Craft Cooperatives
A cooperative is a business that is formed by a group of people to obtain services more effectively or more economically as a group than they can obtain on their own. Members of craft a cooperative own, finance, control, and operate the business for their mutual benefit.

A significant number of professionals produce crafts in the United States. But they often have difficulty realizing maximum return for their production.

Cooperatives have long been the organizational device for helping people meet 
problems beyond their individual capabilities. While the cooperative approach does not necessarily assure success, it does provide an opportunity to bring together needed resources to overcome many problems. Like the sole proprietorship, partnership, or investor -owned corporation, a cooperative
must operate as a business if it is to succeed

Craft cooperatives, guilds, or informal organizations have been of major importance in solving marketing problems faced by crafters.
Lack of market contact. Craft producers who live in isolated rural areas often
have limited access to markets. They are often forced to accept whatever price is
offered for their craft products. Isolation may also create a lack of awareness of
what is marketable in metropolitan areas. Lack of access to supply sources.
Production of quality crafts requires the use of quality supplies. The same isolation that separates many craft producers from potential markets also restricts the
availability of supplies needed to produce craft products.
Craft Cooperative Activities

The needs of craftspeople depend on location, the type of craft produced, skill levels, and other factors. A cooperative’s membership must determine what is needed and how to meet those needs. In general, cooperatives have found
it advantageous to assist in such areas as marketing, production assistance, and obtaining technical assistance for producers. A comprehensive program to assist members offers the greatest potential for success. Marketing—Numerous potential craft markets go untapped because producers are either unaware they exist or
are unable, individually, to supply that market. A craft cooperative can link the
production capabilities of its members with a wide array of markets. Successful
linkage not only increases the producer ’s income, but benefits the buyer.

How to find Craft Cooperatives:
To find the Craft Cooperative in your area check with your state office or you can purchase our Report #33 Craft Cooperatives in the US


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