Bronwyn Nesbitt
Bronwyn Nesbitt

The handmade revolution

One of the lifestyle trends that has continued to crack full steam ahead this year is the so-called craft or handmade revolution. With the good old US of A in the forefront, young, hip people are taking over what used to be considered our grandma’s domain. They’re knitting, crocheting, embroidering, quilting and sewing their own clothes. They’re recycling and reinventing found decor objects, painting, printing and creating an eclectic range and style of household furnishings and accessories.

This new breed of artists and crafters is mostly eco-conscious, placing emphasis on natural materials. They often look to the pattern and design styles of the early Seventies for decorative inspiration, updating it with a fresh and oh-so-hip design sensibility.

While the social commentators describe the handmade movement as a backlash against crass commercialism and over-consumption, savvy crafters, working from home-based businesses, are tapping into a growing cyber-network to sell their creations online.

Many crafters run their own blogs, trying to hook into the ever-expanding decor and design blogosphere. Etsy, catering solely to handmade producers, is the most popular and successful online store to date, providing thousands of crafters with a platform to flog their goods. The newly launched Poppy Talk online store, an outgrowth of the popular decor blog of the same name, is a second online outlet. And, while starting a blog or listing on Etsy is by no means a ticket to success because it’s so easy to get lost among the other sellers, a mention on an influential decor blog such as Decor8, Design Sponge or Bloesem can get your work noticed and send you well on your way to making it.

A collection of handmade items and art from the Bloesem decor blog

In an upcoming post I’ll take a look at Heather Moore, a young South African designer and illustrator who has cracked the decor blogosphere and is successfully selling her handmade range of tea towels, cushions and aprons both on- and offline.