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LAB ASSIGNMENT 012: Support Handmade with


#designrespect etsy zibbet handmade

The above statement by Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson has been at the center of discussion since it was announced a few months ago that Etsy would be changing its guidelines and its internal (and hence site wide) definition of what constitutes ‘handmade’. As I mentioned in my last #DesignRespect post, this change is worrisome to me, especially when I think of how it will affect individual makers. Well, it seems that I’m not the only one who felt some reservations. has emerged as a viable alternative to Etsy with one very clear mandate:  full support for individual makers.

I am happy to inform you that Zibbet informed me that they’ve designed a new initiative to help support and promote individual makers. It’s called IPledgehandmade. With that in mind, your LAB Assignment is a pretty simple one: please go over to IPledgehandmade and take the pledge. Share it with every individual maker you know. It’s a small start but one that I believe needs to grow and be spread. 



LAB ASSIGNMENT 010 – Collaborate



Ampersand by Jude Landry

For this week’s LAB Assignment, let’s talk collaboration. Every time I receive my Handmade Profile questionnaire back from an artist, the one question that I’m the most intrigued to see the answer to is “Do you have a dream collaborator?” If you go through the Profiles, you’ll see the handmakers I’ve featured have provided quite a list of potential creative partners. Some of the artists choose people that share the same creative aesthetic or ideals. Others are folks that would push the person past their fears, inhibitions and boundaries. It seems that a collaborator can do either or both.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. —Helen Keller

While many of us probably have a list, let’s narrow it down to one for this exercise. I like to call that one dream collaborator my ‘Ampersand’. It’s that one person who, when others mention the finished product we’ve worked on together, I’ll always and forever be excited to hear: “Oh, that’s the work of Brett from & (my dream collaborator).” Before I ask you about yours, I guess I better tell you about mine.

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. —Henry Ford

It’s a little obscure, but here it goes: My dream collaborator would be Assouline, the New York based publishing company owned by Martine & Prosper Assouline. I’ve always wanted to create an 18 month inspirational calendar/diary/notebook for creatives, full of fantastic images and dazzling typography. Assouline books are known for their focus on images (like this gorgeous one) and I think we would make a fantastic team. Hey, a boy can dream! OK, it’s your turn, who is your ‘Ampersand’? Tell us who and why in the comments. If you have a link that’s SFW, leave it in the comments below.