The Producers

Posted by Rob Walker on July 2, 2006
Posted Under: Consumed,DIYism

Today in Consumed: My Paper Crane: A wave of indie entrepreneurs who see DIYism as an ethic, not an aesthetic.

Heidi Kenney is a married mother of two, and she likes to sew and make things. The fact that these things include dolls in the shape of giant tampons is perhaps the first clue that she is not exactly a housewife in the 1950’s-sitcom mold. Kenney, who is 28 and lives outside Baltimore, makes and sells a variety of stuffed, anthropomorphized objects — the tampon dolls are among her best sellers — like doughnuts, toast and toilet-paper rolls. She does this under the auspices of her one-woman brand, My Paper Crane, making her part of a wave of independent businesses selling handmade toys, clothing, soap, jewelry, housewares and other items.

Do-it-yourself products are now at the center of everything from the DIY Network on cable television to Craft magazine, due out in the fall. All of this raises the question of what D.I.Y.-ism is really all about — is it an ethic or just an aesthetic? While the phenomenon may be on the brink of producing a few craft-world celebrities — the stars of “Stylelicious” on DIY, for example — stories like Kenney’s open a window on a sprawling community of small entrepreneurs and consumers, which seems to have a completely different set of goals. . . . Continue reading at the NYT Magazine site via this no-registration-required link.

A Few Related Links: My Paper Crane; Indie Craft Documentary; Craftster; Craftivism; Craft Revolution; Craft stuff on Make blog; Craft Mag Flickr group; Etsy online craft store; Fred Flare online store. There are many, many craft-related sites directly tied in to this scene or movement or whatever you care to call it, so I’m sure I’m leaving out important things, but this is a start…

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

Hi Rob. Thanks for your reply to my email. I tagged this blog post on Good stuff.

Written By Mary Anne Davis on July 4th, 2006 @ 9:09 am
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