That’s SOOOO Yesterday!

That’s SOOOO Yesterday

Does anyone else find it amazing how much our fellow friends, co-workers, family members, etc; live in the past? A few things come to mind, including: MySpace, LA Gear, Palm, etc. So what’s the point? Move to where the puck is going, not where it’s been – to take a page out of the sport of hockey. Success in all sorts of business requires forward-thinking and taking small risks in endeavors that seem a bit at the cutting edge. The biggest gains are made being ahead-of-the-trend, not chasing yesterday’s trends.

Even online, there are old-school ways of doing all sorts of things. Think AOL. There is a point in this rambling. Made in America is just now gaining traction because fellow Americans absolutely GET that the future of this outstanding country is well within our control – but it’s a choice each and every day. As we gain momentum here at it’s a humbling reminder that ideas that were once just an idea on the back of a napkin can be real, and can be really big. Globalization is SOOOO yesterday, and it’s an idea that has proven problematic for many reading this right now. The path forward for our country is pretty clear, and it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of how big it’ll be. Join this crusade – the puck is moving quickly! Let’s go.

Lost in the shuffle

Not only is it an increasingly difficult environment to compete in with regards to selling quality handmade goods, but popular online mediums are so crowded now that it’s trying to truly standout in the crowd. But in every challenge lies an opportunity.  aftcra recognizes this, and that is why we dedicated our site to handmade goods proudly made by American hands – and American hands only!

Here at aftcra, we recognize that not only is it necessary to exhibit raw talent, but also to exhibit within a medium where your products won’t be easily lost.  The thing is, retail is tough and in general commoditized, which isn’t optimal for the market that artisans like you are trying to address.  There is just too much mass-produced “stuff” in the marketplace today – plenty of it being made outside of the USA. This means the competition for placement of goods is fierce, and the pricing concessions that must be made oftentimes crush the financial rationale for producing the goods in the first place.


My belief is that we make our own luck and set our own trends. Decide to differentiate yourself, and break from the mold of the crowd – it is challenging and a bit uncomfortable, but it’s better to be ahead of the crowd than behind it. Help us, help you; and choose to be highlighted rather than lost in the shuffle.

EXECUTION – It’s the only thing!

Ideas, ideas, and ideas – everyone has the next game changing idea. I’m sure you’d agree with me that most people like to share their business ideas but rarely execute on them. So today we’re writing about something that you’ve accomplished as a small business owner – the act of execution! Execution is the only thing that matters in the end. It’s the major step in starting a business that aspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs need to think long and hard about.

What is execution and why does it matter? Execution is defined as: The carrying out or putting into effect of a plan, order, or course of action. At aftcra, we have learned how difficult this can be over the last couple of years. What started out as an idea quickly morphed into a constant challenge of execution – web development, social media integrations, online payments, etc. What that means is an idea is only about 5% of a total project (although absolutely critical). The other 95% of the project is tackling one thing at a time.

What I’m trying to say is, starting a business isn’t easy. We know how many long hours get put into your job to make sure that your product is exactly what you intended. We understand all of the other challenges that come along with being a business owner. We appreciate all of the blood, sweat and tears you put into your work and your company every day.

We believe that, by continuing to follow our passion and enhance aftcra, “Crafted by American Hands” will become something that creates a lot of value and promotes a movement that we are all proudly contributing to…


Creating your own destiny… Crafting your future with your own hands

Forget, for just a moment, the headlines that you have heard on a daily basis seemingly for the last ten or so years. I don’t know about you, but I’ve grown tired of being a spectator of the demise of just about everything. Is there hardship out there? Sure there is. Times are tough, people are hurting, and to be frank it isn’t a whole lot of fun. But the way I calculate it, if you live to be 100, every year that passes is 1% of your life. Don’t let a few tough years stop you from doing something. I’ve witnessed, as many of us have, that there are plenty of people out there taking control of their own destiny’s around the US. It’s an ever-resilient nation, which continually re-invents itself.

The best thing about crafting your future from your very own hands is that you, not some corporation, control the direction of your life and business. It’s not as if corporations are bad (they aren’t). The point of this post is that in my strong belief that, if you want a particular outcome, you ought to do it yourself. This is one reason that my family founded aftcra. We saw a unique opportunity to create a community of like-minded people that are looking to control their own destiny. The fire in your belly that comes from deciding to truly create your own future is contagious.

Over two years ago when our business was incepted, it seemed like the obstacles were constantly thrown in our direction. How on earth would we move this forward? We decided, like you should – one customer at a time! And then we took action. We began grinding weekly for progress. Today, we are on the cusp of our beta launch, and we’ve achieved a lot, but are just getting started. Our community is growing, and represents what we think is a large subset of this great population!

The fact is, time flies by. Opportunities come and go. But one thing remains very constant: the will of one to succeed is greater than any outside force. We’re just getting started here, and we’ve taken matters into our own hands. Try it anyway you can (via aftcra or not), as it’s exhilarating. Should you choose to join our community, you can expect dealing with like-minded people who have a passion for American crafted, handmade goods. Somehow I think we’re on to something…

Really looking forward to this journey,