There are two new hand made sites making a splash on the Internet. And the best part is they are promoting handmade art work rather than selling which is refreshing.
The first site is By Hand. It can be found at http://www.byhand.me
This site has so many features you could spend hours there and not be bored. There is an artisan directory where you can look up specific artisans and view what they have posted. There are community forums where discussions can take place on a variety of topics. And there are clubhouses where people with like interests can discuss specific topics and common interests.
But the features I like the most are window shopping and spotlights. You can click on window shopping and the site randomly displays items that are posted on the site. If you see something you like you click on it to get more information about it. Or you just keep clicking and get more items to view. It's like seeing the whole store from your chair.
Spotlights has to be my favorite part of By Hand. A spotlight is any group of nine items that you wish to display on the site. You give your spotlight a title and then post the items. For instance, I made a spotlight titled "It's a Dog's Life" and posted various items made by ArtFire artisans that were for dogs. I also made another one titled "Here Comes the Bride" with bridal related items. The possibilities are endless. And any spotlights you create can be viewed by anyone on By Hand.
Now this may sound complicated, but it isn't. The sites designers could not have made it any easier to use unless they actually listed the items for you. All you have to do is decide what you want to spotlight, give it a title, click on the boxes and pick the venue you are pulling the items from (ArtFire, Etsy, 1000 Markets etc) and the put the proper id number in and your item magically appears in the box. Fill all nine boxes and publish. And if that wasn't enough to have you jumping for joy..... all items that are from ArtFire have rapid cart automatically attached to them. What does that mean?? Well, if someone clicks on that item it displays with the rapid cart option which allows the person to purchase that item right there on the spot. What could be better than that??
This is an awesome site. I have been making spotlights and will continue to do so as often as my brain comes up with an idea.
The second site which I love is Found Handmade. It can be found at http://www.found-handmade.blogspot.com. This site displays handmade items from all over the web in a window shopping format as well. And the best part is you can request to have your spotlights from By Hand displayed on Found Handmade. It is a great site for just looking around and seeing what is out there.
Both of these sites are great places to visit. I have found so many unique and awesome items on both of them. And the variety is what is so great about them. I visit both of them several times a day. You should too.