Update June 2, 2014- On 8/26/2013 I blogged about a great new website market place for handcrafted arts and crafts items. The site was called Craftinest.
Unfortunately Craftinest is no longer online. No one knows what happened. Though Craftinest did post on their facebook page that a fire had destroyed much of their sites equipment and they held out a promise to us that they would repair the damage and get the site back up and running promptly. . . that promise is yet to materialize. As I update this post is has been over 8 months since anyone has heard from Craftinest. Craftinest has not bothered to update their facebook page nor notify any of their many shop owners as to what is going on. All our emails are returned as undeliverable. We have pretty much given up hope that Craftinest will repair the fire damage and reestablish their website.
Personally I believe that Craftinest grew too quickly, that the inundation of so many artists and crafters overwhelmed them and their sites ability to handle such an enormous influx of shops and traffic.
Craftinest came online around the time that Etsy decided to change their definition of "Handmade", embracing the items of artists and crafters who have their work manufactured for them. When Etsy made that announcement it created an exodus of vendors fleeing Esty to find more promising venues. I recall that another, well established site, Zibbet, actually crashed due to the volume of people requesting shop space. However Zibbet was in a position to rectify the problem quickly and efficiently, Craftinest, in it's infancy, was not prepared.
The loss of Craftinest is sad as it held forth so much potential . . . but sometimes things are simply not meant to be.
Below is my old blog post of 8/26/2013 -
When I first sent off my application to apply for an online Craftinest Storefront, I figured they'd be a marketplace much like Etsy or Artfire, only without the supplies vendors and vintage shops. However Craftinest is more like a hybrid between these standard marketplaces and having to construct one's own website. . . minus all the HTML hoopla. With a Craftinest store the search engines call up your shop and not the marketplace. This was explained to me by Samantha in the correspondence that I've copied and pasted below:
Our format is definitely different from Etsy (and it’s many clones) with more of an ecommerce website format. Each store is basically its own mini-ecommerce website... with the mall being the central hub to bring all stores together.
As for your store domain, it is only available in the following two formats:
Sub-domains never use the www in front of it. However, if someone types in http://www.almostprecious.craftinest.com , the browser will automatically forward to the proper http://almostprecious.craftinest.com format. So you can use either.
One thing that I did want to add to the whole store domain issue is that Etsy only forwards the request for your store domain to their own etsy.com address. At Craftinest, the store domain is an actual sub-domain that persists throughout the buyers experience.
http://www.almostprecious.etsy.com forwards to http://www.etsy.com/shop/almostprecious
http://almostprecious.etsy.com forwards to http://www.etsy.com/shop/almostprecious.
And the item listing URL’s don’t include the store domain at all. . .
Whereas at Craftinest:
http://www.almostprecious.craftinest.com forwards to http://almostprecious.craftinest.com
http://almostprecious.craftinest.com stays on http://almostprecious.craftinest.com
And the store domain is included throughout your entire store. . . including item listings, categories, info pages. I’ll use another store as an example with an item listing URL of http://twolittlewitches.craftinest.com/find/1399-Bunny-Rabbit-Kids-Wall-Art-Print-for-Kids-Room-Girls-Children-Decor-by-Two-Little-Witches
So as you can see, your store domain is more present with Craftinest. In fact it’s more useful when you look at the results in search engines. To see for yourself, type in “Almost Precious Etsy” into Google and you will notice one result for your store - www.etsy.com/shop/AlmostPrecious.
Now try using the sample store from above by typing “two little witches craftinest” into Google. Not only is the store domain presented as twolittlewitches.craftinest.com , but there are several results since all listings and categories use the store domain too.
Hope that helps... Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
And welcome to our little nest.
The Craftinest Marketplace