Well, I was going to edit my post to add a photo of what I received, but it looks like the post I made last week disappeared. :/
I don't remember exactly what I wrote, but it was something like "My package was delivered after dinner tonight. Everything about it was beautiful, including the wrapping. Santa has spoiled me. Thank you so much."
And now, I find I need to resize the photo because it is humongous. I will post a photo later today.
These are my special gifts from Sarah thank you so much. Now no one in my office can take my pencils and they are purple too. I think I put your market bag in one of my treasuries. Chocolate need I say more? Thank you Sarah.
If it weren't for the fact that I'd either have to buy a thehandmadeforum domain or attach it to the business (which seems weirdly wrong to do), I'd offer to host this elsewhere. Our hosting plan leaves us with pretty much unlimited bandwidth and space, due to how long we've been with Dreamhost.
Let's talk about this. I've put off my website development until after the holidays as I'm swamped, but Architect lets me create as many web sites using HostGator and WordPress and WooCommerce as I want to. Perhaps as I go through all the modules and get some experience under my growing waist line we could "re-use" some of it's teaching. A PayPal Business Account would be needed, as would the PayPal Pro (credit card acceptance). Lots for one person to assume, but not a consortium of small business owners who are committed.
Logistics would be the toughest, as products would have to be shipped from the maker (forum members only), and we'd have to be very upfront about everything coming directly from the maker, thus enabling direct contact with the maker, NOT the webmaster. Payment would also have to be made in a timely manner to the maker, and of course every maker would have to have a password so they could list and maintain their inventory.
Yearly hosting and domain name fees could be shared by the participants, but again, strength in numbers would make fees more affordable.
However, I think a HandMadeForum website would be wonderful, and would allow us to cover just about any type of handcrafted item one could look for. And we would not be limited by any Etsy BS. If you make it and can ship it you can sell it kind of environment.
Any ideas y'all? Would you participate? Willing to brainstorm? Willing to help with administration and maintenance? And maybe a Blog area where we can share DIY tips and tricks and perhaps ask customers for ideas and comments on things we are thinking about making.
Never start a sales shop unless you KNOW you are going to succeed