Australians want to buy locally-made design and craft items even when shopping online, according to grassroots research conducted by arts and handicrafts marketplace, Madeit.com.au.
A survey* sent to 250 arts and craft enthusiasts in late September saw the overwhelming majority of people who responded saying that they would prefer to buy their handmade arts and crafts from local online sellers in Australia, when compared to global web marketplaces like Etsy or eBay.
The results are somewhat of a surprise, even for Madeit’s CEO Louise McCauley.
“Our focus on only allowing Australian-based users to sell their crafty handiworks does make our marketplace unique in the world of online arts and design,” Ms McCauley says.
“But we have been a little unsure as to whether users of Madeit and other craft enthusiasts saw it as positively as we do. Obviously, they do.
“It is clear that more and more shoppers are concerned about the ethical dimensions of their purchases and whether the makers of craft items are being treated fairly.”
Madeit maker, Arita Ghedini, in her creative workspace
Madeit CEO, Louise McCauley
As the busy Christmas season fast approaches, Madeit will shortly be undergoing a major revamp to make it more user-friendly, for both buyers and sellers, but will continue to be guided by its philosophy of Community, Nurturing, and Helping.
“We will soon be introducing subscriptions for sellers to make online selling more affordable and costs more predictable for small handmade businesses,” Ms McCauley says.
“This will free up more of our resources to focus on promoting our makers, their products and the platform as a whole.
“Eventually, we want to grow our service offering to help craft makers further grow their brands and build viable businesses from their passions and hobbies.”
Painted Spoon Girls by Madeit maker, Emma Draws Everyday
Wombat screen-print in progress by Madeit maker, Stalley Textile Co.
A couple of years ago, Ms McCauley left a position working in the male-dominated, cut-throat world of the gas and oil industry in Western Australia to follow her dream of making the arts and craft world her business. She took over Madeit.com.au in 2015 after a period of deep personal and family pain.
“After losing our first daughter at 22 weeks pregnant, the need to start living the life we really wanted to live encouraged my husband and me to make a sea change from city WA to country NSW to try again for a family and raise our kids in the country community lifestyle we'd both grown up with,” Ms McCauley says.
“Madeit has revived my lifelong passions for arts and crafts, given me a sense of purpose, an ability to contribute to my family's income, and a sense of belonging in a community of like-minded people. The best part of this – is that the work I do every day offers those same things to our makers.”
Sustainability, the environment, and respect for indigenous traditions and customs are just a number of social issues which are close to Ms McCauley’s heart.
“As we go forward, Madeit will be creating and forging strong partnerships with local marketplaces, craft groups, as well as Indigenous arts and crafts organisations,” she says.
“We’re also looking to launch an app in the near future, which is something both our buyers and sellers want. Watch this space.”
Cupped pearl and beaded ring set byArita Ghedini Crochet singlet by Madeit maker, TigsTogs
SNAPSHOT OF MADEIT.COM.AU:
- Madeit.com.au was launched in 2009 by a husband and wife partnership
- Only Australian-based users can sell items while buyers can be located anywhere in the world
- Almost 1,000 people selling items at any one time
- Over 50,000 followers on Facebook
- Over 26,000 followers on Instagram
* The survey was conducted with a private Facebook group of 250 arts and craft enthusiasts based in Sydney, with more than a dozen people sending in detailed responses. The group is not affiliated with Madeit.com.au.
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MADEIT.COM.AU:
“When I log in to MadeIt, I feel a personal connection that I would just not get from any other online selling platform.” – Stalley Textile Co.
“MadeIt is a fantastic Australian handmade community, it has helped my business go from a hobby to a part time job that I LOVE!!!” – Gorgeous by Carly
“I’ve been a proud seller on MadeIt almost since it first opened and we have always been a great partnership. What was initially just fun for me, has evolved naturally over time to the point where I am now running a successful business.” – Addicted to Buttons
“MadeIt has been an invaluable asset to Harlequin Fox. We have sold over 1000 items through this wonderful platform and we keep growing day to day. It’s also wonderful to support this Australian owned business and the family behind it whilst they equally support us. You just have to love this MadeIt community!” – Harlequin Fox
“MadeIt has been a wonderful selling platform. The website and MadeIt's wider network of Instagram and Facebook gives me the opportunity to advertise my designs to a large audience as well as form some valuable friendships with fellow makers and creators. Thank you MadeIt! You are a great team and community to be a part of!” – Hip Ink Hooray
“MadeIt has been an incredible platform for me for the last five years; Red Essy would not be where it is today, if I hadn't been apart of this superb handmade community! My customer base has grown Australia-wide and now internationally, because of the support of MadeIt - I owe you guys!” – Red Essy
“It's one place where age doesn't matter as the passion for handmade is what makes us the same. I love taking my flat lay photos of my products for my shop, meeting makers online and knowing that I can receive personal, quality support from Louise. Buying handmade dresses, jewellery, toys and birthday cards for my family here on MadeIt is essential to me as it demonstrates to each of them that someone made their birthday, Easter or Christmas present.” – Tigs Togs