Following the COVID 19 pandemic, many local artists and craftspeople found their route to market was severely limited due to the cancellation of public events. Many of our creatives on the peninsula rely on markets and events to sell their goods, so online was the only option. However, not everyone is familiar with how to even begin selling online, and some of the platforms such as Etsy, Folksy and eBay can be tricky to navigate and to get traffic to your products.
The opportunity for funding local projects arose via the Covid Communities Recovery Fund, so Craignish Community Council applied for money to help support getting local artists and craftspeople online. The management and delivery of the project was delegated to C3.
Following a tender process, two members of our community – Tiziana Teldoli and Diane Oliver – were appointed to run the project in December 2020. Since then they have worked closely with our local creatives to find out what support would help the most.
Phase 1 of the Craignish Arts & Crafts Collective focussed on gathering information, baselining existing use, barriers and expectations with a pre Christmas pilot carried out using http://www.Craignish.info.
Phase 2 of the project is now well underway where the focus is on developing training and support; the long-term online selling points and sustainability of the initiative. Over the next few months Diane and Tiziana will be working on providing the following support:
- Working with Business Gateway to create a tailor-made workshop that addresses the Collective’s specific requests for support
- Running photography training in the village hall – hopefully in June
- Organising a networking event where people can share experiences and best practice
- Providing a photo studio kit for small to medium product photography (kept and to be used at the village hall)
- Providing a list of local shops and potential outlets that are open to selling Collective arts & crafts
- Liaising with a few locally based online multi vendor markets and providing support to enable Craignish creatives and makers to take their products online with these
The web pages on Craignish.info will continue as a promotional and selling tool for those who wish in the short term. The project will end later this year however the website will remain live after the end and those who wish to continue to sell products or update their ‘pages’ can continue to do so by liaising direct with Tiziana.
This means that everyone can continue to benefit from the training, workshops and ongoing information and support over the next few months and then there is a clear and simple way to continue to use the website afterwards.