Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Getting Crafty with Craftster!

Okay, so I might be a little bias here but I LOVE CRAFTSTER! Not just a little either- A WHOLE BUNCH! I am  inspired on a daily basis and I have met extraordinary people that I will have as friends until I'm an old lady (this give me an idea for an old folks retirement home....must contact the powers that be at Craftster to start working on master plan). I recently had a chance to sit down and talk to Casey aka Jungrrl to get the lowdown on Craftster. Check it out!

What is Craftster and how did it start?
Craftster is an online community focused on indie crafting. It’s a place where you can come and post your completed craft projects, find inspiration, or get answers to your craft related questions. We welcome all types of crafting and handmade items but we’re really here to create a place for hip, irreverent, eco-friendly crafts. We like to say “No Tea Cozies without Irony” ;) It was created a little over 6 years ago, by Leah Kramer. At that time there were plenty of magazines and stores and communities for the country-type crafts (you know, the cement goose clothes or cinnamon potpurri) but few places were people could find things like reconstructed clothing, handmade plush monsters, or cross stitched swear words! You can find all of that stuff and TONS more on Craftster!

I actually did a little interview of Leah a while back, so if you want more juicy Craftster start-up details, you can see them here:

And if you’re geeky like me and want to see more stats, you can do that here:

What are the different forums?
We have TONS of different forums! We have over 350 boards in 30 different sections, covering lots of main crafting techniques, objects, and reasons for crafting. Categories for every technique from knitting to soap making to weaving and for items from clothing to toys. We have areas to post what you’ve already made, areas to post questions about things you’d like to make, areas to chat with people in your region, areas to take part in challenges. phew! It’s a lot to take in! If you’ve never been, a great place to start is our front page. We have thumbnails of all the latest and greatest projects and below that we have links to our most recent blog articles where we showcase all kinds of awesome things going on on the site.

What are swaps?
Well we’re in the process of revising our swap information and I think our new intro says it best:

“Swaps come in many shapes, sizes, and forms, but the basic idea is that you make a great crafty package that meets the swap's theme and requirements and takes into consideration your partner's wishes and preferences. You send the package you created to them and they send the package they created to you! Swaps are lots of fun; they can motivate you to create something really great and it's often a fun challenge because there's a certain theme to follow. Plus, you get something original in return!”

(We’re working on updating all the swap information, so if that isn’t up by the time you post this interview, it should be shortly.)
There are some rules for swapping, so make sure you read those (here)to make sure you’re eligible to swap and then go see what’s open! All the open swaps are listed here in this board. There are swaps for just about everything! People swap everything from supplies, to quilts, to clothing, and everything in between.

There’s tons and tons on inspirational stuff here in the Swap Gallery. You can browse through all of the awesome stuff that’s been sent in previous Craftster swaps. (Oh! And here’s a tip, at the top there’s a button that says “Show Images Only”!) Be careful though! It’s kind of addictive!

I keep seeing something about Digizine-what is it?
The Digizine is this really cool new advertising option for small and micro businesses (like, say, an etsy you run part-time). What it is is a shared ad space. Up to 10 banners share one of our main advertising spaces. I know it sounds weird but it’s actually really cool!

See? Pretty cool, huh? Ads come up randomly when loading, but once the page has been open for a bit, they start to scroll. You can even scroll through them manually. This means that every time the digizine comes up on a page, the viewer could possibly see your ad. Plus, sharing the space allows you to get your ad in the best possible ad spot for 1/10th of the regular cost! We LOVE small craft businesses and so do our members, so it’s a great way to reach a really receptive audience. We can even help you make a banner if you don’t have one already! We’ve tried to make this as easy and open as possible so it’s a self service option, but we are always here to help with any questions or issues.

You can see all the digizine info here:

A little birdy told me that Craftster is going to Renegade-is that true?
It’s true! Batgirl, photojenn and myself will be manning (womanning? ;)) a tent at Renegade Chicago again this year! We went last year but the torrential rain put a damper on things. This year we’re back and better than ever! We’ll be selling shirts and other items from the Craftster shop ( and we’ll have some cute little items you can make and take home! For those of you in the area, Renegade Chicago is September 12th and 13th from 11am-7pm each day. Stop by!

What does the future hold for Craftster
Well... There’s a super secret project in the works with this super cool girl named Pam. She’s the bees knees. You may know her? ;) It’s going to be really, really awesome and I wish I could share more, but you’ll just have to wait. (Hopefully not too much longer!) We’re also going to be doing a craft fair blitz in December. If things go according to plan, we’ll be represented at fairs in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Boston on the same weekend. We’ll be selling our awesome Craftster items again, and handing out info on how to make your own holiday gift bags.

How awesome! I can't wait to see what's next! Thank you to all the mods and the staff at Craftster-you guys rock my socks!I'm so glad that I get to be a part of such an awesome, nurturing, fun community.  So, if you haven't yet-get your butts over to Craftster and I hope to see you online or maybe even at a craft fair! 


Brook said...

YAY I love craftster!!! I had so much fun meeting you !!!

Unknown said...

Brook! I have our pictures up on Flickr. I was beginning to wonder about you. I thought maybe you got lost on the way home. It was so awesome meeting you and hanging out.You are so awesome!

Joanna said...

Love your blog and craftster, too, kittykill! I hope I can make it out to Renegade this year!