I have been very frustrated by the lack of indoor space for local artisans. I enjoy doing the festivals and fairs, but it can be very stressful with the tent, the inventory, the set-up... I keep thinking there has to be a better way for us to sell our products! I'm looking into something that we can start... kind of like a cross between a flea market and a farmer's market. The problem with a flea market is that people are looking for "a deal" or "something cheap" and want to haggle on the price. That's not the market I want to serve. I want people to come because they support local artisans and want to spend their money locally.
One suggestion that I read on the EverythingEtsy blog is approaching local shops and boutiques and seeing if they have space for an "etsy corner". I'm looking into that. Kim also makes a suggestion of a "gypsy etsy", a sort of travelling store, that could be interesting...
What sort of things are available in your area? Is there local support for collective marketing? If not, what are you doing to change that? Perhaps there is no support because there is nothing available... are there any other artists and crafters in your area that you could work together with? The shop local page on Etsy is a great place to start... I utilize it all the time! I've curated several Shop Local North Carolina treasuries, and I also have a Shop Local column in my other blog. But I feel like I could be doing so much more within and for the community.
I'm asking these questions of myself as much as I'd like to hear your ideas. Do you aspire to bring your craft to the community, or are you happy with only having a shop on Etsy? Are you able to bring your craft to local businesses, or would you have more success in a setting with other like-minded people?
Would you participate in a collective shop if there was one available? Something similar to what I described at the beginning of the article... the cross between festival, flea market, and farmers market. Something indoors, year round, where you could come every week or once a month or every day... and still be able to do your own thing, only with the support and comradeship of other like-minded people helping to make each other a success...
Please leave a comment, let me know what you think! I'd also love to hear what options are available locally for you... and what you've had the most success at.
All the best, Jessica