Is HANDMADE the new Green? ShopHandmade.com: the Fastest-Growing Craft Website Re-Defines `Handmade'

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Within two months of its beta launch, ShopHandmade has become the fastest growing handmade marketplace in the history of online retail. It is already the trendiest destination for everything that is handmade, recycled and vintage.

we are prepared to live with that.

Within two months of its beta launch, ShopHandmade has become the fastest growing handmade marketplace in the history of online retail. It is already the trendiest destination for everything that is handmade, recycled and vintage.

Says David Kovanen, ShopHandmade''s Director, "We never dreamed the website would take off like this. It's like opening a mall online with 2,000 stores, where every single item is handmade."

From the very beginning, Kovanen was clear that the mood of this marketplace would be remarkably different. "When a buy-and-sell website grows too fast, it is easy to lose sense of your priorities. At some point, the market forces take over and profit becomes the sole motivator. At ShopHandmade, we are not going to let that happen."

The website has set an example by forgoing profits itself. Craft-sellers can open their ShopHandmade stores at absolutely no cost. "We knew that other sites likes Ebay deducted as much as 12%," explains Kovanen. "But we were unwilling to burden sellers with substantial fees."

This means that ShopHandmade makes no money from the stores. "But," says Kovanen, "we are prepared to live with that."

This approach has earned ShopHandmade a reputation as an "easy landlord" in the handmade community. Says Kovanen, "The 'art-with-an obligation' agenda is making people curious. They are visiting our site to see if we are really what we claim to be."

As sellers flock to open new stores, ShopHandmade has got off to a stupendous start. It has become the `Facebook' of the crafting community. A free platform to buy, sell and network.

ShopHandmade's philosophy includes a deep commitment to the planet. For every item sold on the website, the site has pledged to save 25 square feet of rainforest. A parallel second-hand marketplace called reSupply allows crafters to buy and sell left-over material at nominal prices. This allows choices that are both economical as well as ecologically inspired.

For Kovanen, managing the environment is a way of life. And his straightforward green philosophy finds expression on the site. For example, when ShopHandmade listed it's first 10,000 handmade items, it planted 10,000 trees -- one tree for each item. "We added a little tree icon to every product on the site and this seemed to trigger a sense of pride and achievement in the buyers and sellers," says Kovanen. "It got them thinking they wanted to do more."

Such ideas come to Kovanen in the dead of night. Within the company he is known as the Brainstorm Meteorologist because he fine-tunes ShopHandmade's strategy in the haze of insomnia-inspired genius.

Among his recent innovations are exciting search-and-view features which are more technologically advanced than anything on the internet.

But this is only a beginning. "We are on the ground floor of something wonderful and growing" says Kovanen. "ShopHandmade will not only take 'handmade' mainstream, it will revolutionize the way consumers shop online."

  • ShopHandmade is a free online marketplace for handmade crafts. Presently, it has over 2,000 artist-direct stores and is the leading handmade buy-and-sell website with an environmental twist. It is sponsored by Addicted To Rubber Stamps, the largest independent craft retailer on the internet.

For more information, contact:
Stacy Penner, Supervisor, ShopHandmade
1-253-925-1000

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Nabanita Soleimany
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