For an artisan/crafter in a rural area, selling to a local market might not be enough to make a living. Rural artisans and crafters often need to utilize e-commerce to sell their work and possess the skills to market their work online successfully. Currently, Extension has limited opportunities to help artisans/crafters or to provide educational training to Extension educators.

The Helping Artisans Reach Global Markets materials were created with the goal to provide updated, expanded information and resources to educate rural artisans/crafters on how to create an online presence and how to market and sell their product online.  Extension educators can use the materials to work with artisans/crafters in their community, or the materials can be self-guided. The Helping Artisans Reach Global Markets modules cover these four topics:

Website/online presence

Social media

How to market

Finding your scale
      Production costs worksheet

We have also designed a pre-assessment tool for Extension educators. Artisans/crafters who are guiding themselves through the modules may also find it useful to complete the assessment to get clear on what they would like to learn.

Expected outcomes from completing the modules include:

a. Artisan/craft business owners will better understand the benefits and limitations associated with e-commerce.

b. Artisan/craft business owners will understand the benefits and limitations associated with building their own website vs. setting up a storefront in an online marketplace.

c. Artisans/crafters will be able to utilize social media to locate markets as well as networks that will help strengthen their business.

d. Artisans/crafters will understand the scale that is appropriate for them based on their resources.

e. Artisans/crafters will understand how to strategically market their work by observing trends and identifying with niche markets.

CEDIK would like to thank the Southern Rural Development Center and the Mississippi Extension Center for Technology Outreach for the funding to support the development of these materials.