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Helping Artisans Reach Global Markets. Pamela J. Brown, Ph.D. Associate Professor & Extension Entrepreneurship Specialist (Retired) Texas Cooperative Extension Texas A&M University System Funded through a grant from the Southern Regional Development Center, Mississippi State University .

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helping artisans reach global markets

Helping Artisans Reach Global Markets

Pamela J. Brown, Ph.D.

Associate Professor &

Extension Entrepreneurship Specialist (Retired)

Texas Cooperative Extension

Texas A&M University System

Funded through a grant from the Southern Regional Development Center, Mississippi State University

introduction to artisan e commerce curriculum
Introduction to Artisan E-Commerce Curriculum
  • Promote the artisan industry
  • Support artisan economy
  • Strengthen the artisan business
  • Analyze the e-commerce opportunities for artisans

“Making your craft business better – online”


*Presented by Ashley Lovell, Extension Specialist – Economic Development, Texas Cooperative Extension, lovell@tarleton.eduDraft 052907


Definition: (Noun) making things by hand: a profession or activity involving the skillful making of decorative or practical objects by hand, e.g. weaving, pottery, or woodcarving ( often used in combination )

Definition:(Can be used in the plural) object produced by skillful and work: something produced skillfully by hand, especially in a traditional manner, e.g. a piece of pottery or carving ( often used in the plural )



With the many available woods, each with its unique grain, the possibilities are endless for creating works from wood.

Keywords:  stain, grain, whittling, carving, Windsor, Mission, Shaker, Duncan Phyfe, mortise-and-tenonWorks:  furniture, sculpture, cabinetry, toys


Fiber has an important place in history and the present.  From cloths used to wrap mummies in ancient Egypt to intricately patterned tapestries hanging in The Vatican, fiber, like all objects in craft, shares and practical and decorative heritage.

Keywords:  linen, merino wool, cotton, needlepoint, embroidery, crewel, knitting, crochet, cut, drape, weaving

Works:  garments, tapestries, rugs, blankets, dolls, baskets, purses, sacks, sails   

Creativity is the single most sought-after attribute in the business world today—not surprisingly, since it is unquestionably the driving force behind today’s global economy.”

–Harvey Seifter, Director, Creativity

Connection, Arts & Business Council

activity 10 to15 minutes
Activity – 10 to15 minutes
  • “How can you use your creativity in managing your business better?”
  • “What is the most challenging part of being an artisan business?”
  • “What is your biggest challenge of doing business through e-commerce?”
  • “What kind of craft do you make that you would like to sell online?”
e impact on craft businesses
Conducting business




Customer relations




E-Impact on Craft Businesses

Less than 60% of all small businesses have a web page!

Source: Access Minnesota, 2005

location location location
Location, Location, Location
  • Why do you live and work where you do?
    • Rural Scenic Quality of life
  • How can you leverage the desirable traits of where you live with the need to reach more customers?
  • Downside – less/no visibility

It’s all about marketing. . . Using the Internet . . . And more marketing . . . And planning.


Craft Retailers With Web Sites

Source: The Crafts Report, 2004

who is using internet facts

81% of teens

63% of adults

18-29 80%

30-39 74%

50-64 60%

65+ 26%

60% women

66% men


Whites -68%

Blacks -42%

Hispanics -60%

Who is Using Internet Facts
  • 445 Million people
  • 51% of most developed countries
    • Source:

  • Search Engines:

  • Meta search engines:

internet usage by age group who are your customers
Internet Usage By Age Group . . .Who Are YOUR Customers?

Primary purchasers of craft

*Pew/Internet, Pew Internet and American Life Project

why would the following web sites find online business beneficial
Why Would The Following Web Sites Find Online Business Beneficial?

What do you think? Is this a handcraft site?


Do these links make sense to the viewer?


Does this make you want to buy their product?


What does this site tell you? What do they offer?

what do you artisan want
What Do You/Artisan Want?
  • To be found?
  • To be found on the first page?
  • To be found at the top of the first page?

How are a store front and an online

similar and different?

more resources for artisans
More Resources For Artisans
  • Texas Commission on the Arts
      • A registry for Texas artisans
  • American Crafts Council
learn from multiple resource
Learn from Multiple Resource
  • Do online searches of business in the same medium
  • Join local arts council and get feedback from other members.
  • Look at e – businesses you believe are successful regardless of what they sell.
  • Talk to other e – retailers.
  • Look for local web developers to assist you.
what do e customers want
What Do E-customers Want?
    • Recognizable sender
    • Easily read content
    • Quick response to inquiries
    • Real answers to real questions
    • Sequence of steps
    • Privacy info

Source: Forrester, Best and Worst of Email Customer Service, 2005