Doing it yourself, together
A Tulsa couple catches the DIY wave and encourages other local crafters to jump on board.
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Make:Tulsa members are responsible for several local events in addition to Indie Emporium. The Alliday show, Dec. 15 at Expo Square, is a holiday craft fair promoting crafting as an everyday event. And at Swap-o-rama-rama, organized by make:Tulsa, crafters repurpose used clothing into pieces such as T-shirt tote bags or wallets made of neckties. For the past two years, this event has attracted more than 200 participants to its venue at the Philbrook Museum of Art.
The group accepts 25 business owners annually through an application process, but anyone can join as a hobbyist and take part in classes and events. Make:Tulsa conducts these classes at coffeehouses or anywhere there’s space.
“We’re kind of guerilla in that aspect,” Thom says.
Classes are both creative and practical, giving members nitty-gritty information about how to apply for indie shows or set up a booth.
Members of make:Tulsa also volunteer at Youth Services of Tulsa, teaching needlework, clay, printmaking and other crafts to young
artists. Youth Services sold the items they made in class at the fall 2012 Indie Emporium.
Erin Wilson is one make:Tulsa member who volunteers with Thom and Christine at Youth Services. She specializes in bridal and hair accessories in her Etsy store called Sunshine and Carousels and writes a blog called Carosello. Wilson studied art before joining the DIY movement. With a 5-year-old daughter, she found crafting was safer to do than oil painting.
“I could pull it out any time and use my talents and passions,” she says.
Wilson has been selling handmade goods from home for three years and credits the movement for helping small businesses, artists and artists’ families.
“Make:Tulsa is its own little handmade community, offering support and encouragement,” Wilson says.
Making art. Making friends. Making money (sometimes). Mission accomplished.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a free website that helps users find, share and organize ideas and products on a virtual bulletin board.
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace where users can buy and sell handmade or vintage items and crafting supplies. The website is free for shoppers. Vendors pay Etsy a small listing fee per item as well as a percentage of sales.