Esty is a website that allows individuals to sell their handmade items to other users, a marketplace for you and me. But recently, they added the option for manufacturers. This opens up a few options for those looking to outsource their handmade items, those that don’t have the time or energy to keep up with demand. But homemade items are an art form. Many users on Etsy love making each and every item OOAK (one of a kind). They feel that adding manufactured items will change the entire Etsy concept and make finding handmade artists more difficult.
So the policy change didn’t sit so well with many of the Etsy users. And Stacey Sobelman did something about it. She created the All Handmade By ME Team. The idea of the team is to create a community of certified artists that make true OOAK handmade items. And the trend is catching on. The team was mentioned in a Yahoo article yesterday. And membership continues to grow. When last checked, it had 652 certified members. To be certified, the artist must verify that each item they sell is handmade by them. SMART Designs created a badge that only certified members are allowed to sport on their shop pages. It helps the shopper identify items that are truly handmade. If you shop on Etsy, search for the badge and you will find members from all over the world selling true handmade items.
I think it’s a neat concept. Too often we see the small guys go under to big corporations. And I’ve usually received better quality service from the small guys (and gals). So I encourage you to check them out. You’ll find everything from graphic design to jewelry to polymer clay figurines.
(It should be worth noting that these Etsy users are in no way back lashing against their fellow Etsy users who have needed to expand or who sell items that are not handmade. The concern is over large companies and manufacturers that will completely eliminate the OOAK products by producing mass quantities of uninspired items. There is passion behind art and in some cases that passion can get taken away by mass production and manufacturing. The team was formed to help buyers identify sellers who offer a shop full of OOAK handmade items. Anyone can apply for the team and if they fit the criteria of selling all handmade items, they’re in!)
Check it out: