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.