Appalachian Online Marketplace announces new name and look
Our-WV.com has announced their new name as OurWestVirginia.com. The Appalachian marketplace started as a small online store to help West Virginia artisans market their products to a broader audience. Two years later that website has expanded to include West Virginia food manufacturers, authors, musicians and even destinations. Their new name, logo and look, created by West Virginia advertising agency Morehead Marketing, is designed to reflect the roots, the artistry, and the future of Appalachian handmade goods.
OurWestVirginia.com is a local West Virginia company with the goal to help the cottage industry throughout Appalachia. “We have so many incredibly talented artisans and entrepreneurs in our state, that we wanted to offer a low-cost opportunity to show off their talents to the world. Many artists and craftsman create products as a hobby or second income. They don’t have the resources to set up their own website and shopping cart, or they set up a store on a giant site, like Etsy and get lost among thousands of other products,” says Paul Thompson, manager of the site. OurWestVirginia.com has a select market focus. The site is looking to appeal to buyers of fine arts, heritage crafts, natural foods, and Appalachian products. “We want to offer our shoppers an alternative to cheap imported products,” continues Thompson. As proof that this is a viable market, the site currently has over 53,000 followers on Facebook and that list is growing daily.
On the website, each vendor is able to set up, manage, and direct customers to their own store while also being a part of a larger marketplace where they can be discovered by new shoppers. Vendors pay no yearly or monthly store fees, no hosting fees, and no transaction processing fees. OurWestVirginia.com’s only charge to the vendor is 7 percent commission on total sales.
Many vendors have found success on the site. Two years ago, photographer Frank Ceravalo set up a store on OurWestVirginia.com while still maintaining a shopping cart on his own website. “I had such good success with OWV, I now use it for all my online sales. It is much easier and less expensive than managing my own site,” said Ceravalo. Jewelry artisan and OurWestVirginia.com vendor, Christine Keller says, “I love this site! OurWestVirginia.com is great to work with. They have thousands of Facebook followers and advertise the site heavily. I now use it for my e-commerce – linking to my section on it from my own website so I only have to maintain one e-commerce site.”
In order to ensure the quality of products on the site, all potential vendors must be juried. OurWestVirginia.com is currently accepting new vendors for the site. More information about applying as a vendor can be found on the website.
The company has just spent months redesigning the website to be able to offer a better shopping experience for their customers. The site is easier to navigate, has improved mobile features, as well as more products and vendors being added daily. As an introduction the website opens with: Welcome to our unique community of Appalachian artisans, extraordinary products and unforgettable adventures. The marketplace offers a large variety with main categories being: Artisan Jewelry, Bath & Beauty, Books & Entertainment, Food, Furniture Makers, Home & Living, Photography, Wall Art, Wearables, and WV Adventures. “We’ve really worked hard to get the new look and site up and running before the big Christmas shopping season. We are here to serve those shoppers looking for something different, something of quality, something handmade, something uniquely Appalachian,” states Thompson.