Handmade Nation

Saturday Joe and I attended a screening of Handmade Nation at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The documentary, created by Faythe Levine, delves into what motivates crafters (or makers) to create and sell their wares. We met Faythe at Stitch Austin in 2007 when she was beginning her journey around the country and it was exciting to see how it all came together in the end. The comment within the documentary that resonated the most with me was, "If you don't like the culture you are living in, you have to create your own." Many of the makers interviewed commented on the DIY movement as one that is fed up with mass-produced goods and poorly made items from third world countries. I think that is something most crafters can associate with, as well as the desire to create upcycled, eco-friendly items. So many makers pride themselves on using recycled materials, as well as soy-based inks and other Earth-friendly supplies. And, as buyers, many of us tend to look for that when deciding on a purchase. I believe that the basis for the DIY movement in this day & age is the desire to express one's self creatively & to create unique, one-of-a-kind items that aren't mass-produced and allows you to be your true self instead of a cookie cutter image. Handmade Nation showed many of the interviewees working in the home studios and offices. It was especially interesting to hear how these crafters aren't just doing their own crafting, but also their own marketing, shipping, and bookkeeping. In truth, their entire business from top to bottom is DIY! When it all boils down to it, the best part of the documentary was seeing so many like-minded people doing what they love for all the right reasons. Check out the Handmade Nation blog for a schedule of screenings around the world.

Handmade Nation Products:

- Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design (Paperback) by Faythe Levine

- Handmade Nation Embroidery Patterns by Sublime Stitching