It’s no secret that I love handmade items and supporting artisans in their craft. I love the drive of small business owners and helping them succeed online, especially in the form creating a brand new blog or branded website to help them grow. I’ve worked with quite a few creatives who sell on marketplaces like Etsy and wish to expand to their brand by setting up their own space online in which to grow and expand their business.

These marketplaces are fantastic platforms for handmade shops. Selling on social media just isn’t enough when growth starts to occur, and sometimes creating your own independent ecommerce website just isn’t in the cards yet. But selling on these marketplaces is the tool many creative individuals need to set their business up for success.

I recently discovered a fresh marketplace for all you crafty and creative people out there. It’s called aftcra. (And it so happens to reside in my own home state of Wisconsin. Score!)

aftcra is a little bit different than Etsy. How, you ask? It’s a marketplace composed of entirely handmade items ALL crafted in America. So in addition to supporting small shops who are proud of their handcrafted items (none of this reseller stuff or manufacturer business), only items made here in the US are listed for sale! I’m not anti-Etsy–not by a long shot. I know it’s a great platform that has given talented people a great way to sell their items. aftcra is simply another option for those looking to expand marketplaces or focus on supporting primarily handmade in America.

Here’s more about their mission:

“aftcra is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell American handmade products. Our mission is to support local artists and artisans living in America by connecting them with handmade admirers across the globe. Our partners are our users, so we strive to ensure that aftcra is constantly evolving to fit our buyer’s and seller’s needs.”

It’s such a great vision. afrcra is doing wonderful things for the handmade community within the United States by promoting local crafting, local selling, and local purchase to drive handcrafted forward and keep money in our own economy.

It was a pleasure for me to guest post for aftcra! I got to chat back and forth with Erica, the president of aftcra, via email, and she is a lovely person with a heart of gold for the handmade community. In my post, I highlight the reasons I support handmade, why you should support handmade, and a list of hand-picked items from aftcra that would make amazing gifts for women on your shopping list.

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Here’s a snippet from my post:

“I help exceptional dreamers and doers grow and succeed online because the drive behind handcrafted and handmade—the can-do spirit of small business owners—is contagious and powerful. This is why I support these artisans. This is why I am a cheerleader for other women in business—my kindred spirits. This is why I swoon over handcrafted items on aftcra.”

I’d love if you hopped on over to my guest post on aftcra and spend a few minutes browsing through all of the lovely items–all handmade in the USA by small artisans–and see if a Christmas gift or two couldn’t be found for your kindred spirits.


Do you buy local or handmade for the holidays? I’d love to see some of your favorite shops or items! Or do you have your own handmade shop? Share everything with me in the comments so I can check them out!

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