IMG_2347Artisans search out markets that invite things made by hand, in small batches, for local communities and, sometimes, for buyers they know by name.

There are lots of ways of getting involved. And we’ve covered a range of these on this website:

  • beekeeping (and honey production)
  • pie production
  • art work
  • woodwork
  • community supported agriculture
  • agriculture of several kinds
  • restaurants
  • herbs and spices
  • food trucks
  • several kinds of retail
  • BBQ
  • education
  • small batch spirits
  • craft beer
  • earrings and several kinds of jewelry
  • tattooing
  • cafe and coffee roasting
  • second hand clothing
  • small batch clothing
  • farmer’s market construction
  • and so on

All good. But there is another way to do it. Start with a category and see what you see.

I want to propose pets as a place to start. There are lots of options:

  • toys
  • treats
  • bedding
  • furniture
  • food
  • gifts (yes, gifts)
  • scratching posts
  • cat nip
  • trees for lounging in
  • collars
  • boots and coats for winter
  • but mostly toys, ok?

My cat, Zsa Zsa, volunteered to share two of her favorite toys (photo at top). They are tufted paper, made I’m sure by hand, and sold at my local pet store for a surprisingly large sum of money.

And Pam, my wife, and I don’t care. We watch our budget. We are never extravagant. We rarely eat out. We dress simply. But when it comes to our cats, the sky is the limit. Which is, I think, a way of saying there is no limit. Not really.

Americans are so generous with their pets, they actually buy them gifts. (We even wrap these gifts!) On Valentine’s Day, for instance, we spend each of us on average around $26 dollars. Multiply that figure by the number of pet owners in the US, and there is a vast Valentine’s Day market.

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There are a range of options for sales and distribution: online websites (your own or Etsy), farmer’s markets, and pet stores. (Some of the last are national brands, and may or may not welcome a small batch supplier. The local pet stores probably will.)

There is a rich opportunity for artisans here. Please let us know if you get something going.

Thank you to Lacey, the wonder dog, for acting us our featured image.  (See his story below.) Thank you, Zsa Zsa, for sharing. You are the best one ever.