Sunday, August 16, 2015

Aftcra--Crafted by American Hands

Aftcra.  A somewhat unwieldy name for a website (it’s an anagram of A Craft) but it’s got a lofty mission--to be a marketplace for handmade arts and crafts made in America.  With Etsy succumbing to the siren call of Big Business (they began public trading in April) and letting their original handmade promise be crushed under the wheels of profit, both buyers and sellers are looking for a virgin venue.

Click on the logo to go to

Click on logo above to go to  

As a seller, I was happy to find Aftcra.  It’s always good to diversify and not have all your products in one market basket.  Etsy has gotten so big and full of cheaply made junk from overseas, that there’s a tendency to feel lost in the shuffle.  It’s sad, because Etsy appears to be the marketing gold standard right now for decorative and personal items but it also seems like buyers are overwhelmed by the sheer number of products returned in a given search and the wide variance of quality and price.  This has been a double edged sword for me, because, even though I’m told that as a seller, I am responsible, to a large extent, for driving customers to my shop, just as I am on Aftcra, I have to say that a lot of my sales on Etsy have been to people who actually did find me through Etsy searches, not my Facebook or Twitter feeds.  What I’m hoping is that Aftcra draws more attention to itself because it’s such a small venue at this point, with more opportunity for the sellers who are giving it a chance to be seen in searches.  And part of their appeal and unclutteredness is that they do not allow vintage items or supplies, so it’s strictly finished goods, thereby lessening the volume of search results for buyers.  A win-win for everyone!

Sea Creature Tassel Necklace - click to see Aftcra listing

Sea Creature Necklace-click on picture to go to Aftcra listing

Could Aftcra go the way of Etsy and get too big for it’s britches?  Only time will tell.  I’ve seen other start ups either bite off more than they could chew (Goodsmiths) or get greedy (Artfire).  For now, Aftcra is a privately owned, family owned and woman owned endeavor that has it’s heart in the right place.  The site itself is bright, clean and user friendly and I can tell you that several emails I’ve sent have been answered promptly and helpfully. The minimum price of a listed item is $10, which I think encourages quality products (folks who sell small things like greeting cards package several together to meet the $10 minimum).

I will always have allegiance to Etsy because it’s been my most successful selling venue to date. But I hope that whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you’ll check out Aftcra and bring a little American Handmade business their way.  My shop URL is below. 

Happy Shopping and Selling!

C’est La Vie! Do What You Love!


Rois said...

wow BearChick...all the best with this venture !!

Bear Chick said...

Thanks, Rois!