Authentically.co – Championing Indie Craft Online (Canceled)
Authentically.co – Championing Indie Craft Online (Canceled)
Give skilled indie makers the recognition they deserve, while also taking the headache out of finding authentic handmade work online.
Give skilled indie makers the recognition they deserve, while also taking the headache out of finding authentic handmade work online. Read more
We’ll be resuming this project soon! Click here to be the first to know when we do:
As a digital publishing consultant, I speak with a lot of indie crafters who sell online and I constantly hear a deafening chorus of frustrations, all saying...
Selling online is a minefield!
What's going on? Isn't the Internet supposed to help independent makers sell their work?!
As indie creators keep saying again and again, posting items for sale online isn’t the problem, getting seen through the ever increasing avalanche of listings is. In fact, most craftspeople already try to sell through several different online marketplaces or websites!
Yet one glaring problem still remains: getting heard above all the noise.
With so much competition online – and the proliferation of mass-produced goods – it’s harder and harder for genuine handmade work to stand out.
But the problem doesn’t end here.
On the flip side there are millions of people who value unique handcrafted work but, when it comes time to buy a gift for a loved one or find something special for themselves, they struggle to find what they’re looking for.
The overwhelming challenge they face is wasting valuable time and energy trawling through countless online listings, all the while asking themselves:
Beyond what they’re buying, they want to know who made it and where it’s come from, but this is becoming increasingly difficult…
Sure there are many talented indie designers and crafters online, but the problem is:
How to quickly and easily connect with them?
Worse still, this problem isn't just going to vanish… Here are just a few prominent media outlets that have written about the problems with existing craft platforms and the challenges indie makers face:
On one side we have handmade work being swamped by all the noise online, while on the other side we have discerning consumers wasting valuable time and energy trying to wade through millions of listings and find items which align with their values.
We need to bridge the gap.
Authentically.co will do precisely that. By bringing together the very best of handmade, the Authentically.co website will showcase high-quality handcrafted work. This will give indie makers the visibility they deserve, while for buyers it will take the headache out of finding authentic handmade work online.
It’s difficult for individual craftspeople to stand out online, but by joining forces together, Authentically.co will leverage visibility to benefit many independent makers.
Better still, real humans – that’s right! – will review each and every submission to the site, meaning viewers can trust that all work featured is truly handmade. This means no more time wasted scouring through millions of listings on overcrowded online marketplaces, trying to figure out what's genuine and what's not.
What will the site look like?
We've created a mock-up to show you our vision for a clean, easy-to-navigate website showcasing the very best of handmade...
After landing on the site, you’ll have several search capabilities, including category (e.g. ceramics), gift guide (e.g. mother’s day) and country (e.g. UK), making it easy to find exactly what you want and choose precisely where your money’s going.
Help us spread the word about Authentically.co so we can impact as many people's lives as possible. Click the blue button below...
How is this different from existing craft websites? Authentically.co will be a place where dedicated indie makers can share their genius with the world. It will not be an online store; instead, it will connect the creators of high-quality handcrafted work with craft-loving buyers.
Authentically.co will be the watchdog of handmade, bringing together vetted collections of items already for sale online, but which are almost impossible to find at the moment.
So then how will I make a purchase? Simply click on the item and you’ll be taken directly to the maker’s online store or personal website. Authentically.co will help you discover indie crafters – then you’ll deal directly with them through their existing website or online store; we want to give the power back to makers.
How will I know the items are handmade? All of the items will be reviewed and vetted by real humans before being posted to the site. Having the entire website curated by actual people is one of the core features which makes Authentically.co unique.
Committed to buying local? Perfect – Authentically.co believes provenance is vital, and firmly endorses people supporting their local economy. The site lets you view items by location, so you can rest assured you’ll know exactly where your money’s going.
Looking for a unique gift? Browse the gift collections on Authentically.co to find special handmade gifts.
Will I need to pay to use the site? Great question – no! Authentically.co is committed to providing a curated collection of unique handmade work free of charge.
Will craftspeople be required to pay to use the site? Once again, no! Authentically.co is premised on giving talented craftspeople a place to showcase their work.
How is the site going to be financially viable in the long run? Don’t worry – we haven’t lost our senses from too many paint fumes! We’re lining up some really exciting sponsors who truly believe in Authentically.co's vision.
Authentically.co values creativity; the joy of going deep and coming up with something fresh and unique. That's what we intend to celebrate on the site. We stand by our values:
I'm Natalia Laczko, the face behind Authentically.co. Last year while I was working with some indie crafters, I was shocked to hear about their struggles to successfully sell authentic handmade work online.
I wondered whether this was a widespread problem and so started reaching out to makers working in different fields and places. Over and over again I kept hearing the same pain: these days it's easy enough to list handmade items for sale online, but getting your work discovered is a whole other ballgame.
At the same time, I kept hearing horror stories of people struggling to buy handmade. Knowing something had to be done, I set out to create a solution and, after hours and hours liaising with craftspeople, the concept for Authentically.co was born.
Why do I care?
I've always been interested in independent art and craft; I have a degree in art history, I used to be a textile designer and craft has played an important role in my own life. In fact, learning to knit helped me recover from a devastating car accident. But that's another story. In a nutshell, I've always believed in the power of art and craft to transform lives.
