If you are searching for a unique, handmade item, or if
you are a craftsman looking to sell your wares, the World Wide Web is your
E-commerce has opened up an entirely new way of doing
business, and the popularity of artisan marketplace websites has skyrocketed
in recent years. Following are three online shops that offer an enticing
array of goods and services to both artisans and their customers.
Founded in 2008, ArtFire is a small Tucson,
Arizona-based company whose handful of employees have a passion for handmade
art and indie business. As an interactive handmade marketplace and craft
community, its mission is to support buyers and sellers with innovative
features and functions. At ArtFire.com, you can search through millions of
treasures created by passionate artisans. With 34 categories filled with
everything from gingersnap cookie soap to flourite and laboradorite
earrings, you’re sure to find the perfect handmade gift here.
To make a purchase from ArtFire, you do not need to
create an account. Another nice feature is the
“Make an Offer” option. Sellers who are open to receiving offers will
include a “Make an Offer” field on the right-hand side of a product listing.
Enter in your bid, and the seller will then choose to accept or deny your
offer. Not all sellers use this feature, so keep your eyes open for those
At Embroidery Room’s shop (www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/theembroideryroom),
it’s the four-legged creatures in your life that are the focus. The shop
features handmade and embroidered dog bandanas, pet blankets, and
At Designs by Keri’s shop (www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/DesignsByKeri4U),
you can find handmade and customized clutches, backpacks, duffle bags,
purses, handbags, diaper bags, wristlets, and more. There is a bag design
for everyone — the hunter, the animal-lover, the traveler, the shoe-lover,
the designer, and more.
Etsy.com’s mission is to empower people to change the
way the global economy works. “We are bringing heart to commerce and making
the world more fair, more sustainable, and more fun,” reads part of the
company’s mission statement. At Etsy.com, you can find a wide variety of
artisans offering everything from handmade bows to candles.
When you're searching for the perfect gift, Etsy also
has a comprehensive search feature with a drop-down menu that lets you
search for handmade, vintage or all items. The search function also allows
you to search for supplies or for a specific shop or seller. Etsy also has a
color selection feature. A page of colorful dots lets you locate the perfect
color, and your search results will list all items in that color’s hue. Etsy
is the best handmade marketplace out there. Whether you’re buying or selling
handmade items, you’ll be satisfied with Etsy’s selection and easy-to-use
interface. They have designed the site to be a hub of creative ideas and an
exchange of beautifully handcrafted items
At Sweetest Bug Bows’ Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/SweetestBugBows)
owner Louise Amato sells beautiful, unique hairbows and headbands for all
occasions. From delicate vintage lace flowers to bright, bold bows — there’s
a hair accessory in this shop perfect for you or your little one. Amato will
even work with you to create the perfect customized bow.
Over at XauXau’s Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/XauXau),
colors and crochet are words of the day. Shop owner Alise Lake creates
unique crocheted necklaces and earrings that are filled with color and
personality. “My first crochet doily was made together with my grandmother …
every line started by her and continued by me,” she says in her profile.
From crochet-covered wooden-bead long necklaces to crocheted earrings, the
items in this shop are truly handmade from the heart.
Novica.com unites you with more than 1,800 artists
around the world. Read about their lives, explore their fascinating
cultures, and select from more than 8,500 unique, handcrafted works of art.
You can find art, books, clothing, furniture, games, home décor, instruments
or jewelry from such regions as Brazil, India, Mexico, Thailand, West
Africa, Andes, and Bali & Java. These products speak to your soul, your
spirit. Zosimo Laura of Ayacucho (www.novica.com/artistdetail/index.cfm?faid=3153)
is one artisan featured on the site. He sells many items, but is currently
featuring a precisely woven tapestry. Beautifully handmade, the tapestry
features abstract toucans intertwined in an intricate pattern in color
shades of turquoise and lilac. The piece is created on the handloom using
soft wool, and finished with lavish fringe.
Brazilian artist J. Simoes Lopes (www.novica.com/artistdetail/index.cfm?faid=3839)
is the son and grandson of great artists. He shares the beauty of the area
he loves in his lucid paintings. “I love nature and enjoy perpetuating the
beauty that I personally perceive in a picture, thus my predilection for
realistic landscapes. The secret of my painting is in its luminosity. To
create a beautiful landscape, it is necessary to find the precise tones,” he