This article was previously published by the Rocky Mountain Outlook November 25, 2015, shortly after the launch of Atelier. We would like to thank Cole Carruthers and the Rocky Mountain Outlook for the following article, as it captures our vision perfectly.
You’ve spent hours, weeks and months shaping and honing a new piece of artistry, and now you’re ready to share it with the world.
Luckily for artisans who are too busy in their studios and workshops to stay up to date with the latest in marketing, social media and e-commerce, they have business owner and entrepreneur Carolyne Kauser-Abbott to turn to.
Kauser-Abbott’s latest venture Atelier is an e-commerce business and website dedicated to showcasing artists’ studios, a chance to read their stories and the ability to buy their products.
“I’ve been thinking about e-commerce for a number of years, but didn’t quite know what that model should look like. I just love great artisanal craftsmanship and I feel sometimes it doesn’t get enough airtime because the artisan is spending their time making beautiful products,” Kauser-Abbott said.
“They might have a website, they might go to some craft fairs, but really they also don’t have the time to be promoting maybe the way they should be or in addition to the way they’re already doing it.”
This is where self-proclaimed social media addict Kauser-Abbott comes into play. She has a proven track record in the world of e-commerce with her other ventures Ginger and Nutmeg, Perfectly Provence and Edible Heritage Technologies.
Atelier, being either a workshop or studio stuck with Kauser-Abbott since it encapsulates the artists’ space and the things they create.
“A great woodworker might not have the time or might not understand the ins and outs of marketing a product or just doesn’t enjoy it because they’d rather spend time in their workshop,” Kauser-Abbott said.
“This is my fourth website and I’m pretty addicted to social media, so I come from this with a marketing eye and angle that the artisan might not, so my intent long term is to build a social media and newsletter following to help promote the artisans.”
Presently, the business owner wants to focus on products befitting home-decor, kitchen-related, bath- or spa-related and gift items.
“Certainly there are some great artisans in the Bow Valley, and I’m hopeful a few of them might be interested in this concept and look at it as a platform to another marketing channel and another platform to showcase their work,” Kauser-Abbott said. “I’m hoping to not have hundreds of vendors, but to have a select group of really beautiful products and great stories and be able to showcase those.
“My next step is to start approaching artisans and hopefully have them approach me in order to get them on the site and for me to be able to tell their story too, because I think that’s kind of key to this. People want to know the vase they just bought was made by someone in Canmore and why that person got into making vases in the first place.”
A contact link is available at www.atelierboutiques.com, where interested artisans are encouraged to reach out to Kauser-Abbott for more information on the new venture.
“The email comes directly to me, that’s probably the easiest way, but via social media is fine too through Facebook or Twitter. At least for the near term my focus will be Canadian artisans for a number of reasons. I think there’s a huge community out there and why do I need to look further, so I think just concentrating on Canada and closer to home is a great place to start because we certainly have a lot of market-inspired, handcrafted beautiful work in Canada and maybe I’ll never have to look further.”