The All Handmade By Me Team!
It all began normally enough. One bright and sunny October morning, all over the world Esty sellers logged in to their accounts, ready to check their shops and work on their businesses. Then things took a turn: Etsy made an announcement. A change to their policies. It was plain and simple. Etsy was now allowing sellers to work with outside manufactures, technically allowing factory made or massed-produced goods in to what had started as a Handmade platform. While undoubtedly great news for some sellers, allowing their shops to expand, many handmade sellers stared at the screen in dismay. Many felt upset and the fear of becoming lost in a sea of new goods seemed very real. Massed produced products would make searching for something truly unique and one-of-a-kind more difficult. Customers might have a hard time finding truly handmade shops. They might NOT have the time to wade through so much. Thoughts like this ran through the heads of these artisans.
One of these sellers was Stacey Sobelman, a young graphic designer from St. Louis, and like many others she was appalled. However an idea entered her head and like a tiger she sprang into action. A team. A team just for handmade products, a place for artists to club together and remain true to handmade. The “All Handmade By Me” team was born!
Joining is simple; sellers have to have made their products by hand and provide a description of their process. Of course they do not have to be entirely by hand, sewing machines and small things like that are allowed. Once approved they can display the team’s badge, designed especially by the captain, as a sign of honour. The team provides not only a place to club together but also comradeship, promotion, support and advice.
When shopping on Etsy and wadding through the hundreds of pages of results, customers wanting true handmade items only have to look of the badge and can be reassured that it is a handmade item.
What started out as a small reaction to a change, just a few people coming together, grew and grew. Now just over two months later the team’s membership has exceeded 1500.
I had a few words with Captain Stacey about the team and where she’d like it go in the future.
“I started this team because I thought that it was important to give handmade sellers a voice. I never dreamed that anything of this magnitude would come of it, but now that we have over 1,500 members, I could not be happier! This team is truly my proudest accomplishment. Every single day I wake up, amazed that this has really happened!”
“I would like to take the team farther. In the immediate future, I’d like to increase the general public’s awareness of our team. My goal is that someday soon buyers will come to look for my handmade badge of honor when shopping online”
I also spoke to several of the team’s leaders about what the team means to them.
Teresa from CreativeTreasures
“I was extremely disappointed that having just gotten my business going Etsy decided to change the definition of handmade into something that nobody in reality would recognise. So while people are still looking for actual HANDmade products, this team has ensured that true handmade artisans stand out in the crowd, and between us we can continue the true traditions of our crafts.”
Erin from LadyHonsa
“As a one-person shop, it is very important to me to try and keep the handmade vibe of Etsy alive. Joining this team and being a leader has allowed me to meet and get to know many other handmade shop owners. Running the promotional threads, I get to see a plethora of new, exciting handmade items.
It’s a fun community that is growing by the day, and it’s lovely to see that handmade isn’t going to be stopped!”
Katie from UniquelyYouJewellery
“I am honoured to be a part of this amazing team dedicated to handmade products. In a world full of mass production, it is fantastic to see artisans and crafters make unique, special, high quality items for consumers to cherish. Each handcrafted item is made by very talented people. I am very glad to be a part of that.”
It is good to know that in a world full of mass-commercialism, the handmade sprit of small artisans still going strong. It always will as long as there people to support it. If you have a handmade shop on Etsy or just like to shop for handmade goods remember to look for the team badge!
Visit the team here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/teams/19087/all-handmade-by-me?ref=pr_teams