Handmade Long Island is hosted by Building Your Image LLC Publicity Consulting, which is a mother-daughter team. Mary has over 25 years of publicity and writing experience, and Ilana is a graphic designer, writer and longtime crafter. Both assisted in publicizing the Sands Point Medieval Festival for several years, and with Ilana managing the marketplace, they had the opportunity to see the craft fair experience from three directions: as a vendor, a customer and a manager.
While Ilana was buying website addresses for her own artisanal small business, Duchessa Handmade Jewelry, one of the addresses she purchased was handmadelongisland.com. From a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, that may be one of the best addresses a Long Island crafter could get (as the most relevant keywords are in the address itself.) Feeling that it would be irresponsible to use the address for her own business, Ilana chose another as her main website address and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to create a community resource which would benefit small businesses across Long Island.
In previous explanations of Handmade Long Island, we’ve covered most of the basics, but recently we’ve received questions from those who want to know more. Starting from scratch, here are the who, what, where, when, why and how of Handmade Long Island, answered one by one.
Who: Handmade Long Island is hosted by Building Your Image LLC and administered by Mary Redler and Ilana Mele as a free resource for the Long Island artisan community. While paid advertisement options are available, the site is currently entirely funded by Building Your Image, meaning that the hosting and domain are paid for by the company and the time spent maintaining the site is donated. Both Mary and Ilana are active in the local community, having participated in community events and fundraisers and providing content for local media. Both are creative themselves and appreciate handmade, and have met many Handmade Long Island members at local shows and events.
So, technically speaking, Handmade Long Island is Mary Redler and Ilana Mele, or Building Your Image LLC, but we like to use a broader definition. Handmade Long Island is the two administrators as well as every artisan small business owner who is a part of the group, each Long Islander who checks the website and Facebook group, and friends and customers who get involved. Handmade Long Island is bigger than us, and we hope to continue growing to provide a valuable resource for Long Island crafters and all their fans.
What: Handmade Long Island is a website and online community that seeks to promote and support Long Island based artisan owned small businesses, while also fostering interest in the handmade movement and buying local. A free-to-join directory is maintained on the website, along with an Events page and complimentary social media presence. There is no cost to any of these promotions.
Where: We live and work on Long Island, as do all of Handmade Long Island’s members. Long Island is home to a variety of small businesses, individuals, homeowners, renters and even farmers. With such a wide array of personalities and purposes, and a vibrant artisan community, buying local and supporting the local economy on Long Island makes perfect sense.
When: At Handmade Long Island, we’re happy to help local artisan owned businesses whenever it is appropriate. We maintain an Events page on the site, and post last minute event announcements on our Facebook page. Handmade Long Island’s purpose is to help promote local artisans wherever on Long Island they may be, and whenever it is necessary.
Why: Handmade Long Island gives us the satisfaction of being able to help some of our favorite people (crafters) with the skills that we use to make a living (publicity). We believe that micro-businesses are an integral part of the fabric that makes up the Long Island economy. From the vendor of farm-to-table foods to the needle-worker and jewelry designer, these artisans are providing beautiful (or delicious) quality products and making a difference for their families and our communities. When a micro-business allows a mom to stay at home with her children while contributing toward paying the mortgage, the entire community benefits.
How: Handmade Long Island is managed by a Long Island small business, aware of the needs and concerns of other small businesses. We do not ask for payment or item samples to join. We simply ask that the business owner submit his or her business name, website address and a brief description of the business, along with any relevant events. We do the rest of the work, and there are no conditions for membership. We take members’ privacy as seriously as any of our clients, and never sell or give out information. Even our own newsletters are sporadic, only sent out when there is something to share.
So, what’s in it for us? Aside from the satisfaction of supporting something we believe in, Handmade Long Island is good publicity for Building Your Image. It provides a broader internet presence for our company, and allows more people to find out that we exist. We believe that good repays good and that if the occasion arises, the people who have benefitted from Handmade Long Island might consider recommending our company to businesses in need of graphic or web design, content creation, public relations or help with their branding or social media.
More questions? Feel free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.