Pathways to Membership- pt 1 of 3

Our intention as a team is to allow buyers of fine artisan work to locate genuine artisans of distinction on Etsy. With a rigorous vetting and jury process, we select shops with high quality handmade work and excellent customer service. Buyers who shop from our team page are thrilled with their finds, and most of our members report increased sales and exposure after joining. We already have 6 times more requests to join than room on our team, so please review our requirements carefully if you’d like to join us!

Our jury process for Artisans Gallery Team begins with nominations. Once a year we will take open applications but your best chance of making this team is to be nominated by an existing member. It’s easy to make connections. Get involved with treasuries, and  include team members’ work, blog or tweet about those whom you admire. Many of our members scour Etsy for exciting new listings to include in our treasuries. If you are notified that you are in a treasury, comment on the treasury in a personable way. This is not about pandering; it is our way of assessing whether you are a genuine artisan with an active interest in your shop and not a reseller. Strike up a relationship and ask a few members to consider nominating you. Nominations are sent to our vetting team at specific times once or twice a year.  The purpose of vetting is to:
1) determine that each shop is owned by the maker of the work. No manufactured goods or coops allowed; partnerships are fine. A shop announcement, profile, and location must be filled in, and each must give enough information to make a determination. When necessary, websites and blogs are reviewed, and the shop listings are googled.
2) evaluate the technical abilities and knowledge of the shop owner in their media. False information about the materials used disqualifies a shop from membership.
3) assess the shop’s professional presentation in a broad sense and decide if it is suitable as gallery quality and fits the categories currently open for new membership.
4) examine the feedback and any other indicators of high customer satisfaction and recognition for distinction.
This is only the start! Shops that pass vetting are sent to our jury, which is a separate team of 3-6 individuals who grade each shop.  Part 2 will cover our jury standards.

This team was started by Lee of OneClayBead (me) and Merritt of merritthyde. Our current acting VP is Betsy of betsybensen. Paula of PaulaArt is a founding member and blog manager. I have owned, managed, and been a buyer for fine art and craft galleries for decades, and used the standards learned in my career in forming this unique team. It is my hope that new and emerging artisans will use our standards as a springboard for self evaluation and improvement. It has been my experience that all true artisans grow and change our entire lives, and this blog and this team are a celebration of that journey.

If you have questions about our vetting process, ask them in the comments and I’ll be back to reply to each one.


WickedSoaps said...

I can't wait to meet our new members next month!

Thank you to Lee, Merritt, Betsy, Paula and everyone else who puts so much hard work into making this the best team on Etsy :)

-Misty (WickedSoaps)

Monica said...

I'm so excited to meet our new members! You all have created an amazing team, thank you!

PoleStar Jewelry - Handcrafted said...

Thank you for all your hard work! I too am excited to meet new members! It's so fun making treasuries and I am looking forward to even more beautiful work!

Annette F Tait said...

thank you Paula for explaining the vetting process and how to be nominated. I know this will help many artisans out there and I look forward to meeting our new members.
Thank you to Lee and Merritt and Betsy for their hard work, and for every ones vision!

paula said...

thank you lee for this post, it is exciting and i'm happy to be involved with such a wonderful group of talented and creative individuals. look forward to watching us grow!

StudioZen said...

Our team is such a fun and energetic group and I'm looking forward to welcoming new artisans! Thanks Lee for sharing this great information!

jennifer said...

Hello, I appreciate the explanation of rules in joining this team. I am definitely interested and will work on getting nominated. When are the times to have nominations sent in?
Thank you,
Jennifer Lawler of

WolfeWoman said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for your interest. We have just had a call for nominations and will have new 35-50 members in the next few weeks. Our next jury is in Jan 2011, and we will be asking team members for nominations beginning Jan 1. 2011. We also plan to take direct applications at that time, but will give preference to those nominated by our own team members.

I just peeked at your work and like what I see! Please start networking with us!


donauluft said...

I am really waiting eagerly to see the new members of this outstanding team!

SewnNatural said...

thank you, Lee, for setting this out. one of the most wonderful things about this team (I'm putting on my buyer hat, not just my seller hat) is being able to trust that no matter what listing, no matter what shop - it's quality, reputable, solid *and* incredibly beautiful handmade work by an artisan. sweatshop free. mass production free. that is very difficult to find in our fluid, online shopping world where you can't meet the seller face to face, nor can you handle and touch the item. trust is everything, and this team - through its careful curation and networking - provides that. thank you, we're beyond thrilled to be part of this team and appreciate all the work by those mentioned + others that keeps this group humming and growing.

PipingHotPapers said...

I'm excited to see who the new members will be!

Michelle said...

Thanks so much Lee to have set up this and have set up the hole Team!
Guess you have no Idea how grateful ( I think that is the word) I am to be in this fantastic supportive Team!
Thanks so much to Merryt, Betsy and Paula and all the others that do so much for our Team!
I am also looking forward to meet our new Members and also looking forward to meet all of you that like to get involved!!!
So lets keep Transforming and growing and support each other where we can,
Thank you!!!!

Waterrose said...

Thank you for sharing your Pathways to Membership. I am also interested in becoming a member! The blog is lovely and one of my favorites!

UnaOdd -Lynn said...

I can't wait to see the new members!

designsbyegs said...

Have been curious about your group since discovering on Polestar's welcome on Etsy that you existed.
I, too, am a past retailer. I owned ladies boutique 30 yrs ago in Louisville,Ky, great little store, but sold it when I married, started a family and joined my husband in men's boutique or haberdashery. Children grown, husband deceased, business closed and for the past 10 years I have designed and sold my jewelry to galleries and retail locations in Louisville and recently until economy slowed
in Texas where I now live and
maintain a small studio. This is probably too much info, but there it is, and I look forward to learning more about your group and the jury process. Peace, egs

WolfeWoman said...

Hi egs,
Thanks for your interest! It's always a pleasure to find othr studio artisans.

MadLook said...

This is a truly amazing and talented team that my mother and I will definitely work on being a part of!
I do admit I am rather new to etsy (I signed up last year but only started listing about a month ago...) but it doesn't take long to realize that true artisans needs to be part of a talented and professional team in order to grow, learn, teach and find minds that think alike and share very similar ambitions and passions.
This is the type of team my mother and I have been searching for and wish to be a part of. I will immediately start the process necessary in becoming nominated! Thank you very much for the information provided, Lee!!!
With repsect, Mimika

The Muse said...

I would like to be nominated for membership. My shop is http://www.etsy.com/shop/themusescloset I sell original art and a few select pieces of my artisan jewelry. Thank you for all the helpful members to date!

Deborah said...

I would love to be nominated for membership.


I mainly sell fine art photographic prints but I am old enough to have mastered more than a few talents.

Thanking you in advance for taking time to check out my store.


LabSpace said...

Hello I would really like to join your team. I like to think I have the right sort of creative attitude... From what I understand it is difficult to get in, I have no sponsors, and open applications are not taken into consideration right now. But I'll still try my luck. Thank you for your attention.

Danni Mac said...

Hi! I would like to introduce myself. My name is Danni McCarville. My store on Etsy is DanniMacStudios. I am primarily a Stained Glass Mosaic artist who enjoys making murals but I also sell a few other related items on my site. Although I joined in Dec 2009 I didn't really start using my account until March 2011. I now work full time on my art and have dug into learning the intricacies of Etsy and all of the possibilities it has to offer. I realize I missed the nominations but I still wanted to make contact and let you know that I am very interested in your group. You can also check out my website at macmosaics.com Thank you for reading this!

StoneLink Designs said...

Hi, I realize you are not accepting any more jewelers at this time, but would like to leave my link. Hope this is the right place. It looks like a great team, I hope things open up soon. Thanks,