The Arran Banner
Arran makers take to digital high street
Website showcases talent in one place
A new website is being launched tomorrow (Saturday) to showcase the fantastic range of independent crafters, makers and artists producing work for sale across the island.
Called arranmakers.com, the easy to use site is described as a digital high street where nearly 50 makers have their own web page/shop front to show their produce, which will link to other Facebook, Etsy, isle20 or other shopping sites makers might already use to bring them all together in one place for the first time.
It has been funded by a £4,500 grant from Scotland Loves Local and money from Lamlash Events, whose volunteer directors Karen Bell and Michael Gettins came up with the idea. They worked closely with web designers Tom and Shiona McGarrigle of Eyespace Digital to ensure the website met the timetable deadline of the end of March, used allocated budgets and responded effectively as restrictions continued.
Although unable to deliver the planned training and support in person, Eyespace has produced helpful guidance within tutorial videos and examples on the site and on YouTube to give makers all the help they need to create their unique shop front.
With the agreement of Scotland Loves Local, it was possible to buy tablets to assist makers currently without appropriate digital technology to ensure they can capture high quality images and create the additional written content for their webpage/shop front.
So far, 48 makers have created their own shop front ready for tomorrow’s launch. Some makers have ventured in to the world of the digital marketplace for the first time with help and support to achieve this major milestone.
It is hoped other makers will see the benefits involved in raising their profile and join
Arran’s digital high street to secure extra sales and, more importantly, extra income in these difficult times.
As the funding deadline was fixed at the end of March, the idea to progress outdoor markets has been pushed back until the current restrictions are relaxed.
Lamlash Events still hopes to secure additional support, funding and agreement to develop this idea as another way to support local makers showcase their skills and talents as well as offer free stalls to island charities and social enterprises to assist with their fundraising.
It is hoped that once all makers have created their shop front, the tablets can be used in pick-up-point (PUP) shops, halls and centres as a small rolling advertising board to increase awareness
of Arran Makers to locals and visitors.
Makers and the takers can even reduce travel and postage costs and deliver purchased items to a local PUP to further underpin the Shop Local, Make Local, Stay Local message and stay within current restrictions.
Although a small fee may be required, the real benefit to a PUP will be the additional footfall from the anticipated many more makers and takers and the promotion on the tablets.
More information can be obtained by emailing email@example.com or contact Karen or Michael about joining the website, becoming a PUP or about how they can continue to develop the website, outdoor market place or other similar ideas they can assist with.