ANAM Craft Marketplace is a platform for authentic Celtic manufacturers to connect successfully with wholesale buyers who want the very best to delight their customers.
In 2020, Isabel Haley, along with business partner Ashley Rooney, could see that one challenge affected two industries - the Irish craft manufacturers and American retailers who sell their products.
Traditionally, business was conducted in person. Buyers would come to Ireland and meet with makers they’d known for years and years - but COVID really slowed things down and like everything pre-covid the landscape has changed dramatically. In-person trade still holds value but a support channel to keep the conversation and commerce flowing throughout the rest of the year is of equal importance.
"The very best way for people to fall in love with Ireland is to visit," explains Isabel Haley, Executive Director of the North American Celtic Trade Association and co-founder of ANAM Craft Marketplace. "The second best way is to encounter Ireland through the artistry of its talented crafters. Beautifully designed, and often handcrafted - these are the tangible items that build bonds and connections from the heart."
A New Online Marketplace for Irish Craft & Design
"E-commerce is the obvious bridge to connect everyone, but online wholesale options had been very limited in the past," Rooney said. "We built ANAM Craft to serve the needs of the busy store owner, both those who have a Celtic focus as well as those shops that try to provide high-quality craft and design for their customers. There’s fine jewelry, luxurious throws & blankets, ceramics and an entire home & living section, as well as knitwear, skincare and beauty products, and some really fun books for everyone!
"What’s great about this process is we’ve retained the most vital aspect: the direct connection between Maker and Buyer. When you shop on ANAM Craft Marketplace, in many cases you’re talking directly with the person who designed or made the product. These are the brightest and some of the most talented makers. It deserves to be showcased on every Main Street in America."
Beyond the low-quality souvenirs of St. Patrick’s Day
"Sometimes people hear the word Celtic, and they imagine cute little shamrocks and think they have the whole picture. Irish craft and design are sophisticated, stunning - and most importantly from a business perspective, very easy to sell. Truth in origin, sustainability, and quality-made are all part of the consumer conversation," said Haley.
One in four Americans claim some sort of Irish ancestry. "There’s absolutely a hunger for the traditional favorites - the Claddagh, the Celtic crosses - but that really represents only a tip of the iceberg,” Rooney said. Herself the owner of Celtic Aer, a successful Irish store in New York, she keeps an eye out for the brands that are doing something new and exciting. “Someone like McConnell Woollen Mills - obviously they have a long legacy for quality, but they’re also always right in step with the trends customers want to be wearing.”
Building Business: A Living Wage for Irish Craft Manufacturers
Helping Irish craft and design brands extend their reach far beyond the traditional market is one of ANAM Craft’s top priorities. “Many of these brands have never been online before, or they’ve only done a limited amount of business. One of the advantages ANAM Craft Marketplace provides is exposure to new and different customers.
When you’re talking about the craft and design industry, what you’re really talking about is small business. Many shops operate with less than a dozen people. In order to keep these businesses alive and growing, they need fair access to the market. Wholesale represents a real growth opportunity for many of these makers. Sales to the American market can help provide the financial stability they need to pay their employees a true living wage.”
A Simple Route to Growth for Irish Craft & Design
Buyers come to ANAM Craft Marketplace because they want to discover things they’ve never seen before. It’s a 24/7, 365-day showroom that’s easy to shop wholesale. "We’ve made things convenient and accessible for Makers and Buyers alike who are new to international wholesale - all orders, payment processing, fulfillment, and customer service is handled through a single portal. Everything is safe and secure, so store owners can concentrate on finding their next best-selling item.
“Accessing wholesale pricing on ANAM Craft Marketplace is really easy. Business owners just register for a free account, and once their info is verified, they’re able to shop thousands of products from the hearts & hands of our participating talented makers. All of our Makers are from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, or the US, so you know you’re getting the genuine article,” Haley explained.
To learn more about ANAM Craft Marketplace visit their website.