Woodworkers and other Custom Providers Get their Due
Wired Magazine says we’re “The New Industrial Revolution”
This weekend I received my Feb 2010 Wired Magazine in the mail and was thrilled to see the cover story, “The New Industrial Revolution” written by editor-in-chief Chris Anderson. Informative and inspiring, it portrayed custom makers and designers of all different types as drivers of the new economy.
The article focused mostly on the designers who have used the democratization of the web to band together, come up with ideas, and crowdsource designs in unique ways. Anderson also discusses the manufacturing companies, both domestic and abroad, that are now better equipped for “small batch” (aka Custom) orders.
“[Small Batch] can broadly refer to businesses focused more on the quality of their products than the size of the market. They’d rather do something they were passionate about than go mass…Walmart, and all the compromise that comes with it, is no longer the only pathway to success.”
Whether you call it small batch, CustomMade, artisanal or something else, it’s a movement, and it’s happening now. Consumers feel it – purchasing Custom is a fulfilling experience. Makers feel it – relying for years on hit-or-miss marketing, they can now unite on websites like our own to grow the entire market. Designers and “Garage Entrepreneurs” feel it – developing new ideas and selling them on the mass market level, an accomplishment not previously thought possible.
One surprise was that so much of Anderson’s article talked about Chinese manufacturers. If small batch custom products are in fact the “New Industrial Revolution”, then the United States needs to make sure they’re keeping pace. Luckily, we already have artisans across the nation handcrafting quality work, as well as innovators such as Local Motors of Wareham, MA (featured in the article) eager to lead the charge.
How can you take part in the revolution?
1) Buy local. Find someone in your region to handcraft your designs. On our site, you can always search by location to find local artisans to support.
2) Slow down. Don’t rush out to buy poorly crafted products from stores that don’t actually meet your needs. Take the time to think about what you want and purchase small batch and custom items you won’t have to toss after a year.
3) Share. Custom products always tell a great story so share those with friends. Be an advocate for custom manufacturers online and offline.