Imagine a cluster of textile weavers in Maheshwar or stone carvers in Agra. These artisans come highly skilled in their craft and can produce a perfect product with their hands. There are hundreds of similar artisans all over India. However, the buyer response is not uniform – many times, the response is not even excitable. Have you ever wondered why?
In ancient days, the wheels of style turned slowly, and ideas took years to travel. Artisans were able to keep pace with this change and calibrate their offerings to match the market needs. Today the system has tight idea-to-shelf cycles aided by just-in-time manufacturing and dynamic prototyping using 3D printing. The pace of this evolution of design and manufacturing disenfranchised the traditional makers.
While global markets are echoing values of sustainability, equitable livelihood, social impact, and natural materials, these trends have not created any measurable effect on the livelihoods of traditional artisans. The non-violent silk producers in Bihar struggle for market share, while the world is trying to figure out how to create yarn from plastic waste.
Over years of working with traditional makers, we now understand that design is the most significant missing piece keeping the cap on a full-scale #Handmade revolution.
On Direct Create, we have built a multi-channel collaboration tool; here, a designer can upload their latest designs to their DC Studios. These designs can be purchased by makers using the Design Download function. You can make your design listings paid or free. Buyers can buy any design they like from a designer and work with a marker to produce that design on the DC platform.
Don't let the simplicity of these workflows distract you from the revolutionary potential these collaborations can have for the Handmade movement. Please don't take our word for it; try it yourself and see.