Sunday, July 18, 2010

Artfire Breaks New Ground with Handmade Artisan Certification

What makes the "handmade" trend terrific is that it is the return to an almost forgotten era of individual investment in quality. There was a time in history when "handmade" was all there was and each individual that produced a handmade item and sold it was totally invested in the quality of their product. Then, "store bought" became sought after, at least until the quality of store-bought began to suffer under the variable, and sometimes "iffy", standards of mass production. Returning to the individual standard of quality is a return to, usually, a higher standard of quality because every artisan who produces a handmade product has invested their own personal ego in that product.

What makes the "handmade" trend risky is that buyers often cannot tell the difference until they have the product in their hands. And more than a few have been burned by sellers who claim to be handmade artisans but are simply buying excess inventory from a mass producer and reselling it as "handmade" or by producing a shoddy product even if it is handmade. The bottom line is that the buyer is vulnerable if a seller is unscrupulous. has broken major new ground in trying to address this issue. has created the first Certified Handmade Award in the handmade market. Their standards for qualification are rigorous and, while nothing can absolutely guarantee quality if a seller is determined to get around the standards, Artfire is the only market place that has it and has done a pretty darn good job of assuring that a seller is professional and the product is a quality handmade product.

I was recently awarded Artfire's Certified Handmade Award and I am prouder than you know to be associated with Artfire. There are plenty of "handmade" markets you can visit-- Etsy, Zibbet, and others, but none of them, and I mean NONE of them, has devised a method for screening and qualifying their sellers the way Artfire has. So, if you do decide to buy something handmade, please choose Artfire. Thanks very much for reading! Terri