We think there is nothing better than a Sunday spent trawling a car boot sale, flea market or Craft Fair. We love the thrill of the bargain and the unique often quirky indivdual items we find, hold pride of place on our shelves as we are sure no-one else has anything quite the same.
In the past few years the world of craft has moved away from our preconcieved idea of little old ladies from the WI, knitting baby clothes and loo roll covers. A whole new craft movement has sprung up around the world. Origininating from the US it is reminiscent of the beginings of the Indie music scene. The new generation of DIY radicals have redefined what craft is and made it their own, combining creativity and a determination to take their lives into their own hands.They use the internet to connect to other like minded people from around the world and to buyers who previously would'nt have been able to access their products.
Etsy is the Global online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade and has to be one of the cleverest websites we have come accross in a long time. It is possible to search for goods by colour using a picker tool to click on a colour and be connectd to sellers with products in that colour. You can also browse catagories in the traditional way, create a hand picked treasury of wish list items, find items from shops that have just sold something,or browse items by location.
There is a certain amount of trawling through to find what suits you and some of the products do still look a little too 'craftlike' for us. But we love the concept and the idea that we are buying something handmade and unique.
We think Etsy could change our shopping habits and enable us to connect with unique handmade products in way that has never been possible. Chris Anderson in his book 'The Long Tail' describes this niche strategy adopted by businesses like Etsy, that enable them to sell a large number of unique items, in relatively small quantities.
If you want to more about the fascinating world of Radical Craft in the US, put this new book on your Christmas wish list.
Handmade Nation: The rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl,
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson