Introducing Local

A new opportunity for local artisans

Li Jin has written at length about the new Creator Economy and it’s opportunities:

“Digital platforms enable people to earn a livelihood in a way that highlights–rather than commoditizes–their individuality. We envision a future in which the value of unique skills and knowledge can be unlocked, augmented, and surfaced to consumers.”

Yet despite the rich cultural heritage of many communities, local artisans face many hardships to access these opportunities. Geographic boundaries, climate change, internet literacy and gated algorithms become barriers to accessing the growing online economy.

What could be the value of artisans finding and connecting with their 100 true fans?Could new tools address these barriers and birth a long-term creator middle class?

Blockchains, decentralised social media, and novel storage technologies provide a new path. Artisans have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with a global market, preserve their stories in perpetuity, and find financial stability. Our team at Local believes connecting artisans to digital content creators and web3 technologists is the key to bridge the gap.

Project Local will serve as a lab to understand the potential of these connections. To begin, we will be collaboratively launching a limited edition NFT, redeemable for handmade physical crafts. Over time, our hope is that the digital collectibles will become a perpetual public gallery and archive within the digital public commons.

Local aims to make artisanal crafts available to all.

Hands of local artisan
Hands of local artisan

Lean ops, max impact

Local is comprised of a small team of independent artists. I’ll be the main contact and easily reachable on Twitter @rafathebuilder if you have any questions.

Similar to Folklore, Project Local will be a zero-profit operation. This means that all donations gathered from this project are distributed to local artists contributing to the work, contractors (e.g. technical support), and artisans for their physical crafts.

At the moment, we are aiming to use ~30% of the donations to recoup the cost of our first drop, and channel 70% of the funds to local artisans who will be participating in the project. This core design will offer a competitive option vs. physical stores, which take 50% of revenue from artisanal craft sales and only pay post-sale.

A future of connection

We believe the potential for blockchain enabled commerce is significant. Instead of relying on centralised algorithms or painfully onboarding to web3 alone, collaboration with digital creators would allow the each artisan’s stories and crafts lead to fair demand and advocacy. Specifically, we envision a world where artisans find their 100 true fans and build a sustainable community of patronage.

The benefits go beyond building a dedicated fan base. Artisans today struggle with inventory. They have to make their craft without any pre-payment and then sell at thin margins. NFTs would allow artisans to hold negative inventory (commissions) and sell at a fair global market price. In short, the model is reversed: sell first (NFTs) then make the craft (upon redemption). NFTs can democratize the priviledges reserved for creators with an active patron community: passive discovery and a commission pipeline.

Lastly, blockchain technology unlocks a new social network. NFTs connect digital content creators to physical makers and global fans. As a result, NFTs offer a path to nurture and strengthen local community ties between generations and industries.

Project Local can help unlock new trade through shared cultural passion.

Local Redemptions

Our first NFT Drop is called Local Redemptions. The collection is fully designed and executed by our core team (although we might need some coding help!). It will consist of an audiovisual asset exploring the relationships between dataism, cultural compression, context collapse and our artisanal heritage.

The collection will consist of 5 assets: (1) one free Subscriber NFT (Open Edition), (2) an Early Access Pass, and (3-5) three Redemption NFTs. Subscribe to this blog for upcoming announcements. We expect to launch sometime in March 2023, exact date pending.

The three Redemption NFTs will be tailored to three curated artisans from Puerto Rico. One NFT for each artisan. We’ve gathered a database of hundreds of certified artisans and hand-selected three for this initial drop (wood, bone, and ceramic).

Redemption NFT owners will be able to redeem a physical craft made by the curated artisans from Puerto Rico. Drops will be accompanied by a profile for the local artisan (video documentary) and photographs of their craft.

The claim can be executed anytime within a year of purchasing the Redemption NFT and will require "locking the NFT” (making the NFT as a non-transferrable asset until the physical good delivery is complete). At this point, our team will coordinate with the artisan to make the craft, and ship it to you anywhere in the world once the craft is complete. In other words, each artisanal craft will be made-to-order.

Redemption NFTs (priced between 0.3 and 0.5 ETH) will be limited editions with a small supply ranging from 3 to 15. The low supply is directly related to the work involved in creating the physical crafts. For each NFT there will be a redemption fee that triggers the creation and delivery of the artisanal craft. This fee will vary on the complexity of the craft, materials, and shipping destination.

Artisanal crafts. From left to right: wood-carved fruit and coquí, wood-carved saint (Virgin Mary), ceramic vase, stone sculpture, carnival mask.
Artisanal crafts. From left to right: wood-carved fruit and coquí, wood-carved saint (Virgin Mary), ceramic vase, stone sculpture, carnival mask.

The first Early Access pass holders (suggested donation of ~0.05 ETH) will have access to the mint for 24 hours prior to the public announcement. In addition, if all works well, Early Access owners will receive a small artisanal gift in exchange for their support. If you would like to reserve a spot, you can DM me at @rafathebuilder on Twitter.

And of course, we will do a free open edition (Subscriber NFT) for the entire community. This will be serve as an early-adopter badge and access token for any future community events. As an advocate of Local Artisans, you can collect all 5 to complete the set. Looking forward to seeing the curation on GALLERY.

All donations from Writing NFT collections (like this post) will go to fund the project as well, allowing us to increase the number of artisans that work with us.

Join the Redemption Tour

We’ve currently planned one drop to test out our approach. If successful, we will explore connecting with artisans from around the world. Redemption NFT holders will have the option to participate in the location curation. If you believe your country should participate in Local, please send me a message on Twitter (@rafathebuilder).

Other notes and disclaimers

This is an independent art experiment made with love and passion. The roadmap may change at any time based on team priorities. Note that there is no expectation of financial gain, value increase or other financial rewards. All usual crypto disclaimers apply to this project. For example: nothing here is financial advice, there is high volatility, illiquidity, and uncertainty in crypto. Please only mint an NFT if you want to support our experiment, we will do our best to complete the plan we laid out above. If we’re successful, who knows, maybe we can make this a regular thing.

Hands of local artisan
Hands of local artisan
Subscribe to Local
Receive the latest updates directly to your inbox.
Mint this entry as an NFT to add it to your collection.
This entry has been permanently stored onchain and signed by its creator.