Story of Peppaca
Thursday, October 08 2020 Steve Shen, the CEO of Peppaca
In June, 2012, I traveled to Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in China. The purpose of the trip was to pay a visit to a dear friend, who happened to be a passionate handicraft artist.
An unexpected outcome of the trip, however, was that I learned a lot about the handicraft business in China, and the associated culture that gave birth to the beautiful handcrafted products being made. The world of Chinese handicrafts (and the artists who inhabited it) fascinated me.
A Problem of Sustainability
After many in-depth discussions about the Chinese handicraft industry with my friend, I learned that most handicraft artists in the country barely turned enough of a profit to sustain their businesses.
The lack of profitability in the handicraft business has forced many talented artists to stop pursuing their craft. Many communities that have been making unique and intricate handicraft products over several generations have had to reluctantly stop passing on their specialized skills to their descendants, because there’s no money in the business.
It is not just their amazing skills that will die with them, but also the unique and cherished culture of a community that can no longer afford to keep it alive.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that this problem is not unique to China. Thousands of artists who create exquisite, unique, and culturally diverse handicraft products around the world are facing the same problem. Their inability to market their products and find customers who understand the value of their work who are interested in the story behind their works, has force many of them to abandon their passion for handicrafts.
Online Marketing for Artists
In the modern, digital world, where we can get anything we want with a click of a button, traditional artists and craftspeople often get left behind because they don’t know how to showcase their skills in the online marketplace.
Digital marketing platforms dedicated to handicraft products are few and far between. This makes it impossible for struggling craftspeople to promote their incredible works of art to the world.
When it comes to marketing, it is not just the traditional artists in China who are struggling. Small handicraft artists around the world, particularly those who do not speak English as their native language, face the same challenges, which prevent them from acquiring the global customer base that they deserve.
It was during these conversations with my friend that the idea for Peppaca was born. I realized that a professional and user-friendly marketing platform with reliable customer support was all that these small, traditional artists needed to reach a global audience of potential customers.
Honestly, the solution seemed so simple that I couldn’t believe no one had thought of it before. However, when I asked my friend about popular platforms like Etsy and Amazon Handmade, he confided that the customer support on these platforms was under people’s expectation far away, especially if you happened to live outside the ‘western world’.
As a seller on these platforms, he could never get the support he needed on time. Moreover, the big, established handicraft platforms demanded exorbitant fees from artists who wanted to list their products on their websites. This has made it impossible for small, independent handicraft makers to sell their products on such platforms.
Finding a New Mission
Perhaps the most heartbreaking thing that happened on my trip to China (which helped strengthen my resolve to start Peppaca), was that my friend had to quit his handicraft business. Like many of his fellow artists, he couldn’t make enough to sustain the business which had been his passion and dream since his school days. The fees for online platforms were too high, and with no marketing budget, the right buyers were hard to find.
It was then that I decided to create a marketing platform that would help passionate artists like my friend get the exposure and recognition they deserve. Peppaca would provide a home for the exquisite handicraft items created by talented artists around the world.
After all, each of these handcrafted items tells a story about the culture and the community that gave birth to it, and I believe that these stories need to be preserved for the generations to come.
In 2017, I formed a team to start building a global marketing platform for the buyers and sellers of handcrafted products around the world. We have worked hard to turn this dream into a reality. Finally, in 2019, we launched Peppaca, the first digital marketing platform created exclusively for handicraft lovers in every corner of the planet.
Small, independent artists can sell their handcrafted products on Peppaca with the minimum cost compare to peer platforms. We also offer two premium plans that are designed specifically to help medium and large businesses in the handicrafts sector find new customers through effective online marketing. For buyers, Peppaca offers reliable, round-the-clock customer support through our social media channels and also via email.
Our vision is: Preserve a culture, deliver a story!
Our guiding principle is: Customer satisfaction is our business priority!
And it is our mission to help traditional handicraft artists around the world to pursue their passion and tell their stories to the rest of humanity, while earning enough to sustain themselves and continue their work in comfort.
At Peppaca, we welcome sellers and buyers from every corner of the world. We are honored to have the opportunity to serve you. Let’s collaborate to bring the world together while maintaining the diversity of this incredible planet and the uniqueness of its many cultures.
We at Peppaca aim to make the world a more beautiful, colorful, and diverse place for the generations to come!