Finding local, unique items is now a little easier, thanks to a new online marketplace based in Iowa. Two local entrepreneurs recently launched a new place for shoppers to find handmade goods, and you don't even have to leave your house to shop.
You'll find beads and more inside Dennis Victor's shop in historic Valley Junction. He says, "We're known for unique unusual and sometimes weird."
But, you don't have to go to Fishlips 3 Beads and Blues to find his custom made jewelry. He now has a “shop” on Goodsmiths.com. He says, "I put up some jewelry because I'm also a metal smith, and also supplies for other jewelry artists."
Goodsmiths is a new online marketplace for handmade goods. Marketing Manager Jennifer Samuels says, "We're the market place for makers."
Samuels says the site is different from others, offering a Facebook discovery tool, customer service, and you don't have to pay to list your goods. She says, “There's no listing fees, no monthly fees, there's absolutely no risk for someone to sell their products on Goodsmiths. The only fee you would pay is a small transaction fee."
She says the fee starts at 2% for every item sold. So far, 750 shops are listed on the site with items ranging from handmade quilts, kids clothes, jewelry, and more. Showing birdhouses, Samuels says, "These are made by a seller right here in West Des Moines, Rusty Roof."
They officially launched Goodsmiths last month with just a few employees. Now, they've moved into office space in historic Valley Junction and have added staff. Samuels says, "We continue to grow. I think there was three and then I came on as four, and it's just continued to grow since then."
Nine people now work at Goodsmiths, and Samuels says they hope to grow even more as word gets out about this new local place to shop online. Victor says he hasn't sold anything on Goodsmiths yet, but people have viewed his products, providing more exposure for his local business around the world.