LIFE IN THE AR: What are all these e-commerce links anyway?

Perhaps you are a savvy internet buyer and familiar with all the places independent designers are selling their work. But, many of us makers have relied on one place to browse and buy patterns. Many are asking where are we going now? Well, there is no one place to do all the things a certain site provided. But, there are many sites where we can browse and discover the next project that will help bust our stash – or add to it.

Designers on The Fiber Indy List have chosen different solutions to selling their work. Some have shopping carts on their websites making it easy to visit their site, add to your cart and check out. Some have chosen to utilize Etsy*, Lovecraft* and Payhip. It can feel overwhelming when trying to navigate the wide ocean of the internet. One of the reasons The Fiber Indy List was created was to give a central place to find new, or at least new to you, designers.

Which place to go to when you want to “window shop” the pretty things made with pretty string? Where can you browse a browse a wide variety of future projects? If a designer is on Payhip and Lovecraft which link should you click on? In this blog post I’ll discuss the three most common platforms on The Fiber Indy List: Payhip, Etsy, and Lovecrafts.

*Indicates an affiliate link.  As an affiliate I earn on qualifying purchases. Affiliate links helps support The Fiber Indy List, Knits Where It’s At, and all things Carrie Craftgeek. Thank you! 
For more details please visit the FAQ

Payhip 

Unlike sites discussed later – Lovecrafts and Etsy – Payhip is an e-commerce platform for designers, writers, and creators to set up an individual shop.  Designers will either have their own sales page hosted by payhip  or integrate Payhip with their website.  Payhip does not have a centralized site for makers to visit and browse all the future projects.  But, that is part of the reason The Fiber Indy List exists, to provide a central place for you find new designers. 

Payhip pages are refreshingly minimal. It begins with a designer’s description followed by a gallery of photos of patterns for sale. Click on a photo of something catching your eye and you land on product page with all the details.  And if you fall in love with a designer’s catalogue, you can hit the follow button to sign up for updates sent directly to your inbox.  (Shameless plug: Too many designer’s you love? Too many emails? That’s why we now have The Fiber Happenings on the TFIL main page)

On The Fiber Indy List you will also see Gumroad.  For makers Gumroad is very similar to Payhip.  

Etsy*

​As hipsters took over the world, and non-crafters came to appreciate all the unique homemade things, Etsy arrived allowing artists, artisans and designers to  set up online shops.  Etsy has evolved into a large marketplace where people not only sell their finished work, but patterns and craft supplies. Not only can you find patterns, you can discover independent dyers and spinners.

Etsy is a good place for a little “window shopping”  Whatever itch you want to scratch, whether it’s trying out macrame for the first time or looking for your holiday gift projects, you’ll find something special.   

There is just so much and Etsy can also be a bit overwhelming. Browsing the The Fiber Indy List and clicking on designer’s Etsy links will teach the marketplace algorithm what you want to see​.  Also, check out my favorites* to see all the Designer’s on The Fiber Indy List who have an Etsy store. 

If you want to see real world pretty objects made from the patterns, Etsy is not the place.  It is strictly a marketplace with no communtity features.  Also, free patterns are highly unlikely as shop owners on Etsy pay a fee for each listing regardless of sale.  But, designers are able to create their own coupon codes and it’s always worth favort-ing a designer’s store to keep an eye on new pattern releases and special offers.  


Check out all the Etsy Stores for designers on The Fiber Indy List.  
*As an Etsy Affiliate I earn on qualifying purchases. When you shop affiliate links it support Carrie CraftGeek and The Fiber Indy List. Thank you!

Lovecrafts*

Lovecrafts is a UK based company that started as Loveknitting. And then it added Lovecrochet. And now it’s Lovecrafts.  If you have fond memory of shopping on Craftsy – rumors are it’s coming back – Lovecrafts.com will feel familiar. Like Craftsy it aims to be one stop shop to learn, browse and buy.  (No video classes like Craftsy. But, it does provide guides and articles.)  

Lovecrafts has a large number of pattens to look through including free patterns.   Makers can join the site and as of this blog post receive 15% off their first time purchase.  When you sign up you can tell Lovecrafts what crafts you are interested in.  Your member page will feed patterns, articles, and other member’s FOB based on your answers.  ​If you like to one stop shop, after putting a pattern in your cart, you can put some yarn in as well. 

LoveCrafts
See some of my favorites from designer’s catalogue on Lovecrafts.
*As a Lovecrafts Affiliate I earn on qualifying purchases. This helps support Carrie CraftGeek and The Fiber Indy List. Thank you!


Lovecrafts does have community pages*.  Members can upload pictures of  finished objects, and when looking at patterns you can see what other makers have created.   Or if you just want to browse other people’s FOB’s, you can go to the community pages to see all the pretty things.  Unfortunately the community uploads do not provide detailed project information like yarn use, needles etc. But, who doesn’t like to look at all the pretty objects?

One other issue with the Community pages is they can be a little tricky to find.  You have to navigate to the menu bar for each craft – Knitting*, Crochet*, etc – and you will find “Community. =

The above are a sample of platforms to find designers, and they all serve their purpose. Personally what I find exciting s is we are not tied to any one place whose interface we may or may not love. We have the freedom to choose the experience we want when it comes to looking for patterns and finding our favorite designers.   My goal with TFIL is to provide a resource to help navigate these new opportunities.  

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