Industry challenges on the handmade market

Handicrafts are unique expressions of a particular culture or community through local craftsmanship and materials. With increased globalization, products are becoming more and more commoditized and crafters find their products competing with goods from all over the world.

Most artisans and crafters are creative, artistic and hard-working. The challenge they face these days is getting noticed beyond their local communities. With the advance of new technologies and e-commerce, crafters need to be comfortable with social media, consumer marketing, advertising, privacy policies and much more. To be successful, they are forced to invest their time and effort in many other things beyond crafting.

Consumers looking to buy handicrafts like
to feel connected with indigenous traditions and cultures in a global and increasingly commoditized world. Trust in the authenticity of handicrafts comes as a top priority to the buyer.

The following definition, adopted in 1997 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/Information Technology Community (UNESCO/ITC) Symposium on Crafts and the International Market captures the diversity and complexity of the handicraft sector:

User case

“Artisanal products or handicrafts are those produced by artisans, completely by hand or with the help of hand-tools and even mechanical means, as long as the direct manual contribution of the artisan remains the most substantial component of the finished product.

Their special nature derives from their distinctive features, which can be utilitarian, aesthetic, artistic, creative, culturally attached, decorative, functional, traditional, and religiously and socially symbolic and significant.

They are made of sustainably produced raw materials and there is no particular restriction in terms of production quantity. Even when artisans make quantities of the same design, no two pieces are ever exactly alike.”