Is Online All We Have Just Now?

Well, COVID 19 has put paid to a lot of things…at least for now. As an artisan surrounded by my artist and artisan friends and colleagues we’ve been spent the past six months dealing with the fact that we don’t know when there will be arts and craft shows again. That is where we do most of our selling and also meeting and connecting with our customers…and friends and colleagues.

Art Show Booth
The Wearable Art Show – Toronto

Many of us spent a lot of the lead time this past Winter creating new designs and making stock…which then languished in storage as everything shut down.

The next thing was to beef up our online presences, build or rebuild new websites, venture into Etsy and join in when shows like Artfest decided to do online events and set up shops on their websites. Bringing our wares to the internet and beefing up online stock that would normally hang in a show booth.

I had an interesting experience working with a colleague setting up her website. She told me about her website on WordPress and gave me the login so I could check it out and find out if it was updated. I found out that it had not been updated for five years and that the theme used no longer existed I’d pretty much have to start almost from scratch. Her alternative which we decided on was to build afresh on Shopify.

I have a Shopify account as I have used their ‘Buy Buttons’ on my Carolyn M. Barnett Designs site as I slowly add items from my studio for sale, so I had some experience there. However, building a full website has more to it, especially setting up the shopping and stocking aspect.

Deciding on a free theme (a good way to start in case you don’t really like it or it doesn’t work for you) was fairly straightforward as my friend was impressed by a colleagues similar site. We worked on it, endeavouring to have it look the way she wanted, our distance method of meeting was via cell phones, we did a couple of Zooms but the rest over cell phone on speaker 280kms apart! This is the result:

Because we were friends and colleagues we actually had a blast doing this and I was honoured to work it as she is a good businesswoman…a great experience. I am endeavouring to get others to try online shops for their work and also mailing out newsletters to let their followers know they are still in business and even have new styles which were made for the 2020 shows.

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