Wednesday, 15 June 2011


My lovely husband brought me a little present with the weekly shop on Saturday morning, the first edition of this brand new glossy magazine. Even better, it was presented with the thoughtful comment 'this is not because I think you need help to sell things, I just thought it was more interesting than getting you Hello magazine or something'. Ahhhh.

I really enjoyed looking through this magazine and hope it progresses to give lots more advice and support for those of us selling crafts in person and online. At the moment it's very focused on how to set up a business, and gives lots of patterns which the designers have given permission to sell - very unusual for a craft magazine! I don't think I'll be making anything directly from the magazine but it does have lots of great tips for suppliers and supplies, packaging, photography and presentation that I found really useful. I did get a bit huffy when I noticed the 'monster knits' tutorial for a phone pocket (on the bottom right of the photo) was very similar to how I remembered the DS pouch I made as a gift in 2009, but then I always have to remind myself that four people invented photography at about the same time and my monster was a home-made version of a well known Japanese creation so who am I to criticise!

Each of the projects are rated for skill level and most of them are easy, so if you do fancy having a go, I can recommend it. There is the usual blend of inspirational success stories from established craft entrepreneurs and advice from Etsy UK staff, too. There was a free gift of 'professional stickers' to finish off your crafty creations but I they were all pastelly colours and they wouldn't have tempted me to pick up the magazine any more than the content. I think a more useful gift would have been advice on how to design your own packaging and a link to some free collage sheets or fonts or similar but then, I am sure those new to crafting may have found a quick fix even more enticing. All in all, a good read, and I'll be interested to see if the magazine develops to cater for crafters at a more advanced stage of making and selling their own self-designed wares.


Lynnski said...

Where did your hubby pick this up, think I'd like a copy! :)

Girl_Industries said...

In Tesco - are you in the UK, Lynn?

Claire said...

I have to say I was pretty horrified by the concept of this magazine when I got an email about it a few weeks ago, but I realise I may be in the minority!

The idea of having a magazine give you patterns of stuff to make to sell, tell you how and where to sell it makes me sad for the people who have genuine talent and ideas and work so hard to get their work out there. I'm all for people to be encouraged to be creative, don't get me wrong, just think that encouraging people to make a quick buck in this way is fundamentally wrong.

It's also just adding to the complete over-running of Etsy and Folksy, etc with stuff assembled from kits or bringing the tone of "craft" back down to where so many people have tried to elevate it from, in my humble opinion.

So - I won't be reading it myself, but I was interested to hear about it :)

Girl_Industries said...

I agree, Claire, and the thing that really gave me the heebie jeebies was the outright encouragement of people to set up as cake pop baker/sellers without much of a nod to hygiene legislation, appropriate packaging, pricing structures, sourcing ingredients and so on...

I'm struggling to articulate things well here, but I fear that this kind of magazine is currently

a) setting false expectations for people who can do a bit of crochet or whatever and think there's a quick buck in it

b) blurs the boundaries established by other magazines about the usual restrictions on use of patterns etc

c) at risk of flooding sites like Etsy and Folksy with oodles of poorly-executed stuff that is 18 months off trend

d) missing a potentially lucrative gap in the market to actually be a useful resource for people who have great ideas and skills in terms of craft and design but little or no business background.

e) its layout and presentation is off-putting. It's too glossy, old-fashioned and has no coherent visual style. I think for a fiver it looks incredibly cheap, and I'd like to see something more on a par with Making magazine, which seems a bit more modern, cohesive and dare I say, artistic?

Lynnski said...

Yeah, I'm in Glasgow, same as you :) I'm really just curious to see what it's like, but if its as horrendous as you and Claire are describing it, I may well give it a miss! :-0

Girl_Industries said...

It's definitely not the best use of a fiver I can think of :)

Claire said...

To be clear, I haven't read it, but my opinion is formed solely on the marketing blurb I got emailed. Still horrified :)