Artisan workshop business arrives in London to ‘shake up’ craft industry

European artisan workshop community, Wecandoo, which empowers artisans to monetise their craft by teaching a wider consumer audience through workshops, has launched in the UK following a successful half a decade in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Wecandoo provides an opportunity to explore new skills and memorable experiences through face-to-face workshops, whilst empowering local artisans to grow their business and educate on the heritage and skill of craftsmanship, such as perfume-making, leather-working, mushroom-growing and more.

Since its conception in 2017, the Paris based business has supported over 2,500 artisans across Europe, from jewellers, potters and woodcarvers to weavers, brewers and leather smiths, by facilitating over 250,000 consumer interactions.

Each month, Wecandoo distributes €1m (approx. £863k) worth of sales to its local artisan community through workshop bookings, with the aim of keeping traditional craftsmanship and creative skills profitable for local business owners.

Before launching in Paris five years ago, founders Edouard Eyglunent, Grégoire Hugon and Arnaud Tiret (pictured below) travelled around France, meeting artisans to find out why there are so many misconceptions around their work, particularly related to the cost of craft.

After collating a community of local artisans and setting up the Wecandoo platform, they confirmed the need for such a marketplace after early artisan partners saw a 40 per cent increase in business activity. Since then the business has entered three new markets, employs over 60 staff currently, and raised €3.2m (approx. £2.8m) in funding in 2021.

With the number of people in the UK buying craft reaching 37.7 million in 2020, Wecandoo’s opportune launch offers artisans the much-needed support to capitalise on this burgeoning market and replicate the success the business has found across Western Europe.

Starting in London, there are currently 75 workshops available with 40 local artisans onboard, expected to grow to 200 workshops and 100 artisans by December. Wecandoo estimates that each of these artisans can earn approximately £1,000 extra per month through their workshops.

Given a report by the Crafts Council found 46 per cent of British craft makers identify their biggest training requirement is learning how to use online platforms to sell their work, Wecandoo acts as a ‘pillar of support’ by not only promoting workshops on the platform, but also investing in content production and social media marketing to promote their work.

Edouard Eyglunent, co-founder of Wecandoo, commented: “At Wecandoo we offer a platform that takes care of promotion, bookings and admin, so they can focus their energy into creating beautiful objects and unforgettable experiences that will inspire others to continue to learn more about artisanal craftsmanship.”

By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

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