Friday, January 8, 2010

EB Friday Hotlist: Craftgawker

I found out about Craftgawker for the first time this week through the ArtFire forums. This site is a gem to be bookmarked by crafters and shoppers alike.

The very first thing that should hit you in the face when you arrive at their website is the sheer professionalism of their photos:

These photos weren't necessarily taken by professional photographers though - each item was submitted by an artisan or fan like yourself.

Craftgawker is a great resource for artisans for several reasons. First and foremost, the site is juried. The staff takes two days from the time you submit a photo to actually get back to you on whether or not your item and link are going to be accepted. They have strict guidelines they adhere to about the lighting, contrast, focus, size, and other artistic aspects of your photo to make sure that their pages are held to a higher standard than the sites on which you can purchase these items. What that means for you and me is that Craftgawker is a measuring stick. Compare your photos to those on Craftgawker by using the Etsy Poster Sketch Tool or by submitting a photo to the site (you'll need an account to do so).  If your submission is rejected, the Craftgawker crew promises to let you know which error is the most egregious with your photo:

- Poor presentation/composition
- Poor lighting/exposure/color balance
- Etc.


While rejection is never fun, if you are rejected you're able to learn what it is you need to improve in your photography and that can in turn lead to more item views and more sales.  The second thing that Craftgawker does for artisans is the most obvious - for those who are able to get their submissions past the lords of photograhy, it provides an attractive venue for free publicity.  Anyone who reads my blog knows by now that I value inexpensive ways to promote one's work and a free feature is one of the best ways to do that.  Craftgawker takes so long to approve submissions because they want to allow the most recent ones the longest possible time on the front pages.  (Please note that even though their site promises you two submissions at a time, they're currently only allowing one pending submission - make sure you put prioritize your entries!)

Now, while the EB Friday Hotlist is really geared towards artisans, I do know that many that may come across these blog pages are suppliers, vintage resellers, or just plain consumers.  Why should you care about Craftgawker?  Simply put, it's a pictorial catalog of some of the freshest indie finds around from candles to pottery to needlecraft to woodworking.  There are items designed to meet the needs of men, women, and children with many different style preferences.  Each photo includes a brief description of the product.  When clicked on, you're taken to that item's sale page (or, as is often the case, a message telling you the item has sold with a link to other items from that particular artisan).  Between their category list at the very bottom of the page and the search function at the very top, you're bound to find whatever product you're looking for if it's available.  (Not to mention their sister site Foodgawker has fantastic recipes with food items photographed in the same style - I "veganized" a fantastic spicy sausage dip recipe from there last night...)

Have your items been accepted by Craftgawker?  Link to them or describe your products in the comments!  Found something original, creative, or otherwise awesome from Craftgawker or Foodgawker?  Pass it along to the rest of us (after you've purchased it, of course - I wouldn't want your great find to be sold out before you have a chance to buy!).

Until next time,

Have a website you'd like featured in the EB Friday Hotlist?  Curious about an online artisan resource but want someone else to try it out first?  Have something unique, environmentally-friendly, and economical that you'd like featured in one of my posts?  Want to link to one of my posts or have me guest blog on your site? Email me at elles.beads [at] and send me all the pertinent information!


Kelly said...

I've never heard of this site at all. Thanks so much for the excellent review!

Elle said...

You're welcome! I'm glad you found it helpful. Thanks for reading!

meijo's JOY said...

I love this site - thanks for sharing - but I have tried several times still can pass the site juries - any tips what to do when I failed in lighting and exposure?