Hi fediverse! Boosts appreciated on this one.

I’m part of a co-op building a platform for artists to sell art without getting exploited. I’ve been working on it for a while but there’s a lot of work to do and I could use some help. A ton of the main features are in place, but there’s still some big gaps and a lot of polish left before it can launch.

The platform is fully open source and developed in the open. It’s built on Phoenix/Elixir and Tailwindcss. Our co-op is already incorporated and established and it’s open to members that want to actually commit but you don’t need to be a member to contribute or help.

Does this sound interesting? I’d love some help! I’m also happy to answer questions. And no, you don’t need to know Elixir already. It’s pretty easy to learn for the things you’d be using it for. Even some design help would be welcome. Feel free to reply here or DM me!

@zkat Hi, I'm one of the developers of @bonfire a federated extensible framework also written in Elixir. Have you considered how federation could play a role in your project?

@mayel @bonfire I'm not opposed to federating it, but federation would not benefit the most core features that I'm currently working on, imo. I think there's some interesting opportunities when it comes to discovery/art sharing, though.

@zkat @bonfire
Yeah that's the kind of stuff I was thinking about (as well as roaming identity). Have prototyped some topic/taxonomy based federated search and discovery...

@zkat I certainly agree that there is a need for a safe and effective way artists to sell their art. Galleries have never been a great deal and most of those that I've worked with went out of business during the pandemic. My own solo experience with online sales have been abysmal.

What is the end goal of your co-op's Web work? How does/will your platform support the members?

@zkat damn sounds interesting to me but I don't know tailwind css

@ogstu if you know frontend and css, tailwind is... really not that hard to just learn. It just works nice for our particular component-based architecture. I didn't know tailwind at all before this and it's grown on me.

And I really need help with design 😅

@zkat I'm not sure how much help I can be, but I'm interested. I'm barely a programmer, but I write and edit pretty well. hey, i've worked with elixir/phoenix/tailwind and even have an app using that same stack (quoted below lol 😅)
i'd be happy to pitch in if there's any need for a feature or something, is the repo available publically?


@shibao yeah the repo is over at and there's a pinned issue with the remaining roadmap for MVP. Most of the remaining work is actually frontend work, but there's a lot of need to test/bugfix what's already there, and a couple of features to still flesh out.

@zkat hey! i'd love to work together. can you tell me about employment with the co-op? is this a volunteer role?

@garbados right now, the co-op only has two worker-members, but we're not getting paid because we're not making any money yet (in fact, I'm financing the whole thing out of my own pocket, which has been a pain tbh).

So any collaboration here would be community-based.

We *are* asking people who do non-trivial contributions to track their hours so that we can (someday) start compensating folks (including ourselves), but that's a long way off and there's no guarantee about how _much_ those hour credits will be worth or how to get paid for them. Additionally, if someone ends up becoming a core member of the project, we'll most likely have them join the co-op proper, which would make them co-owners and thus have a concrete say in governance/voting and a cut of profits (someday)

@zkat ah, i see. unfortunately my bandwidth for volunteer work is booked up 😬

@garbados that's fine. I know it's rough to ask people to volunteer their time and I hate doing it, but also I care enough about seeing this come to fruition that I felt it was ok to ask anyway :)

side question 

@zkat why does it say on the website "LLC" and not "cooperative" though?

re: side question 

@huy_ngo This is a really interesting question to answer! A "Cooperative corporation" is a _very_ specific kind of entity in the US, and comes with certain restrictions that make it very hard for a small business that's just starting up (notably, once incorporated, every single person working for it needs to be paid minimum wage. And we literally can't afford that and are doing volunteer work right now).

Many many _many_ small co-operatives actually choose to incorporate as LLCs because those provide enough flexibily to define an operating agreement that encodes the cooperative principles, without needing to stick to the restrictions of the formal cooperative corporation. has some great resources on this, particularly this guide:

So we have an OA that baaaasically makes us a co-op, but we can still operate as a startup without needing to take on outside investors (and thus maintaining strict worker ownership)

@zkat Hey there. I'm a graphic designer / animator mostly working in logo design. I don't have much going on right now and this sounds like a neat project, so I might be interested in volunteering some work. If you're looking for that kind of stuff.

@cjrando holy cow that would be amazing 🤩 we do have a logo now but I wonder if there’s a different idea that would be nice. In either case it would also be great to hear how you think a platform like this could benefit artists like you, since it’s primarily for digital art!

@zkat I might hop on. I'm not big on Discord, unfortunately.

And yeah, logos tend to be pretty fluid in the early phases of anything. It's good to iterate, and also think beyond just a logo, to establish a visual identity and design aesthetic.

I don't know that the site would benefit me, per se. I don't really sell art. I do freelance (and pro bono) design. So, like, mostly I need places to find clients. :)

@cjrando the whole point of the site is to basically freelance out custom work, not sell pre made art!

@cjrando also if Discord isn’t your thing, does collaborating right on GitHub work?

@zkat hi I'm interested in offering volunteer dev services. I have some experience with Elixir and fair bit with functional languages generally

I do back end / devops work and am happy to help with either. I can't say I know a lot of front end but am happy to learn :) where do yall organize?

@zkat hi, I’d be interested in helping contribute dev work! And maybe someee design if I’m not too rusty. Is it okay if I request to join the discord?

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