Artisans Cooperative is crafting a “better” online handmade marketplace, run as a values-aligned, member-owned cooperative.
1. Member-owned co-op: We are a member-owned, member-run, and member-benefiting co-op. Members are all of the people who make us what we are: artisans, supporters, and eventually employees. Membership is open and voluntary, and we adhere to the 7 international principles of cooperativism. Co-ops may be harder to start than other corporate structures, but once running they are statistically more likely to succeed.
2. Free and fair marketplace. Once it’s launched, our marketplace will be free to join and open to non-members. It will allow artisans to gain control of their own livelihoods through simple, fair, and transparent fees and enabling community connection. Our democratically-run co-op means that artisans have a say in business decisions, including fee changes. (We actually intend to lower fees once we are up and running.)
3. Inclusion: We welcome all authentic artisans and their supporters who want to see this marketplace happen. Craft has always been the refuge of the disadvantaged: a way to earn income outside of a system that makes participation difficult for so many. We lower up-front barriers to entry for members of all kinds, including unincorporated collectives and mutual-aid societies, level the financial playing field with our innovative Points & Tiers Policy, and actively engage communities that are historically not well-served by the typical corporate structure.
4. Authentically handmade: Our community-written Handmade Policy ensures that every product on the marketplace is actually handmade by putting our members in control. Using the power of our community, it provides an original-yet-enforceable definition of ‘handmade’, a verification system, and an enforcement process. This reduces artisans’ competition from drop-shipped resellers and mass-produced products, and benefits customers, too, by providing a selective marketplace they can trust to be entirely handmade.
We are in the final stretches of development and getting ready to launch to the public in October 2023.
We are officially incorporated as a US cooperative corporation in the State of Oregon, have finalized our Ownership Model and Bylaws for cooperative governance, and written our critical policies and plans for operations.
To pay for it, we have also designed a reasonable and realistic 5-Stage Funding Plan with help from our cooperative advisors that comes from many sources. To pay for initial website development, we are currently enrolling our first co-op members.
We are a transparently-run community enterprise. Be the first to hear our news and announcements by joining us on social media, Discord, or subscribing to our email newsletter.
Our Mission Statement
Artisans Cooperative is crafting an online handmade marketplace for an inclusive network of creatives. We are a member-owned, member-run and member-benefiting co-op. We promote creativity, support artist livelihoods, create opportunities for social impact art collectives, and connect people through an equitable artistic community.
- What is a Cooperative?
- What Makes Our Handmade Marketplace Different
- Our 2023 Work Plan: the timeline of our founding
- All of our policies
- Read our FAQ
- Catch up on our blog posts
- Meet the organizers