Like any large group, there were some bumps in the road, but the members …600 members…are you kidding me??? Andrew and I couldn’t keep up, so some wonderful members decided to step in and help! We have bloggers, twitterers, stumblers, plurkers, and facebookers (boy, created my own language here didn’t I?). Soon we had Twitter rings and Blog rings that were attracting attention of the handmade world. We have weekly chats every Thursday evening (EST) where we discuss anything from sales, to creative process, to life in general...there have been many chats where nobody knows quite how we ended up on some odd topic...but we just roll with it and enjoy the company of our new friends.
Now, I have sold on a variety of sites such and each had their pluses as well as minuses. Poor Andrew had to listen to my complaining about what each didn’t have…but what do you do? It is hard to be seen on multi-vendor sites but even harder to get found on your own site! Answer? HandmadeArtistsShop was born. Now, this shop was not on the radar when the forum began. We are not coders and had no clue as to how to set up a multi-vendor shopping site; but if Andrew is one thing, it is tenacious! He did hours of research into various shopping carts and hundreds of emails to an online friend who understood code. We talked about what a shop needed to have and through a lot of trial and error the HandmadeArtistsShop was born. The shop went through many growing pains but has steadily become better and easier to use and our members are seeing sales without having to compete with mass produced or commercial supplies! Finally, a site that puts handmade in its own category and calls it special enough for its own site! Our shop members even have the option of filling out a short survey form and being featured in their own article on the front page of the shop promoting their Handmade Artists Shop and any other sites they would like to feature.
Where are we now? Well, we are currently over 2400 members of the forum and over 200 Shop members. Andrew and I have steadily increased our server size because you guys love to show off your pictures! We have continued to try to promote our members of the forum and shop as much as we can with the help of our other members through Twitter, StumbleUpon, FaceBook, Plurk, and ProjectWonderful and truly believe that our little corner of the web will continue to grow.