If you have read my blog(s) much, you have seen me mention and even link to my studios on Artfire.com. In case you haven’t heard of ArtFire, or have wondered what it is, here is a bit information for those who might want to take advantage of their venue as either sellers or buyers. This first post will deal with ArtFire from the buyer’s perspective, and a separate post will give information from a seller’s perspective.
Artfire Main Page
The photo above shows the Main Landing Page of Artfire.com. What is ArtFire?? As described on the site- “ArtFire is the Artisan Marketplace home to artists from around the globe. Our community celebrates and supports art and creativity in all forms. Thank you for shopping on ArtFire, you are supporting independent artists from all walks of life. You can start your exploration of the Artisan Marketplace by choosing any of our categories“. (By the time you read this, the front page and other pages may look different, as ArtFire is updating their look as they move out of Beta- the site will work the same, just look a bit different).
Another way to describe it- ArtFire is like a huge mall full of many shops and boutiques, just online instead of in a physical building. The shops, or studios as they are called, are full of various handmade items, jewelry, fine art, vintage items, and even craft and jewelry supplies.
If you are looking for a Unique and Different Gift for a special someone (or for yourself), this is a great place to shop.
Unique Gift Guides Page
A great way to start browsing is to begin at the Unique Gift Guides page, where you will see collections of items curated by members of the ArtFire community (photo above, and one of the newer pages). You can also browse items in various categories by clicking on links in the sidebar. If you are looking for something more specific, you can even search items with any keyword to narrow down the possible items to look at.
ArtFire Certified Handmade Badge
If you are someone who wants to be sure you are getting something actually handmade by the artisan, studio owners can apply for the Handmade Logo to be placed on the front page of their qualifying studios. Artists and crafters who are Pro members have to go through a review process by specifying how their items are made, sending photos of their workspaces, and works in progress before this logo is awarded. You will also find many great handmade items in studios without this logo, but there may be other items with them that are not handmade such as supply items.
Purchasing items from the various artisans is an easy process. Unlike many other venues, a buyer doesn’t need to sign up or join in order to complete a purchase. You deal with the individual artisans, and can pay for your purchases via various methods which can vary from studio to studio. PayPal, Google Checkout, and Amazon Payments and more can be accepted. Each item page shows the payment options available.
Sue's ArtFire Art Quilt Studio
The above photo is a screenshot of my Art QuiltStudio. I have had two studios for quite a while now- One for my Art Quilts and Note Cards, and the other has my Book Covers, Jewelry, Postcards, Tote Bags, and More. I just opened a third one that will contain my patterns, my painted fabrics, kits and supplies. Each studio is like a separate boutique or shop, with the personalities of the owners showing through. All 3 of my studios have similar colors and banners that I designed. In each studio you can access more information about the seller on the artisan’s bio page where Pro members often show photos of their work spaces.
A fun way to browse is to check out what the artisans are drooling over by checking out the Collections tab. Collections are new here, and are groups of items that members have chosen based on themes, colors, occasions, or just because they like them. The new front page will be showing these soon.
My Artfire Collections Page
If you click on the Collections tab in my Andrus Gardens Quilts Studio, you will see some of the collections of items I chose (above photo). Most of these are things that grabbed my eye as I was “wandering” the site.
Above is one of the collections I curated and called “Glorious Glass”. It contains items that I really love from some great glass artists. I LOVE glass, and collect it (I also dream of being able to do something similar myself… yea, I said I was dreaming…), so this is kind of a wish list. By seeing collections other people curated, I get a chance to see things that I might not have found other ways. By using the widget to put this collection here on my blog, I am also making it possible for anyone visiting to purchase one or more of these items just by clicking on here, which takes you to the collection page where you click on the item again and you are ready to make the purchase. How fun is that!!
Just in case you might be interested in seeing what is in my Andrus Gardens Gift Items Studio, Check out the collection I made to show off some of my book covers below.
I have many more items available in this studio, but the collection is a way for me to show off related things easily.
As you can see ArtFire has made a wonderful marketplace to shop at. They have also made it very easy for artists like me to sell our work. The things that make shopping easy for the customer, also make this a great place to sell from. I will have a post tomorrow with more information on the selling aspect of ArtFire, but if you don’t want to wait, just follow this link to ArtFire Getting Started as a Seller page. There is a lot of information about the options available for paid (Pro) and free (Basic) selling accounts. Also, if you would like the chance to try a Pro account with all the bells and whistles at a super locked in low rate, check out the ArtFire Group Deal page. ArtFire is a wonderful community with lots of support from other sellers as well as a customer support staff that actually answers emails and phone calls from you if you have any questions about anything- from buyers or sellers.
I better end this thing before I keep rambling on and put everyone to sleep…. Be sure to check back tomorrow for more information about being an artisan studio owner, and how easy it is to set up your online shop.