This fall I finally heeded the urgings and support of friends and dance students by opening my own store - specifically, a store aimed a bellydancers for costuming, dance gear, hair flowers, and other crafts.
Initially, my idea was that I would work mainly on tribe, but then I soon realized the clunkiness and slow-speed of the site would be too hindering. Then, I considered ebay, but the addicting and untidy nature of auctions really turned me off. I wanted my online store to be calming, neatly arranged, and items to be priced in a way that reflected their value as a handmade good. I wanted coming into my store to be like walking into an old book store off a side street - a place full of comfort, soul, and soft incense. I wanted shoppers to come to me with questions or ideas for customized items... not feedback or bids.
Ultimately, I decided to open a store on etsy-an online forum for artists to display their wares at a very inexpensive listing price. Thus far, I've been extremely pleased with etsy's services, and I've only encountered a few glitches (my first international shipping order). The other great thing has been the online community. Everyone is really polite, interesting and interested, and unique. Most are craftspeople or fans of the arts, so people are sympathetic to the artists' dilhemma... to sell or not to sell.