It's no secret that I'm a fan of independent producers. Why? For me it's a lifestyle choice. When I interact with an independent producer I can see who is producing my yarn, pattern or pie. I like to know about their process, where things were sourced and how they were put together.
The other thing about being in the independently produced habit is you find yourself drawn to a certain aesthetic and it becomes about crafting your personal style and way of living. Like many, I buy into that element too; I see myself as part of a certain tribe of women that dig handcrafts, love being outdoors, are practical and whose children run free and wild. Fine, I'm actually a more than slightly frazzled working Mum who rarely gets time to sit and craft these days but it's an aesthetic I'm drawn to nonetheless.
We all do that right? We all like the idea of our purchases reflecting who we are whether you're a 'global tribal' or 'urban modern' kind of woman. These are just a few of the phrases I see bandied around in advertising and I smile every time because in the choices we make as consumers, we are aligning ourselves with certain ideals whether I buy from a store (Whole Foods vs Tesco) or choose from the rich variety of independent producers out there.
It's why I do the work I do. Working with a host of independent designers, writers, publishers, dyers, and more means I am constantly in contact with some truly inspiring women who deserve to be successful. (Note: I say women because this is an industry that is predominantly but not exclusively made up of women working in their home, more on that later though). Successful means a many things: coping with their work load, being paid what they're worth, interacting with customers in a way that is fulfilling, balancing their business around life and family commitments. If I produce web copy or plan some publicity that helps make this happen, I'm a happy bunny indeed.
So I've decided to host a series of guest blogs and invited some of the most interesting indies currently working in the industry to talk about some of the issues that they feel strongly about. I'm hoping to start a conversation and I'm really hoping you will join in too. This might be a useful resource if you're thinking of starting your own business, food for thought if you're a consumer and hopefully a source of inspiration for all.
Let's love our indies!
Tomorrow I will be featuring a piece from Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns and why she's concerned about the Women's Institute's recent campaign featuring HobbyCraft.