Artizan: Made by Hand is a collective of shops that sell handmade products.
Artizan Made is owned and operated by Rachel Biel, AKA Rayela Art. My road has been a creative one: 18 years in Brazil as a missionary kid (hippy times in the 70’s!), 4 years in Minnesota (St. Olaf College, um ya ya!), 20 years in inner city Chicago, and in Paducah, Kentucky since 2005. The Chicago years were ones of wonderful creativity. I worked as a studio artist (ceramics and fiber), ran a co-op for four years, had three different shops (each bigger than the last), worked with small importers and local artists and loved every minute of it. But, at some point, the dynamic changed there and I wanted a smaller, creative town. Paducah, Kentucky is a crossroads and a Unesco Creative City with an artist community. I have been happy here and developed an online community that has been a source of great joy for me.
Arizan Made is associated with but separate from TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List, a business association of textile and fiber artists. Our TAFA member art shops were the first members of ArtizaMade, but then we broadened our base by accepting non-member shops with other handmade products that we love and want to support.
Our main focus on this site is on home decor and eco-fashion.
Both TAFA and Artizan Made embrace the belief that our historical roots and international connections inform and support each other, so as you explore our shops, you will find handmade products made by studio artists around the world, along with ethical vintage offerings, fair trade groups, small-scale importers, and makers of handmade supplies. We live in an exciting time where the internet, ease of travel and access to new markets offer previously isolated makers and keepers of tradition to form partnerships, exchange ideas and to flourish and grow in often unexpected ways. You can be a part of that by spreading our efforts around and helping us tell these important stories.
The Handmade Revolution is a partnership where buyers, makers and providers embrace a common cause: creating the conditions necessary where we can compete fairly and effectively in an environment that often encourages bad practices. Choosing to buy handmade has deep repercussions that influence our environment, fair wages, freedom of choice through the ownership and production of meaningful products.
We believe that forming like-minded groups like Artizan Made helps provide some relief to the demands of owning an online business. Most of our shop owners face endless tasks involving product development, photography, listing the products, dealing with customer service, marketing and shipping. Artizan Made can help by providing peer support and joint marketing. The main value in being a part of a group like Artizan Made, aside from finding a wider audience, is in sharing the resources that we find as we navigate an increasingly complex world online. We are small, but focused, and our motto includes a partnership between sellers and buyers: “Together we can do great things!”
Our shops all contribute a small amount to help cover staff time and marketing costs. Currently, the membership fee is $125 for the set-up and a $12.50/month automatic payment through PayPal.