Artisans, who must submit photos of their work to be approved, pay $10 a month or $100 a year fee plus a 7.5 percent commission for online sales. Artisans retain control of their inventory and are responsible for shipping items.
"They don't even have to have inventory," Thompson said, as long as the artisans can deliver on ordered products.
Thompson said money he collects goes to web administration costs and for advertising. He's not making money, especially so far, and that's not his goal.
For Philippi leather crafter Bear Ware, the site has worked out quite well.
Ware, who once had his own store and has sold leather belts and wallets at craft shows since the 1980s, said it isn't practical to venture to shows beyond his region because he can't make money when he factors in the travel costs.
The our-wv.com site expands his options greatly. He calls himself a "back-country hillbilly, but he has Internet access and has taught himself enough to check websites and email and handle transactions. He discovered our-wv.com while searching the Internet for craft fairs one day.
"It's nice to make a little extra money," said Ware, who was a coal mine electrician, a cross-country truck driver and even a cowboy in Montana before he retired.
"I also like to provide a service to the customer," he said.
Ware said his coal miner wallets and belts are quite popular and he's seen online sales both in West Virginia and beyond, something he'd likely not do otherwise.
"You can't find quality leather work any more," he said. "I try to keep my prices down and I guarantee everything for 10 years. I've never had one come back."
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.