I met with Elizabeth Ramos a while back to talk about the upcoming Indie Craft Parade. We discussed why and how the event got started and other questions of craft in Greenville. It was an interesting conversation and if you're looking for a full explanation of the event, in Elizabeth's own words, watch her Pecha Kucha presentation. That being said, the part of the conversation that really struck a chord with me was a broader question of why are we experiencing a craft revival. From beer and food to jewelry and art people are searching out more hand crafted goods. Why is this?
Elizabeth's initial answer was great, “We’re tired of stuff”
Amen to that. But, why is this? Is it because the economy ain't doing so well. So, people are saving some money by planting their own gardens and making their own jewelry and, if they get lucky, making a little cash by selling these products as well? That's part of the answer, but it can't be the whole answer.
Everything that you buy that is handmade has a story behind it and people look for that story...
Somebody is behind this product, making it in their garage or bedroom and the personal nature and authenticity of it is something people long for...
There is a desire for true, for the real.
And when I ask, "but why now" Elizabeth answers,
We are tired of stuff. We are tired of being marketed to. We are looking for authentic goods.
Well said and true, but I’m still not sure about the “why now” part. Is it that we, as a society, have hit our crap product saturation point and now demand a better product with a proper story? This is a romantic notion, but is it a sustainable truth? I'm not sure.
Could hand crafted goods be nothing more than a trend? No better than skinny jeans and silly bandz. There is no doubt some truth to this.
If we look back at the fondue pots in our culture's junk closet it's clear different food and art trends catch fire and fall back. But my hope is some the of the underlying philosophies of events for such as the Indie Craft Parade are planted for the future.
I must say, from all the care and thought that has been put into the upfront work for Indie Craft Parade I have no doubt the event will be wonderful. You should all go and bring your friends, families and enemies. It's September 10th and 11th at the Huguenot Mill in Greenville.