A specialty artisan, like me, produces lifestyle products to order. These are end-use items in fashion, home goods, lawn and garden, and gift categories. This group includes jewelers, ceramicists, glass blowers, wood workers, apparel, accessory makers, and other specialists. Unlike the consumable producer, the specialty artisan makes products to order, carrying little to no inventory. This artisan needs orders for their made to order goods that come with a premium price tag. Currently, the pool of potential buyers is reduced with many people losing jobs and paychecks. These items are wants, not needs. The typical sales channels – Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, etc. are not the answer. There are so many specialty artisans on these platforms – it’s hard to stand out in the crowd.
I have been part of the specialty artisan community for over 40 years and I advocate and provide support services as a consultant in this community. This sector is often overlooked and often, these businesses are solopreneurs…..but we ALL need your help. Here are some ways you can give these artisans a fighting chance to stay in business while you stay at home.
• If you are financially able, buy something that you love from an artisan. The artisan gets money and you get something that will brighten your day!
• Follow those you like on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Share their posts with your network. The more people they reach, the more opportunities they will get to sell their product or service.
• Sign up for their newsletters.
• When you need a gift, consider buying from an artisan rather than a large store.
It doesn’t take much to give a business a fighting chance. I’m selling 13 Mystery boxes. Each includes a handmade pair of slides and other gifts, an $80+ value for $50. If I can sell all 13 boxes, I will infuse $650 into my business. That may sound tiny to some, but for me and most other small businesses, it is significant. It will pay for my business taxes; show fees, new marketing materials and more.
This is an illustration of how this relatively small influx of dollars, could help many specialty artisans stay in business while you stay at home.