Artizan: Made by Hand is a collective of shops that sell handmade products.

Rachel Biel and Tor

Rachel Biel and Tor

Our main goal is to create a destination for people who love handmade products that show skill and have a story. Instead of selling through the site, we use our marketplace to send people to wherever our member is selling, whether it is on Etsy, there own website or another platform. We import 50 products from the member’s shop and link them all back to their shop. In effect, each product acts as an ad for our member.  We do have some products that use our shopping cart.

Each member has a Member Profile that tells their story.  We promote those stories on social media and through our Blog.

Artizan Made is owned and operated by me, 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.

Tragedy hit in the Fall of 2019 when both sites were destroyed by my former server. There was a glitch, the tech guy tried to fix it and in doing so, deleted all of the back-ups. When he loaded the new copy, it was corrupted and both sites were gone in an instant. TAFA was 10 years old at that time and Artizan Made was 6.

At the same time, I had been setting up a shop for Artizan Made in Paducah and a friend bought a house, as an angel investor, where I could set up an Airbnb with an International theme that would also have educational events. I didn’t have time to focus on a rebuild for either site. Things were just starting to take off with the two new projects when Covid hit and our city shut down. I had to close both and was so depressed that I couldn’t focus on building a website. I sewed masks, knit, and read a lot. I also had two major surgeries in 2021. Finally, in February of 2022, I felt strong and able to focus again and began the rebuild for Artizan Made. It’s exciting to see it come back to life! I will work on TAFA’s site once Artizan Made feels stable again.


TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Our main focus on Artizan Made is on home décor 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 traders, 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.  See our Resources Page for some of our favorite sites.

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 knowledge that we develop 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.

Learn more on our Join Page.


%d bloggers like this: