Makers Movement

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Craft-centric trends are gaining a larger audience thanks to clever marketing and merchandising.

Privately made creations and one-of-a-kind expressions have exploded in the marketplace as consumers evolve beyond faux-crafted goods that are made to emulate gourmet foods or boho-chic products. DIY tips and tricks can be found from a plethora of resources: websites (we love P.S.- I made this... and Design*Sponge), magazines (check out Ready Made and anything from how-to queen Martha Stewart), books (Apartment Gardening by Amy Pennington and Put 'em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton are approachable and informational), video tutorials, and marketplaces (a post on DIY would not be complete without mentioning Etsy).

The initial success of the DIY movement has been largely focused on economics. As consumers question who grows their produce, raises their cattle, and manufacturers their clothing overseas, make-it-yourself projects allow them to control the in-puts and quality of final products.  It's true that price will still remain a factor but the lure of controlling the end product via quality and craft has been key to the trends longevity.

DIY has evolved beyond the craft-store crowd — with mainstream retailers like Whole Foods putting their spin on make-at-home displays. Fashion retailers are also embracing this theme by using everyday construction materials from plywood, 2x4s, screening, and metal piping to create elaborate structures like seen at Dover Street Market in London.

As "making things" becomes relevant to a growing segment, the products, merchandising, and promotions will feel more thematic. Products should be double exposed (i.e. appearing in their "usual" spot and "famlied" together to create mini kits) to appear attractive to the hand-crafted connoisseur. These tactics create interest among potentials and DIY loyalists, who become invested psychologically and economically — resulting in sales of related items (relevant to the DIY task) and/or a cost-shift "trade up" on unrelated items due to the perceived savings achieved by DIY activities.

We love how "open source" projects and collaborative events are embracing an attitude of authorship and co-creation and it is only logical that business owners embrace this trend.