But in the last five years or so craft has become the new cool, and suddenly I am swamped with opportunities to purchase funky quality hand made items at the same or less cost than any mass produced imported department store tat. Perth Upmarket started small about four years ago and is now a quarterly phenomenon. http://www.perthupmarket.com.au/
This related magazine will give you a good idea of where I'm coming from here.
You can't move your elbows at these weekend events held at the local Uni, with hundreds of creative and entrepreneurial folk peddling their wares to a cashed-up crowd who are all gagging for it. I got down there last Sunday to do some Christmas shopping for our UK family we are soon to visit. How cute is this felt trivet I bought for my food stylist sister in law:
The joyous observation to make here is that finally people are cottoning on to the value of handmade locally produced goods that are unique and don't have to travel through a complex global supply chain. Hopefully the creative value intrinsic within these items also means consumers will be able to appreciate the work taken to produce them, and feel less of a need to buy so much.
Not that I want to be a smug 'been there done that', but I had my own foray into craft commercialisation about six years ago at the point when this was all just about to go off, with my vintage inspired tea towel business Patsy and Clive.
It was lots of fun, but after a year or so when I tallied up what it had cost me and how much I made back, well, best not go there. So when I get tempted to feel envious of these creative types standing behind their wares, taking cash hand over fist for a day, I sagely remind myself of the endless hours and effort and expense that is involved in getting to market in this creative economy. For the time being I'm loving being a consumer rather than producer. But who knows, maybe I'll dip a toe in the craft pool again one day.