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A Day in the Life of the Coop

To the left, it says "A Day in the Life of the Coop" with "Blog post by Aggie" underneath and the Coop logo under that. To the right is a photo of a white desk with a jar of black pencils in it, a mug on a coaster, a keyboard, a notebook, headphones, and some leaves.

A day in the life of Artisans Cooperative is bustling with work and fun! One of the strengths of our cooperative is that we are people powered. Dozens of people and hundreds of days come together to make this machine run. We wanted to follow a few Coop team members and map their days to gain a better understanding of how the Coop fits into their lives and how their work fits into the Coop!

Nicole of Craft Tree NJ

Nicole runs her resin craft shop, Craft Tree NJ, and works with Team Service. 

Nicole’s work day starts with a cup of tea while doing some administrative work for her business, Craft Tree NJ, where she makes and sells unique seashell artwork. She then starts her favorite part of her day: creating! She pours multiple layers of resin into seashells, making pieces that can be turned into ornaments, charms, or trinket dishes. The final works are ready to be consigned at beach town storefronts, where customers love the locally handmade keepsakes! 

Nicole goes to the beach whenever she can. She says that walking the beach, collecting shells, and cleaning up trash is the best part of her job. If the weather doesn’t allow for shell hunting, she uses her time to process orders, update her website, manage the business’s social media accounts, and complete her work with Team Service. 

Nicole told us that Team Service “fields emails that are sent to Artisans Cooperative for a variety of different reasons. This includes questions about memberships, new member inquiries, handmade policy questions, or just general feedback.” 

Team Service does the important work of helping solve problems. They make sure that customers and artisans alike are listened to and helped, all while being friendly and well organized! Nicole receives the customer service requests, also called “tickets,” and researches answers to the questions that arise. She helps guide people to the solutions they seek.

“Each ticket that comes in is unique in its own way and that is what keeps the work interesting,” Nicole told us. “It is rewarding to help those submitting tickets to find the answers to their questions or clear up anything that they are unsure about. I am really excited to be a part of this experience along with the other members and supporters.” 

Visit Nicole’s shop, Craft Tree NJ!

Rhi of Honeysuckle Witches Brew

Rhi runs Honeysuckle Witches Brew, a tea shop. They also work with Team Marketing. Rhi’s main job in the Coop is to curate, write, and design the shopping emails for Team Marketing.

During the work week, Rhi works at their full time job as a Studio Manager for a paint and sip studio. When they get home, they walk their dog and “immediately begin working on the email – those are my main priority!” Rhi tells us that they use the Coop’s Pinterest boards and Gift Guides to find what handmade items will be included in each shopping email.

Once they decide what will be included, Rhi adds the product photos, descriptions, and links to the products so the emails are easy to navigate with just a few clicks! Templates are used to make sure that the emails are consistent each week.

After proofreading and finalizing the email, Rhi sends it off to other team members to double check that everything is as it should be. “It’s always best to have as many eyes look at a written piece before you’ve published it – you never know what sort of typos can be missed!” 

The finalized, proofread email is then scheduled to be sent out to all of the Coop’s wonderful subscribers!

Regular shopping emails are important because they show our community a wide variety of our handmade products. “I know many people who love receiving this type of weekly email because it makes shopping easier for them!” Rhi told us,  “It can be a great way to condense everything we have to offer into easy to understand phrases, focus images, and links that take you right where you want to go. Plus, you can refer back to them at any time if you need an idea for just about anything! That’s what they’re here for.”

Check out Rhi’s shop, Honeysuckle Witches Brew!


“Because data is an important underpinning of any online marketplace, there’s always a lot to be done,” says Lynne, who works with Team Data. There’s a variety of work that Team Data is responsible for. “One day I might be doing data integrity checks or pulling data for reports, and the next I might be building a new tool or adding functionality to one.”

The Coop currently relies on a collection of third-party tools and software to keep our marketplace up and running. It is Team Data’s responsibility to make sure these different sources work well together. This is done through automations, constant data reviews, and customly developed tools. It is essential that everything fits together seamlessly while being efficient and easy to use for all of the teams that interact with these systems.

“Without good data, reliable data, and a way to get that data where it’s needed and in a usable format, a co-op like this couldn’t work,” Lynne said. 

One project that Lynne is currently working on is creating and implementing a tool that will allow one member to have multiple email addresses associated with the Coop. This will allow for people to use PayPal with a different email address than the one used to sign up for Coop membership. 

While there are some aspects of data work that require expertise, Lynne encourages people who haven’t worked with data before to join the team. They say that people who are good at following instructions, communicating issues, prioritizing problems and solutions, and are self-starting would likely do very well in Team Data! Having more people would help the more experienced team members work on the more complicated problems. 

Our cooperative is supported by both Artisans and Supporters, and Lynne is a Supporter!

Lee of Riverside Refuge Studio

Lee runs hir leatherworking and fiber craft shop, Riverside Refuge Studio, with hir wife Brooke. Lee also works with Team Tech. 

Lee’s work day consists of creating handmade leather work and fiber based products that they sell in hir shop. Lee and Brooke work together to run it. “Brooke does her beautiful stitching, but that’s detailed work that takes a significant amount of time and is mostly on commission,” Lee told us. Lee manages the online parts of running a handmade business, along with making and packaging the art that they sell directly to customers.

Lee works on Team Tech, helping build and maintain the Coop’s website and marketplace. Team Tech helps make the website work on all sides, for customers, artisans, and admin alike. “I think I’m slowly becoming a go-to spreadsheet person!” Lee laughed. 

Lee told us that working together is essential for Team Tech. “Team meetings are very cooperative, and I’ll sometimes help out with running the meeting and coordinating the ‘stack’ for who speaks next. The spreadsheets and jotforms are really collaborative too, with back-and-forth communication between whoever needs them and me, tweaking different settings and fields.”

To learn more about Lee and Brooke’s work, visit their shop, Riverside Refuge Studio!

About Artisans Cooperative

We are growing an online handmade marketplace for an inclusive network of creatives: a co-op alternative to Etsy.
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