The Alaskan way of life is a bit simpler than life in the lower 48. Winters can be long and hard, and many jobs slow down during this time. Because of that, Alaskan’s have learned to adapt. One of the ways many adapt is by making high-quality, handcrafted items to sell on the side for extra income. The problem is many people don’t have the ability to find a large audience to sell their handcrafted items to.
Aaron and Sharon Toman, Alaskan natives, saw a unique opportunity. Seeing the success of Etsy, they thought if they could create a platform that allowed quality vendors to reach a wider audience, it could be a wonderful thing.
We set out to create a new brand and web experience that allowed vendors to connect with a global audience, and sell their high-quality products far and wide.
Living in Alaska has its difficulties, but overall it’s a gentle reminder of a simpler time. They wanted their brand to embody those qualities that they felt were unique.
We set out to create a brand look and feel that portrayed simplicity, high-quality, handmade, and a brand that could be trusted in front of a global audience.
The final brand we produced embodies all of the great qualities that make Alaska majestic. The logo is memorable, has a handmade feel to it, while also feeling trustworthy at first glance. Highly important characteristics for this new brand to be successful.
Following in the footsteps of Etsy would be no easy feat, but a challenge we were more than up for. In order for vendors to have complete control of the buying experience we knew a lot of custom features were in store.
We needed to create a site that vendors felt proud to be apart of. A site they’d be happy to send their customers to. With so many types of products being uploaded to the site, we needed to also create a buying experience that felt high-quality and consistent across every vendor.
There are two basic users of the site, vendors and customers, with two very different required features. Customers needed to be able to find what they’re looking for with little friction, and checkout easily no matter who the vendor was. Vendors needed to be able to sign up, set up their stores, and add products quickly and efficiently.
We created the design to be easy to navigate for both vendors and customers, while putting the vendors products front and center. We built AK Crafted’s website using WooCommerce, WordPress, and WC Vendors. With some custom PHP work on the front-end, vendor admin, and site admin, the website was complete.
See it in action below.