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How did that happen: Digital craft markets

  • News
  • May 15, 2018
How did that happen: Digital craft markets

Ever since the launch of American craft market Etsy, handmade artisanal products have become a full revenue stream for a lot of individuals looking to cash in on their craftmanship. Yet now a more Kiwi-focused version has sprung forward as New Zealanders leverage creative projects.

Marketplaces for handmade goods like soaps and childrenswear have seen a growth in popularity lately as consumers look for more authentic items and are encouraged to shop locally.

Etsy is no doubt the most popular, and profitable, platform for handmade products worldwide. Since being listed on the stock market in 2015, it has reached over 1.5 million sellers using the platform and just under 20 million buyers globally.

Craft markets are no new thing, but their digitalisation and subsequent growth in popularity is. Instead of walking through a batch of small stalls, pursing goods on a Sunday morning, craft buyers can now scroll through Etsy or its Kiwi counterparts Felt and Creative Hush.

Both Felt and Creative Hush are craft-type platforms that rely on a handful of rules. Among them are: all products must be handmade, produced in New Zealand and must be listed by the person who made them. These platforms allow consumers to have a direct relationship with the creator, and visa-versa.

These platforms allow creatives to become retailers and handle the in and out of their own products. Most will charge a commission for selling but will provide a free platform to sell on. However, Etsy has been having issues that smaller Kiwi platforms are avoiding – that is, a lot of what is searched for and sold is being mass-produced by outside manufacturers.

Running on a platform is a lot like owning your own business, and can provide people with the freedom and restrictions that involves. These include being responsible for every part of your creative process and selling those items. Most sellers on these platforms are operating as individuals, so although an increase of foot traffic means profit, it also means increased work.

The lines are blurred for the American site but both Felt and Creative Hush guidelines state that all products must be handmade in New Zealand, with some obvious exceptions to packaging and prints.

Both sites also are more exclusive than the American version, with aspiring Kiwi retailers needing to apply and go through a screening process for their ‘shop’ to be verified.

Etsy was created in 2005, and since then selling homemade items through a third-party site has been easier for anyone with a creative streak to get into. New Zealand has a lot of talented people that lack the time or funds to retail out their own items. These platforms give these artisans the opportunity to run their own stores and completely self-manage the sales that may come through.

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Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

  • News
  • March 20, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Hunting & Fishing New Zealand voluntarily pulls military-style assault weapons from sale

In the wake of the attack on Christchurch’s Muslim community on March 15, strong calls for changes to New Zealand’s gun last have been made. Trade Me was the first retailer to act, halting the sale of all semi-automatic weapons on its platform, and it has now been joined by Hunting & Fishing New Zealand.

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Superette to open new concept store showcasing international brands

  • News
  • March 20, 2019
  • The Register team
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What businesses can do to help support Christchurch and the Muslim community this week

  • Opinion
  • March 19, 2019
  • Rosie Collins
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As many New Zealanders go back to work for the first time today since Friday’s attacks, feelings of anger, sadness, numbness, apprehension, and confusion will be shared around the country. Rosie Collins is the managing director of Step Changers, a registered charity working to normalise corporate social responsibility in New Zealand. In the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, she shares three ways businesses can help both their staff and the wider Muslim and Christchurch community this week.

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Juanita Neville-Te Rito
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