12/01/2010

Pathways to Membership, pt 4, Nominations

ArtisansGalleryTeam is formed as a means for studio artisans to market and promote our unique, handmade work on Etsy. We are based on a gallery model in that our team appeals to buyers who want an assurance of technical quality, a selection that delights and surprises, and outstanding customer service. In my decades of gallery management and ownership, I studied gallery clientele. I found that the vast majority of gallery shoppers are not interested in sales, bargains, or something available everywhere else. They were shopping for something rare, finely designed and crafted, something that fed their soul. Gallery patrons are sensitive to issues of environmental sustainability, supporting small indie businesses, and watching an artisan grow and develop their body of work.
As founders of the team, Merritt and I are now focusing our energies on the vetting and jury process; Jen of Polestar is team captain, and Monica of Moonovermaise is team leader. This post is intended to shed light on what our jury system is designed to select. Team members, please post questions in the comments! Our dialogue can help everyone make appropriate nominations. We are looking for work that meets or exceeds our team standards. We are also looking to maintain a balance and variety in all of our categories. In order to be admitted to this team in the most popular category, jewelry, the work must be different from our current members’ work, and/or presented in an unusual manner; styled for a niche buyer.
We are looking for artisans who are growing and progressing, as this journey interests buyers. We would rather see a less developed artisan who is actively learning and improving than a skilled artisan who has hit a plateau and does not reach any higher. A candidate who has been rejected by the jury once and made improvements as a result is given bonus points for the next jury. Nurturing new talent is a priority for us!
We are looking for active team players; a significant difference from when we started a year ago. Our team captain and leader have organized opportunities to participate in team promotions. By joining our team, your work will be in many social media sites. Few of us have the time to tweet, Tumble, Facebook, blog, be featured in blog and magazine articles, and cross promote in treasuries every day. As a team member, your work will be in all of that while you promote in the social media sites that interest you. We are reaching beyond Etsy to capture the interests of artisan patrons who can’t find what they are looking for in the flea market listings of Etsy at large. We aim to let our buyers know that genuine quality artisan works are available on Etsy, and to help them find what they are seeking.
Team members, we need shops that balance, compliment and add something unique to our current members’ work. When you run across quality artisan shops, please take the time to examine their shop. Ask yourself the questions that our jury asks: does the work have a distinct point of view? Does the shop copy describe studio methods and materials in detail? Is the photography uncluttered, with primarily neutral backgrounds, and some with imaginative staging props? Is the feedback indicative of buyer satisfaction, and is there at least a Feedback rating of 10? Are there at least 3 listings that are highly unique; unlike other things commonly seen on Etsy? Is the shop up to date, with consistent sales, and current news?

The jewelry featured is from 3Squares, who received a perfect jury score last time, so be sure to check her shop of amazing artisan works!

6 comments:

Monica said...

This is great information, Lee. I don't have any questions at the moment, but I am very excited about bringing new members in next year!

Awesome job, Jean!

artisansgalleryteam said...

I am excited too!

artisansgalleryteam said...

sorry that was me (polestar) jen

3 squares said...

as a newer member, i am most grateful for this information. thank you, lee!

p.s. i am blushing from head to toe!

Rebecca said...

Thanks for posting this very useful information. I'm planning to apply and hope to be considered.

Jessie: daily oil paintings said...

When you start taking applications again, please consider me. I am an oil painter, and sell prints and original paintings on Etsy. Thank you! http://www.etsy.com/shop/rasche