9:55 AM

What Can Unanimous Craft Do For You

The question I am asked most often is, "What the heck is Unanimous Craft?" My best short answer is that Unanimous Craft is like Yelp for the crafty community.

I thought I would identify some tangible things you can do with Unanimous Craft to help your small business (and a few things you and your small business can do to help Unanimous Craft.)

What is Unanimous Craft?
Unanimous Craft is a directory of resources for indie business. People can create listings for resources that they find useful -- and that they think others would find useful. These resources are tagged and organized on Unanimous Craft to make them easy to find and discover.

What are Resources?
Resources can be lots of things: a video tutorial, an excellent blog post, websites for suppliers, indie shops, your own Etsy shop, your blog and your friend's blog. Anything that is related to the crafty community or that might help you run a small indie business.

Increase Your Google Ranking
You know how people are always telling you that you need inbound links - Unanimous Craft is great for that. What's an inbound link? Any link from an external website that points to your website. Inbound links help to increase your ranking in Google searches. If you have a bunch of credible sites linking to your site - you move up in the search result list. Hot damn!

How do you do it?
Get Feedback from customers
Ask your customers to review you on Unanimous Craft. They will need a user account (to prevent people from stuffing the ballot box) - they, when they visit your page they will see a button that says, "Review this resource." After clicking on that, they rate you from 1-5 stars and then write a review. These reviews move your resource up and down in the popularity contest. The five most popular resources are shown on most pages of the site - including the front page.

Promote Your Individual Blog Posts
When you write a blog post that others might find especially useful, add it as a resource on Unanimous Craft.

Use Tags to Group Stuff
Use tags on your resources to group them together. If you have a street team, ask all your members to add their Etsy shop and include a specific tag that identifies your street team. Then, you can give everyone the url for that tag and you'll be able to see everyone's resources in a big list. For example, our Seattle street team is EtsyRAIN. We had our members create listings that included the tag: etsyrain. Now, when you click on the tag "etsyrain" on any listing, you see the entire list.

You can do the same thing with everyone's Facebook fan pages and blogs - and use the resulting list to follow everyone in your group. It's a great way to get organized without YOU having to update a million documents.

Write Reviews
Each time you write a review, your profile picture shows up in the upper right corner of the Popularity Contest page. This links to your profile on Unanimous Craft. This is especially good if you are a Premium Member and have an expanded profile.

Make Lists
Make a list of your favorite resources, or resources that share a common theme. You could make a list of all the yarn shops in your town, supply stores in your area, shops that buy handmade items on consignment, members in your area's Etsy Street Team or vendors in an upcoming craft show. The options are pretty much endless. Once you have created your list - share it with others by posting a link to it in forums or sending it to friends who might be interested.

If you create a list of awesome websites that you want to post in the Etsy forums, make the list on Unanimous Craft and then link to it from the Etsy forum post. That way you can tag your list to be found in Google searches and add a paragraph or two about you and your shop to the description of the list. Check out this great list of places to advertise and promote your shop as an example.


Make Yourself a Resource Owner
Set yourself up as the owner of a resource. This connects your resource with your profile on Unanimous Craft. Your picture will be shown on the resource page under the heading "Resource Owner."

Become a Regional Craftologist
In exchange for reporting on crafty events in your area, you'll get free advertising and other benefits. To apply, fill out this Regional Craftologist application. Get more details about the requirements.

Become a Premium Member
For just $60 for a full year of membership you get access to some special benefits. You get a more robust profile that gives you the option to link to your shops and social networking sites, front page features, discounts on advertising, special attention from yours truly and a shout out several times a year in Twitter #FF posts. Read about all the great stuff you get.

Help support Unanimous Craft by advertising your own shop or blog. Rates are recalculated on a monthly basis determined by site traffic. Currently, one month of advertising is $30 for regular members and $20 for Premium Members. Check out the details.

Tell Your Friends
If you have crafty friends, tell them about Unanimous Craft. Recommend our Facebook Fan page to your friends. #FF our twitter handle: @unanimous_craft to your followers. Blog about us (and grab any of the images off our Share the Love page), add a sentence to your follow up email for orders that asks people to review you on Unanimous Craft, post links to lists or resources that you think are great in crafty related forums.