Specifically, I believe that craft allows us to connect with places and traditions. When you touch a piece of work, you’re literally connecting with the maker through the materials and this connection has the power to last for hundreds of years and reach down to future generations.
I believe that craft is a common ground between diverse cultures and helps cultivate mutual appreciation and respect.
I believe that artisan skills are incredibly valuable and need to be preserved.
Above and beyond this, I believe in craftspeople receiving fair prices for their unique work and I believe in economically empowering skilled individuals and local communities.
Are you with me?
If you love handmade and believe in the power of helping local economies, join us in bringing Authentically.co to life to support the discovery of indie makers and craftspeople.
We need your pledge to make this site a reality.
If we come together and join forces, we'll have the power to create the world’s most powerful tool for promoting authentic handmade work online.
Authentically.co has teamed up with an amazing group of indie makers to provide you with some really unique rewards. This means that by backing this campaign, you'll not only be helping to bring the Authentically.co site to life, you'll also be supporting the work of these incredible craftspeople. Let's face it – they deserve it.
Not sure which reward level is right for you? Here's a snapshot (hint - the early bird special with 2 mugs is a steal!):
The main expense in getting Authentically.co up and running is hiring a developer to create the site. While visually clean and simple, on the back end the site requires features which are simply not available with free website tools such as WordPress. We need to make sure the site is easy to use, quick to load, has the necessary integration and can deal with the expected traffic – all of this means we need a professional, experienced developer.
The next largest chunk of the budget goes to the talented makers working hard to create genuine, handmade rewards for this campaign.
After that, you’ll see the rest of the expenses include fun bureaucracy such as payment processing fees and taxes (got to love them!).
We've got an amazing group of talented craftspeople and artists participating in this Kickstarter project, from creating rewards, to providing work for the mock-up, to sharing their experiences in the video. We encourage you to learn more about them by clicking the links below (in alphabetical order):
AbruSHOP Did you see the colourful ring made from repurposed pencils in the Authentically.co site mock-up? It’s the creation of Andrei Abrudean from AbruSHOP.
Além da Rua Atelier Brazilian maker Veronica Kraemer was featured in the video, along with her studio in São Paulo, which is called “Além da Rua Atelier”. She loves working with mosaics, as well as upcycling pallets and crates into colourful furniture.
David Frith Jewellery David Frith is a master jeweller on the Sunshine Coast in Australia – the black lava stone earrings in the Authentically.co site mock-up are just one example of his custom work.
Earth to Table Ceramics Washington-based ceramicist Tania Fleming is creating sets of unique handcrafted stoneware dipping sauce dishes for one of the rewards.
Favoring Brave Jill Simons is currently up to her neck in old reclaimed books, looking for the perfect phrases to create one-of-a-kind earrings for this special Authentically.co reward.
Leather Meister Did you see the individually hand dyed and hand embossed leather wrist cuff in the Authentically.co site mock-up? It’s the work of British husband and wife team Nigel and Hazel Hughson of Leather Meister.
Nicolette Valikoski You can’t have missed Canadian artist Nicolette Valikoski’s striking textural paintings – they were featured in the Authentically.co site mock-up.
Recomputing Husband and wife team Natalka and Iaroslav lovingly recycle old computer parts – just like the circuit board cufflinks in the Authentically.co site mock-up.
The Little Press Rob and Emily are the talented makers behind the Moroccan-inspired blue-toned artwork in the Authentically.co site mock-up.
The Village Pottery Jennifer Hamilton is the amazing British ceramicist creating the hand thrown Authentically.co reward mugs – have you got yours yet?
The Yarn Kitchen The quirky felted planter pots featured in the Authentically.co site mock-up are the creation of Stella Melgrati from Italy.
Thévy Guex French artist Thévy Guex is creating an original watercolour painting especially for the Authentically.co Kickstarter campaign – bet you can’t wait to see it!
Woo Doo Last – but certainly not least – I’m sure you all fell in love with Magi (Magdaléna) Ráblová in the video. Magi is part of the WooDoo trio, along with Tomas "Gregi" Gregarek and Hanka Smitakova.
We want to spread the word about Authentically.co so we can help as many indie makers as possible. By clicking the button above, you'll play a vital role in helping us reach this goal.
Thanks so much for your support!
Risks and challenges
We're confident that months of research and planning will result in a successful campaign.
Having said that, all projects inherently face potential risks and challenges, which is why we’ve worked hard to come up with solutions to overcome any hurdles.
Authentically.co is commissioning a number of craftspeople to create unique rewards for this Kickstarter project. As with any other project involving real people, there is always the possibility of unexpected life events which could affect rewards being delivered on time.
To mitigate this, buffers have been built into the schedule, just in case any issues do come up. The makers chosen all have prior experience in creating custom work, and have been chosen not only for their talent but also for their professionalism.
A common challenge for many Kickstarter campaigns is getting funded, but then not actually having enough money to cover all costs. To address this risk, quotes have already been obtained for website development and design, as well as the cost of commissioning and delivering all rewards. Any potential increases in material costs have also been considered.
As with building any website, there is always the chance of glitches or bugs in the early stages. This risk has also been factored into the schedule, allowing ample time for testing and tweaking to make sure the site functions well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)