Well, a little about us. We truly are brothers. Sons of Catharine and Bob Maza from Pennsylvania. Joel (the older brother) and Rob envisioned an online marketplace for Artists and Craftsmen to display and sell their handmade items to a larger population.
My father-in-law, Ed, loved working with wood. He built many things including beautiful Adirondack chairs. Over time he really honed his skills. “Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to make these chairs and sell them somewhere,” he would say.
Brother Joel is a trained Blacksmith having crafted a variety of items from iron. For a while he ran a small Blacksmith business out of his mobile Blacksmith shop in the back of a big old white Utility truck nicknamed, The Ghost. The Ghost was eventually sold (for $50) to a furniture and cabinet maker.
Joel and I began to layout plans for what an online mall for handmade items would look like. It wasn’t too far into our planning that we found a couple of things:
- There are a few sites that provide similar services
- Large ticket items such as handmade furniture and blacksmith items, which is what we originally envisioned, are not what most people are looking for online.
So our research took us to our initial focus on pottery, jewelry, soap, and quilts. And how can we differentiate ourselves from the existing sites? In a word, Quality.
We decided early on that we would focus our attention on career, experienced, award winning, professional Artists and Craftsmen. Not to diminish the wonderful contributions of those who are hobbyists, or new to the craft. As their's will be the future (in some cases).
We researched a variety of website hosting sites, and landed on Solo Build It!. Now, over three years into this adventure, we continue to follow the guidance of the Solo Build It! system for starting an online business.
So our Journey continued by meeting, talking with, observing Artists and Craftsmen to better define what we were talking about. We attended and continue to attend an endless schedule of Art Festivals, Craft Shows, and Art Centers looking at items, talking with Artists and getting to the core question:
What makes handmade Art or Craft works high quality?
The answer takes an almost infinite number of words to describe. Since a picture says a thousand words, we decided to make www.brothers-handmade.com rich with pictures. We have interviewed hundreds of Artists and Craftsmen. As we state on our home page, “we continue to be astounded by the creativity of American Craftsmen and Artists.”
That said, we are completely aware of spectacular artistry that abounds outside the borders of America. But to start, we are sticking with those Artists and Craftsmen we can see, and hear first hand, right here in our “back yards”. That is why we use the catch phrase, "Come see what your neighbors are making."
Maybe we should say, Come see what Our neighbors are making, because we have been getting many visitors from outside the borders of America.
We truly welcome our friends from China, Russia, Europe, the Middle East, Canada, and all the other countries that are visiting us these days.
Great to have you stopping by!
When we started on this journey, we were not fully aware of the phenomenal number of high quality Artists and Craftsmen present in North America. We will continue to probe the various corners of our own backyard from Maine, to Florida, California to Washington, and everything in between as we continue to see the absolutely spectacular things our neighbors are making.
Come along for the ride, as we explore:
The World of High Quality Handmade.
Disclaimer: I'm a proud affiliate for Solo Build It!, which means that if you buy it through a link on this page, I'll earn a commission (without you paying a penny more, of course) which is money I spend, for example, on hosting and maintaining my websites (and paying my bills, so thanks:)
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