We first met Rosalie Gale at Craftcation in March. She said she was "organizing the craft community" and we thought, "This woman is a brave genius!" She's been a great ally of the Academy and her venture Unanimous Craft is like Yelp for the craft world plus so much more! We thought we'd chat with her as many of you have had questions related to her services. And if you are an Academy member, you save on premium membership on her site!
How would you describe what Unanimous Craft is?
Unanimous Craft is a database of resources for people running indie craft businesses. People can create listings for their favorite tools and then the community votes on the usefulness of each resource. It's kind of like Yelp for the crafty community. Review websites you purchase supplies from. Read reviews of out of town craft shows before you trek out across the country.
Where did you get the idea?
Once upon a time in the old version of the Etsy forums, people used to post big lists of resources. It wasn't easy to add things to the lists - and it was sort of a jumbled mess. I wanted to make a system where people could create lists of useful resources easily. All the items in Unanimous Craft are tagged and indexed in the database so you can find them multiple ways.
You're busy making your own crafts too... what's a typical day look like for you?
It really depends on the day. I have too many jobs. Some days I do web development for other people. Some days I run my own websites: Unanimous Craft and EtsySaver. Two days a week I run my retail shop Ugly Baby and La Ru where I sell my craft: Shower Art. It's a bit of a whirlwind.
You talk about organizing the craft community... can you talk about why that community is important?
I've been following the indie craft movement since the beginning. It has been amazing watching how the Internet has really changed the whole landscape of small business. It really evened the playing field. The advantage for people starting out now is that they can learn from people who came before them instead of making things up as they go along. I'm trying to make that process easier and more organized.
What's becoming a member of UC like? How do they participate?
The site is completely free to use, but people can pay a free for a Premium Membership. In exchange for this fee, they receive a profile on the site and get featured randomly on the home page.
To participate as a member means adding listings to the database and writing reviews. Do you know of a great shop in your city that sells handmade items? Add it to the database. Have you done a craft show that was a bit of a flop? Write a review.
Why should people sign up?
The best reason to sign up is to share information about resources we can all use in an organized and thoughtful way.
Why is it important for people to be able to review? Some small businesses fear Yelp because of this... can you talk about that a little?
People who do business honestly shouldn't fear reviews. I think insight from other people is very important in the decision making process. Giving honest feedback and constructive criticism is important for our community to grow and thrive. I have noticed that in the three years that I have been running the site, many of the lowest rated businesses on Unanimous Craft no longer exist. I hope those reviews helped save some crafters time and money by not using resources that are poorly run.
How do you see this site helping makers?
It is always nice to be able to get the opinion of a trusted friend before using a service. I hope that in time, Unanimous Craft becomes that trusted friend and the place we all go to find the best tools to help us run our indie craft businesses.
Where can people find your stuff?
Thanks Rosalie! Muah!