I think that about covers it. The Intermediate Level at least. Thanks for making this project such a pleasure to work on. It's takes a lot of effort - for sure - but it's also really, really fun.
1:33 PM

Urban Craft Uprising, Winter 2010

Okay, so to say that I went a little over board at Urban Craft Uprising is putting it lightly. For sure. It can't be helped though. When one sees a bowl supported by ceramic baby arms, one has to purchase it immediately. Kniffin Pottery. They're neat.

I was vending at UCU -  selling Shower Art with Mr. Gale - so I didn't have as much time as I wanted to wander around all the booths. I did make sure that I took several quick passes through everything and that afforded me enough time to at least spend twice what I had budgeted so I guess I actually had more than enough time to look around.

Urban Craft Uprising is my favorite show. Hands down. Crafty Bastards and Crafty Wonderland (next weekend in Portland) are tied for a close second (only because they both involve travel). Oh, wait. But then there's the Renegade shows. Ugh. Okay. They're all so good.

The first day of Urban Craft is my favorite day of the year because it's the day when I know there will be another whole day of Urban Crafting.  Yay~! The second day of Urban Craft is the saddest day of the year because I spend the whole day thinking about how it's almost over. Sniff.

It's a great show in many respects. It's well run and organized. Everyone really seems to sell tons. There are bazillions of people around (9800 this year!). Great vendors are selected through the jury process. Lots of help from volunteers. Crafty book author signings. Crafty demonstrations. And this year - FOOD vendors! Yay!

Normally the concession stand at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall is open and food sales aren't permitted. This year no concession stand (What? No pretzels and hot dogs? Okay by me!) and instead there were vendors selling awesome soups (5 different kinds each day!), cookies, candies and breads. I had soup from Got Soup? both days - Pumpkin Coconut Thai soup on the first day and Chicken with Wild Rice on the second day. Both delicious!

Here's my one piece of constructive criticism: The food was on one side of the room. The tables were on the other side of the room. The soup bowl was really full. I had to walk my soup through the crowd to get to a table. Dangerous. I made it - but not without yelling, "Hey, I've got soup here. Watch it!" a couple of times. Luckily it's a problem easily solved by either moving the food or filling the soup bowls less full. One of those solutions has to be devoid of red tape and bureaucracy. All that said, there were probably tables right next to the soup that I just didn't see. Let's not remove that from the realm of possibility, okay.

Our two days were filled with inspiring, creative vendors and the nicest customers ever. A friend of mine came by the booth and exclaimed, "People are waiting in line to buy art!" Pretty cool. Pretty darn cool.

Some Stuff I Bought:

Oh my. I got a handful of these "You Shitty Cat" cards. How could anyone resist? Well, anyone with a cat anyway. Especially my cat.

I plan to give them to my cat for every holiday. (and if you're looking for a really loud, annoying cat - please do let me know!)

These are made by Kyle of Power and Light Press. She is in the process of raising money on Kickstarter to build a mobile print shop in the back of an old delivery truck. Help her out.

My awesomely hilarious friend Moxie  (who is also the President of Urban Craft Uprising) wrote this book, I Felt Awesome.

It's super Funny. Perhaps - and I do not say this lightly - the funniest craft tutorial book ever written.

Moxie is not the most excited about shameless self-promotion which is why it was super fun to buy her book and wait in line to make her autograph it. Bbwwwwwahahaahahahahah! Squirm!


This is Moxie.

She is obsessed with needle felting. For reals. She makes fantastic needle felt sculptures and sells kits so you can learn how to needle felt too.

It's like she's sort of the needle felting champion of the world.
If that kind of thing existed.

More Stuffs I Bought and People I Met: 

Emily from Tako Fibers: http://www.takofibers.com/

Texture Clothing: http://www.textureclothing.com/

Tender Loving Empire: http://www.tenderlovingempire.com
Tiny Boat Sculpture by www.cartoonmonster.etsy.com

Old School Stationers letterpress calendar: http://www.oldschoolstationers.com/

MeMe Cosmetics: http://www.memecosmetics.net/

Bag from Xobruno (who inspired me to start framing my embroidered doodles) http://www.xobruno.com/ and my new Urban Craft Uprising apron.

This is for reals the best soap in the world. Estrella: http://www.estrellasoap.com/

Awesome headband from Schmancy: http://www.schmancytoys.com/

Vegetable bag from Wonder Thunder: http://www.wonder-thunder.com/, Truffle Sea Salt by Secret Stash Sea Salts: http://www.secretsalts.com/ and Crewel embroidery kit from Tako Fibers: http://www.takofibers.com