Aycan Tütüncüoğlu | They’ve also been approached about doing a show for the DIY
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They’ve also been approached about doing a show for the DIY

They’ve also been approached about doing a show for the DIY

The women of the online Austin Craft Mafia got it made

If Austin Craft Mafia members were to wear pinstripes, shoulder holsters, or gang colors, they’d have to be vintage and handmade. While waiting canada goose for their table at the Clay Pit last Wednesday night, these made women Kristin canada goose outlet toronto factory Adkins, Jen Nakatsu Arnston, Jenny Hart, Tina Lockwood, and Jennifer Perkins epitomized DIY hipster chic with their distinctive vinyl handbags, reconstructed Fifties day dresses, and uk canada goose outlet chunky plastic bracelets. Though these five founding fashionistas of the newest racket in town (there are nine mafiosas total) might be dressed to kill, their hot looks are all business online business. For years, they’ve operated independently, moving homemade fashion online canada goose black friday sale and making a name for Austin in the crafting world.

This new site not only brings together some of the most fashion forward businesses around, but also rewrites the rules of online retail, testing alternative online economies, the geography of the Internet, and cooperative capitalism. canada goose outlet store “My mother, who also doubles as my patron saint canada goose outlet uk sale of craftiness, recommended I try playing with resin. One canada goose outlet new york city thing led to another, and eventually demand got canada goose outlet so high I had to choose between my day job as a secretary and full time jewelry designer. Sitting at home in pajamas making jewelry sure as hell beats answering phones and filing uk canada goose papers.”

The Internet offered an ideal outlet for a beginning entrepreneur, and not just because of the dress code. “There’s no overhead,” says Perkins. “If it doesn’t go well, you’re out $9 in Web hosting.” Each of these women taught herself Web design, and serves as designer, manufacturer, sales rep, tech support, accountant, and mail clerk for her company. And although these ladies sell wholesale as well (many mafia members’ work can be found at Creatures in Austin), the majority of their business is online. “I’m not going to get 500 customers a day looking at my stuff in a store. I see wholesale as exposure. Someone may see my product in a store, not purchase it, but then later go online and order it. Plus, I’ve got worldwide access and can sell to anyone, 24 hours a day, anywhere on the planet.”

When The Wall Street Journal reported last year on the trend of small, independent designers selling direct to the consumer via the Web, three of the five businesses profiled were owned by Austin artists.

“Jenny just contacted me over e mail,” says Lockwood, “and said, ‘Hey https://www.zoetermeerinbeeld.nl canada goose outlet jackets I’m in Austin, too, I have a business, and do you want to get together and have coffee and talk shop?’ I agreed and asked canada goose outlet uk if she wouldn’t mind if I brought Jennifer [Perkins, of Naughty Secretary Club] along, so the three of us met and it was so fun and so inspiring to talk to other business owners. We decided to make it a regular thing.”

The regular thing became the Babes in Canada Goose Jackets Business Bonanza, a monthly support group for women who own a business or are looking to start one. “To keep that going, you make investments in time, work, money to buy materials and equipment, etc. It is immensely helpful to have a network of peers you can relate to who support each other, bounce ideas off each other, and that you respect.”

Last canada goose outlet shop year, after the WSJ article, Lockwood, Perkins, and Hart realized they needed to bring their real world connections online. Drawing its name from a reference to their businesses in Inga Muscio’s feminist reference book goose outlet canada Cunt, the ladies like the gangland canada goose outlet in usa connotations. “We’re tight knit and we support each other.”

Supporting one another’s businesses also means promoting Canada Goose sale one another’s products. “I keep a box of business cards, stickers, canada goose outlet store uk and buttons [promoting the other designers], and throw some in with every order,” says Hart. “And if one of us got press, we made sure that we said ‘Do Canada Goose Coats On Sale you know about so and so,’ which is antithetical to the typical model of business, which we wanted to go against. They’ve also been approached about doing a show for the DIY channel, part of HGTV. In January, they hope to have a formal launch party, and to open up the group to other independent, online Austin businesses that are majority handmade. And in the meantime, they’re using the membership dues to purchase collective advertising space in print publications like Bust and Venus, space they’d never be able to afford on their own.

“I canada goose cheap canada goose outlet online uk love the cross pollination that happens on the site,” says Pearcy. “A customer logs on because they’ve heard about Queen Bee, and in the process, they discover all these other amazing artists and craftspeople. Like Babes in Business and the Austin Craft Mafia, these craft groups are aimed at sharing knowledge, teaching skills, and supporting new work.

It’s no surprise that this sort of idealism would have found an inviting climate on the Internet the craft revolution takes a cue from other Web based ideologies, such as the open source movement and alternative economies, such as shareware. It’s also no coincidence that a town that supports independent music would provide fertile ground for DIY enterprise. Many of these crafty ladies, including Jenny Hart, Tina Lockwood, and Rebecca canada goose uk black friday Pearcy, play music as well. And the connection between the DIY ethic in music and craft is a strong one the Mafia cites Michael Dean’s documentary on self supporting artists and musicians, DIY or Die, as an influence.

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