BY STACIE BOSTON
TAHLEQUAH – The Indigenous Artisans Collective is the fourth community to join Etsy’s Uplift Makers Program. Through the program, Etsy, as well as their non-profit partner Nest are putting a spotlight on creators who represent 10 tribes from both the United States and Canada with a handful of artists representing the Cherokee Nation.
“The launch of the Indigenous Artisans Collective offers an opportunity to celebrate the artistic contributions of this community and the history and culture of Indigenous peoples across the U.S. and Canada, while creating meaningful financial opportunities for these makers,” Dinah Jean, Etsy senior manager of social innovation, said.
While a part of the collective, which launched on Oct. 10, artists have an opportunity to connect with millions of buyers “while telling their own stories and celebrating their cultures.”
“These makers are off to a strong start on Etsy,” Jean said. “Members of the Indigenous Artisans Collective sold nearly 200 total items in just the first five days of the program.”
Through the program, artists receive support and business capacity training in the areas of photography, shop management and shipping and fulfillment. New shop openers also have the opportunity to work with other Indigenous Etsy shop owners who serve as peer mentors.
Artists are also featured on the Etsy’s Uplift Makers Editors’ Picks Page as well as have custom icon and banners to help their pages stand out.
“Shops in the program also receive official icons and banners so they can more easily be discovered and authenticated by buyers as part of the Indigenous Artisans Collective program,” Jean said.
Cherokee artist Tayler Gutierrez, of Kamama Beadwork, is one of a handful of Cherokee artists represented in the collective. Gutierrez, who has been beading for approximately five years, said being a part of the collective means she can share her passion with a “wider audience.”
“I hope that when folks see this collective and the work that we put out, they can recognize how special these traditions are and will see that we are still here practicing our art forms, speaking our languages and continuing as peoples,” Gutierrez said.
To view Gutierrez’s work, visitetsy.com/shop/kamamabeadwork.
Cherokee artist Shilow Campbell, of Campbell Designs Gifts, creates anything from home decor items to shirts and even some beadwork. Campbell said she’s “deeply honored” to be a part of the collective.
“I’ve always been pretty creative, but I decided to leap into my own home-based business in 2020,” she said. “It gives me great joy to be a small representation of my tribe. I’ve always been proud of my culture, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be involved in this collective with other amazing Indigenous artists.”
To view Campbell’s work, visit etsy.com/shop/CampbellDesignsGifts.
Other Cherokee artists include MaryBeth Timothy who, along with her husband John, operate MoonHawkArt as well as Geh-di Wilson, who runs Cherokee Garden.
To view artists within the Indigenous Artisans Collective, visit etsy.com/featured/uplift-makers.