Peter and Sarah Eastwood, local potters and creative entrepreneurs, have launched a new online marketplace to help Nova Scotian crafters and makers sell their creations amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The new site, novascotiamakersmarket.ca, gives local artisans the ability to create their own store to sell their products online in a virtual marketplace, without the initial upfront costs of designing their own website and online shop.
“I’ve been talking for years to many makers in the creative community about going online, but cost has always been a barrier,” said Peter Eastwood, owner of Eastwood Pottery.
Eastwood is also a successful graphic designer and web developer at Eastwood Design, whose work includes the Entrevestor.com website.
“Most makers seem to be somewhat intimidated by technology and this is something we’ve been able to address in the solution,” said Eastwood. “We’ve built an easy-to-access platform with no sign up or monthly fees, and simplified the onboarding process for makers. [In late April], we added several vendors, and the initial feedback is more than encouraging.”
When the site is populated with more small businesses and their products, Eastwood plans to start marketing the platform, both in home and export markets.
Eastwood Pottery is a small batch ceramic pottery operation, in which Peter and Sarah Eastwood handcraft ceramic pottery at their studio in Halifax. Their pottery, mugs, miniature houses, platters and pitchers are always one of a kind.
Eastwood said: “Many crafters have seen their livelihood virtually disappear with COVID-19 and the shutdown of traditional craft markets. This is normally a very busy time of year. This initiative will allow fellow makers in the creative community to get back to their passion in their studios, and allow us to expose some of our incredibly talented makers to new markets and new geographies.”