Author Topic: A Short History Lesson on HAF  (Read 96333 times)

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Offline MakinTheBest

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A Short History Lesson on HAF
« on: February 15, 2010, 08:23:25 AM »
There has been some questions about how the Handmade Artists Forum came about as well as how the forum relates to the teams and shop as well as who is behind the scenes.  Those of you who joined us in our humble beginnings know the story, but for those that joined us later….Once upon a time….
   Andrew (ChainmailleByMBOI) and I (MakinTheBestOfIt) are a husband and wife team with insanely busy lives and serious love of the handmade.  To make matters worse, I have a serious case of Crafter’s ADD; a chronic condition which requires boxes and bags of pieces and parts that could be “something” someday and a ridiculous collection of websites and books on crafts I want to try.  One of our loves is Chainmaille which lead me to join a team.  This team was based, like so many, on Yahoo; which is for some; difficult to keep up with.  Andrew and I offered to start a forum on one of our sites to make communication easier.  There were some ruffled feathers and in the end, the idea was shot down by the team.  Never one to be detoured, Andrew set up a forum anyway.  The original HandmadeArtistsForum was just a forum page on ChainmailleByMBOI.  Rather than limit the forum to chainmaillers, we opened it up to anyone that created, loved, sold handmade.  We encouraged people to posts links to their various shops and blogs and offered to promote members through Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Featured Member Ads.
   Before long, the member list started growing!  Imagine our surprise when we had over 100 crafters from around the world join up!  We realized that this was going to be much bigger than our little site so we bought the domain and set up the HandmadeAritistsForum.com on its own server.  Members kept coming…and coming…and coming!  Soon, we were over 300 members strong!  Andrew and I worked hard to promote our members through Twitter and Stumble and people started getting hits on their shops!  We began a blog to feature members and encouraged members to write up articles about their various crafts-linking of course-to their own sites.
   Around this time, a small group of artists decided to ban together and form an Etsy team.  The team was approved and the HAFteam was born.  This group began their own promotion efforts and was given space on the blog and their own personal section of the forum.  Andrew and I continued to support both the forum and the team and membership in both continued to grow.
   In jumps another group that sold on ArtFire.  They followed the lead of the HAFteam and formed their own Guild.  They were also given blog space and their own space on the forum.
   Like any large group, there were some bumps in the road, but the members to the forum, team, and guild just kept coming…600 members…are you kidding me???  Andrew and I couldn’t keep up, so some wonderful members decided to step in and help!  We have bloggers, twitterers, stumblers, plurkers, facebookers, and myspacers (boy, created my own language here didn’t I?).
   Now, I have sold on a variety of sites such as Yessy, Ebay, and Etsy to name a few.  Each had their pluses as well as minuses.  Poor Andrew had to listen to my complaining about what each didn’t have…but what do you do?  It is hard to be seen on multi-vendor sites but even harder to get found on your own site!  Answer?  HandmadeArtistsShop was born.  Now, this shop was not on the radar when the forum began.  We are not coders and had no clue as to how to set up a multi-vendor shopping site; but if Andrew is one thing, it is tenacious!  He did hours of research into various shopping carts and hundreds of emails to an online friend who understood code. We talked about what a shop needed to have and through a lot of trial and error the HandmadeArtistsShop was born.
   Where are we now?  Well, we are coming up on 1000 members of the forum, over 200 HAFteam members, guild members and 50 Shop members.  Andrew and I have steadily increased our server size because you guys love to show off your pictures!  We have continued to try to promote our members of the forum, teams, guild, and shop all over the web through Twitter, StumbleUpon, FaceBook, MySpace, Plurk, and ProjectWonderful and truly believe that our little corner of the web will continue to grow.
   So, I hope this little story will give our newer members; those that missed so many of our initial growing pains; a better understanding of what we are.  Thanks to all our members who helped to make the HandmadeArtistsForum what it is and Andrew and I commit to continue to help your sites grow and support the handmade movement.

JewelrybyNaLa

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 01:47:46 PM »
Tell it again, Mommy ...  ^-^

Offline MakinTheBest

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2010, 02:00:32 PM »
Tell it again, Mommy ...  ^-^

No darling, it is time for all good little girls to go to bed....Sweet dreams!

I figured after a bunch of questions about what is what I'd better break it down.

Offline Haffina

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 01:42:05 AM »
Such a great story, and very proud to have a bit part in it :)

Offline Larissa

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 02:59:47 AM »
It sounds like it all happened so fast!  No wonder you were so established by the time I got here.  Congrats on such popularity and success!

Offline MakinTheBest

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 06:06:09 AM »
It sounds like it all happened so fast!  No wonder you were so established by the time I got here.  Congrats on such popularity and success!

It did happen fast, basically we started the original forum last April so not even a full year yet!

Offline chainmaille

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 07:57:48 AM »
You forgot to write about how handsome I am. :(

Just kidding, it's quite a story, I wouldn't believe it if I didn't live it. Plus we have more exciting things on the way! Yeah.  ;D

Offline MakinTheBest

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2010, 08:52:08 AM »
You forgot to write about how handsome I am. :(

Just kidding, it's quite a story, I wouldn't believe it if I didn't live it. Plus we have more exciting things on the way! Yeah.  ;D

That, my love  :-*, is an entirely different kind of bedtime story.  :evil:

Offline jewelrybyjanelle50

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 03:42:39 PM »
I've been a part of it since way back when, and am proud to be a part of it. It's like home to me here.

A great success story for the two of you, thanks so much for making it happen for the rest of us!

Offline lisianblue

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 11:19:13 PM »
Tell it again, Mommy ...  ^-^
lolololo
It's been so cool watching this site grow, and all the "offspring" that have come about.  Thank you for all you guys do!! You guys rock! so glad you decided to open it up to other artisans besides chainmaille, I wouldn't  be able to be a part of it if it was limited to that, because those little rings just going flying all over when I try doing that amazing art form.  I do sort of disappear a bit- just because-  from time to time, but it's always like coming home when I get back here!
Kris 
"Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced."  Leo Tolstoy 

http://handmadeartists.com/shop/reflections
http://handmadeartistsshop.com/shop/lisianblue

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Offline MakinTheBest

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2010, 06:23:50 AM »
Thanks everyone!  This little adventure has been fun  :-\ , well most of the time!  We appreciate all the help we've gotten from everyone! 

Offline MakinTheBest

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2010, 01:34:18 PM »
Bumping this up as we have added a bunch of newer members that are trying to find their way around.  There has been some questions as to where we came from and who we are and this should answer some of those.  Any other questions...ASK!  One of our know it all old timers will surely jump in with an answer  :-*

MrsWTownsend

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2010, 10:41:39 PM »
Oh this is a neat thread...

Showing some HAF member love~

Offline Dragonclaw

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2010, 09:07:12 AM »
I missed this thread when it was around earlier... But I must say I am very grateful that you guys had the willingness to start this and I really love it here! :-*

Offline CraftedRoots

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Re: A Short History Lesson on HAF
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2010, 12:59:04 PM »
Very cool! 8)