Whilst the high street laments the ascent of Amazon and their ilk, brashly undercutting and making it oh-so-easy to get endless streams of clutter straight to your door (even on a Sunday!); there’s another story of internet commerce – the rise of the creatives and crafters.
Thanks to platforms like Etsy, Folksy and Not on the High Street, giving up your corporate job to sew, knit or make your way to a modest living is a realistic prospect when you have an outlet bigger than an occasional local craft stall. Instagram is a treasure trove of like-minded (let’s be honest, often middle class mummy) creatives and small family companies developing and crafting to fill the niches the high street does not; and using visual social media to involve you in their brand and their own story.
Through follows, hashtag exploration, and careful placement and tagging of products in pictures from accounts I admire, I’ve connected to and bought from several start-ups. Honestly, more for 2-year-old A than for me, perhaps because it’s easier to justify cute touches and outfits for her than in the rest of our quite minimalist home. Most of it has been due to buying into an aesthetic played out online – all proof that the unexpected side effect of the PR-dominated channels are working very well in favour of those individuals who understand how to craft a narrative as well as a product themselves.
I wanted to show you some of the lovely makers, doers and small businesses I continue to follow, because I love what they sell, but I also love their pictures and stories – I don’t feel marketed at, I feel like I have a relationship, and will support them with my business in the same way I try to make use of the local fishmonger – because I like what they do, having something custom to me, and I think our community is richer for their presence.