As a community we subscribe to these values: 

COMMUNITY SUPPORT & PROFESSIONAL ADVANCEMENT: We seek to increase the reputation of handmade as business and not a hobby. We look for opportunities in our personal lives and business to celebrate, strengthen and support handmade businesses.

HONESTY: We are accurate and truthful in our pricing, marketing and our interactions with customers, peers and the general public.

EXPERTISE: We advance the profession through continued professional development, research, and education in our business and in our craft.

INDEPENDENCE & LOCALITY: We strive to create businesses that honor people, process and the communities where those businesses are located. 

You also agree to:

  •  To maintain the Academy’s standard of that is guided by the principles listed above.
  •  To give the Academy of Handmade permission to share my business information and personal likeness on the site and for other promotional purposes. I understand that if there are any restrictions to this, I must proactively email them to
  •  To respect fellow members and support them where I can. I acknowledge that anything I do in my business can also reflect on the Academy and fellow members, and as such will try to reflect as positively as possible.
  •  That I am at least 18 years of age and live in the United States or Canada.
  •  That if I do not meet the Academy’s code of conduct or have misrepresented myself on this application, my membership can be revoked without a refund.

Defining Handmade

We know handmade is complicated to define. We have chosen to see handmade as it concerns our community as:

  • Micro-Business Mentality: You want to create a viable business for yourself doing the thing you love-- making a particular product or products. While you desire sustainable growth, you are not interested in becoming the CEO of “I Make_____, Inc.” You aren’t a tech start-up that wants to just create great ideas, prove they’re great then sell your business. Your whole reason for being in and staying in business is because you believe there is something special about what you have to offer through creating. That doesn't mean this won't change, but this is where you are at in your business right now.

  • Involved with Manufacturing Process: Because you have a micro-business mentality, your path to sustainability does not involve farming out everything you can so you can make more money and creating factory-style assembly lines. It does involve outsourcing particular parts of your work, but ultimately you enjoy making products that others enjoy so you would never consider letting someone else have all the fun!

  • Involved in Creative Process: Your creative spark is what makes your business stand out from the rest. You have a special way of expressing yourself through your work. Your products could never be designed by someone else because then, they just wouldn’t be yours.  

Who is a Supporter?

Anyone who supports the business of handmade through blogging, craft shows, coaching, consulting, graphic design, teaching, writing books, etc. This could be almost anything, but we ask that if you join as a support business that makers are key audience that you serve. We will ask you to discuss this in your application.