can bet that other artists and artisans are looking around their fellow etsy sites. You can totally work out trades of merchandise and can post on your site that you are up for such things (there I go again with the trading). I traded a few books for some earrings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maggie-wells">Maggie Wells</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-and-trading-on-etsy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-deal-tracker">Make Your Own Deal Tracker</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shopping-at-the-ing-direct-store-its-not-a-joke">An ING Direct Online Retail Store? It&#039;s not a joke.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place">19 Things You Can Buy That Make the World a Better Place</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping art artisans Handmade crafts shopping shopping online trading Mon, 26 May 2008 04:35:48 +0000 Maggie Wells 2126 at http://www.wisebread.com