Handmade crafters selling venue profile: Lollishops

In a previous, I provided a list of venues for artists, artistans and artisan crafters. This week I’m profiling another of those sites on my blog.

I asked Sadie from Lollishops to tell us a bit more about her venue.

What is the site name and where can artisan sellers find you?
http://lollishops.com
http://lollishops.blogspot.com
http://lollishopping.ning.com/
http://www.flickr.com/groups/lollishops/
http://www.myspace.com/lollishops
http://twitter.com/lollishops

Tell us a little about your site’s history. What are its origins?
From Lollishops’ Press page:
“When Sadie Lou Hartmann’s children were young, it just seemed like a nice thing to create beautiful scrapbooks for them. This naturally drifted into gifts, then mixed media art, then sharing about art on blogs, then, well, the rest is history … LolliShops history, that is.Sadie Hartmann is launching what appears to be the first major marketplace for women to sell their crafts and objets’d’arte owned and run by a woman. After spending time as a buyer and seller on other craft websites Ms. Hartmann couldn’t help but notice that feminine girly, cottage frou-frou crafters were treated like second-class citizens, shunted to the sidelines by slick, modern styles of crafting. That’s when Sadie’s vision for a business model based on support and sharing of art blossomed into form through a blog dedicated to her craft and her crafting friends. Today, this active hub is matched by a forum, where women share, inspire and inform each other’s growing online businesses.

Sadie Lou’s success as a social networker can be readily observed through her active blog and forum sites.

“I started blogging to keep in touch with friends and family and it just grew alongside my art. As a mother at home with a young family, I gained inspiration and got a good slice of appreciated adult conversation from my early blog. Now LolliShops has become a really sweet community, based on inspiration and sharing. We are really an on-line art family community,” observes Ms. Hartmann.”

Tell us about the site’s staff.
LolliShops hired velocity 7 to build LolliShops from scratch!
http://www.velocity7.com/
Jason: Lead Developer
Greg  Knaddison: Drupal consultant
Pam Biery: PR agent, officice manager
Marlisa: Site Designer (as per Owner’s suggestions/submissions)
Terry: Sadie’s Dad= support emails
Sadie Hartmann= Support emails, owner, designer, advertiser, CEO
Dan Hartmann: Sadie’s Husband,  CFO, Manager, Statistics, Projections

What is your plan for the site? What are your goals?
My plan for the site is for the vendors to continue growing together in success and in their relationships. The community aspect of LolliShops is one of the most important features that we will continue to develop and nurture through the private vendor’s forum, cross promotion and the cooperative advertising program we have going with Stampington.
http://www.stampington.com/

Our goals are to constantly be updating the site’s features and functions providing the very best shopping/selling experience we can.

Who is your target seller audience?
Women
20-60+ years old
Enjoying: Victoriana,Cottage Style, Shabby Chic, Antiques, Vintage, Artistic Supplies, Whimsy and Collectibles.
LolliShops is looking for experienced vendors that maintain their shops professionally and routinely. We are looking for vendors that put customer satisfaction first. We make sure our vendors take quality photographs, have detailed item descriptions, provide a way for buyers to contact them through emails and sell quality merchandise whether it be artistic creations/handmade, supplies or vintage. We also have an extremely strong sense of community and we take our community seriously–vendors do not have to be active in our vendor’s only forum but it is encouraged. We spend a lot of our time building one another up and supporting each other; we embrace being connected versus being competitive.

Who is your target buyer audience?
Women
20-60+ years old
Enjoying: Victoriana,Cottage Style, Shabby Chic, Antiques, Vintage, Artistic Supplies, Whimsy and Collectibles.

How will you drive buyers to your venue?
We have a two year contract with Stampington and have full page, co-op ads (featuring 30 different vendors), color ads coming out in several magazines next year. Starting with Somerset Life’s Winter 2009 Issue coming out Jan. 1st then we have Artful Blogging, Somerset Studio, Marie Vol. 1 (a special edition Marie Antoinette tribute magazine), Where Women Create and Somerset Life. We are also extremely active in most social networking websites, we have a large audience to our blog where we have free tutorials, featured sellers, contests and giveaways.

Is this an international, domestic US, Far East and European focused site?
Yes it is.

What differentiates this venue from other online selling venues?
That’s a good question. LolliShops does not want to be considered another handmade marketplace/Mall. The first, most noticeable difference is that we are a juried venue. Not everyone can sell here. We like the idea of fulfilling a niche market that caters to a specific kind of shopper looking for a very specific style of arts and crafts, supplies and vintage. We have popular artisans doing exclusive artistic lines or collections for LolliShops as well as vendors that are moving their entire online presence to LolliShops in order to narrow down their focus and see what LolliShops is capable of. Because we maintain a quality and a style, we are free to advertise in magazines that compliment our look.

LolliShops also doesn’t ignore the fact that we are made up of mostly women. This website is owned and operated by a woman who is also an artist with her own shop on LolliShops. This brings a unique spin to everything that goes into planning and developing the website. The web team responsible for programming and designing LolliShops is made up of women too! From the office manager, PR agent, ad designer and website layout designer–there is a strong feminine influence! Which brings me to my last point, LolliShops.com is all about the community. We are extremely focused on developing personal relationships in terms of vendors connecting with other vendors, vendors connecting with buyers and ME (Sadie) connecting with the vendors and the buyers.
I personally spend time every day in the private vendor forum answering questions, fielding requests and support and answering technical site questions. I am as hands on as I can be.

Why should artisan sellers consider utilizing this site as a resource instead of other, older sites or their own sites?
I feel like I have addressed this question a few time but in terms of utilizing their own websites, LolliShops has a program that is still in its development stages called “The Split”. For a small fee every month, vendors can list items directly off their website and then enter in a unique URL that brings the buyers from LolliShops directly to their own dot com for the business transaction.

It seems to be gaining in popularity as vendors create their own, personalized websites.

How have your structured your seller pricing?

We don’t feel we are in a position to release that information to the public at his time as it is in its Beta phase stages anyways and also, we feel that buyers don’t need to know what the vendors pay to sell in a particular venue. It’s almost like walking into a brick and mortar boutique and asking the owner how much they pay for rent. The fee structure is available upon request by emailing LolliShops.com or lollishops@gmail.com

What else should we know?
We will always be rolling out new features, upgrades and functions as LolliShops grows. We also take vendor and shopper requests and suggestions very seriously.

Stay tuned over the next weeks as I will be profiling more artisan handmade selling  venues with interviews and giveaways from the site owners. You can find this site’s traffic rank according to Alexa here


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Comments

  1. great interview with Sadie Lou! i am a vendor on LolliShops and honestly one of the very best things about the site is that Sadie Lou is so involved with all of her sellers on the forum…and the truly friendly atmosphere of sharing and helping each other that we have on the LolliShops guild…

  2. I love these features you are doing on these venue sites. Could you do one on 1000 markets? I love their look and community aspects of their markets, but it seems a little hard to figure out how the shops/markets interact, etc.

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