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  • Gerry Yumul

    The only way to use earth resources in a sensible manner. If you need it make it or but from the hand-on maker

  • Sheryl Leigh-Davault

    I love the idea. I love that people are taking pride in their work. But when you charge $40 for a two-tone ceramic mug or $150 for a wood-plank server, you're pricing yourself out of a reasonable market. The same people making these items probably cannot afford them.

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Hi Sheryl, Thank you for your love. In terms of prices, unfortunately, cheaper mass produced options have trained us as a society (for decades now) to price the general market much below what it should be. Any time we see cheap items, we must question the true cost of it... the costs on humanity and our environment. The makers we work with at Madesmith make most of the items by hand. For example each knife that we carry from Chealsea Miller Knives takes 2.5 days to make. A lot of hours, care, and thought goes into each knife. Also, these makers treat their employees well and pay them fair wages. We don't think $135 is too much for a beautiful knife with a story, made by hand in 2 labor-intensive days and made to last a lifetime. All our makers guarantee their work and will repair the items if need be. Perhaps, if we as consumers buy these handmade items, and know their true worth, as a society we'll cherish our things longer, repair rather than replace and form relationships with the meaning and use of the thing itself. Hope this helps explain our thinking behind supporting these makers and the audience that shares this common philosophy of 'buy less, buy well'. We also want to make sure that these makers can continue to take pride in their work and make a living doing these crafts.

      • dmpfahl

        I think it's important not only to see the up-front cost of an item but the cost breakdown - that 2 days of labor works out to $67.50/day, or a pay rate of $8.43/hr for an 8 hour day (and we know that some of these makers work more than 8 hours a day!) and that's before material costs, rent, utilities, etc are taken out of that "profit". When you break down the costs, these handmade goods seem very reasonably priced. What is your $5 knife from China actually costing you? (In replacement costs over your lifetime vs one made to last, in fuel to get it to you, in human labor (and often misery)?). Maybe it's "cheaper", but it's also worth less.

        • Sumeera Rasul

          Hi dmpfahl, Completely agree with you on transparency and education around labor and all that goes into making a product. We're not against global trade. On the contrary, we strongly believe that trade actually enhances economies at home. However, it's the way things are produced in masses, and the costs in terms of labor rights, human rights and environment that we're concerned about. Hope this helps, and we're very grateful for educated minds to help spread the consumption philosophies.

  • What If...?

    Thanks for sharing this. What If...? Social Enterprises is working on bringing a makerspace to our community. What you're doing with these makers--creating an online storefront for them--is a wonderful idea to add to features of the space we're making. Thanks! Keep up the create work you're doing to make a world of makers.

    • Sumeera Rasul

      That sounds great. We're always happy to see more being done in this space. We truly believe that we need as many like-minded folks as we can gather to change our consumption patterns. And, thanks for the encouragement. Much appreciated.

  • Angelica Xavier

    Hi Sumeera

    Thanks for the great read and also the beautiful images. Just lovely!

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Thank you Angelica! Means a lot to us. Hope you spread the word and feel free to give us your feedback as we all progress in this journey together.

  • Bruce Weaver

    Heres my pinboard with lots of videos on Artisans and Craftsmanship
    also check out the new book American Craftsman
    Love the story! Sumeera Would love see about doing innovative media project with some of these makers at MadeSmith. Can see using Googles New Business Maps which could offer a 360degree views of workspace/shop as well as develop some video promos of there work!

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Thank you for sharing your pinboard, book and ideas! It's really inspiring to see thinkers and doers with the same philosophies working towards our common missions. We have many plans in the works for the next phase of Madesmith. Please stay tuned.

  • jasonhod

    Great story, provides some hope for local manufacturing here in Australia. Thanks

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Thank you, Jason! We'd love to hear your feedback as things progress there.

      We believe there is an awareness and want in terms of sustainable and well-designed goods, and that things are going to progress exponentially at least in developed nations. Keep us posted and we're up for a conversation any time.

  • This Bar Saves Lives

    Awesome stuff! Gonna order some stuff for the office. Thanks for sharing, Sumeera!

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Thank you so much! We're glad you like it. Let us know if we can help in any way. Looking forward to your order.

  • Victoria Lepore

    Beautiful pictures! What a lovely endeavor. Thank you for being kind to the planet! ❤

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Hi Victoria, Thanks much for your compliments. We hope you share with your friends and let us know if you have any thoughts for us.

  • Shelley Jaffe

    Though I am in the middle of my life, circumstances have required me to make major changes and I have begun handcrafting products of my own. I am so glad to see more and more people supporting this movement. My site is old, doesn't have my new products and under construction, but will be finished by 9/15/13

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Shelley, Thanks for sharing. Please keep up the good work. We know that this movement is highly contagious and worth it.

  • Tania Garbe

    Awesome work! Another cool site for locally and responsibly made goods is Design With Benefits. You can search for products based on the good that they're doing (things like fighting poverty, promoting animal welfare, recycled materials...)

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Thank you for sharing. We love companies sharing the same philosophy. All of us should be thinking this way... that's our hope and mission.

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Thank you for sharing. We love companies sharing the same philosophy. All of us should be thinking this way... that's our hope.

  • Ben Goldhirsh

    Sumeera, this is a beautiful effort - in it's purpose and in it's execution. I do think there is such a growing want on the creator front to be able to actually do the work and truly feel like you're involved not just in a business, but in a craft, with that sort of care and time existing as fundamental part beyond what the eventual business outcome yields. I also think the want is there for the quality and experience enjoyed as the consumer of these products. In your work with entrepreneurs in this space, are you seeing focus on sustainability with quality existing ahead of scale and profit?

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Hi Ben, Thank you so much for your kind words. Agreed on your point that we're experiencing a growing want both on consumer and creator side when it comes to quality and craftsmanship. The makers we're working with do want to make a profit and grow their businesses but they are very focused on doing so in a sustainable manner. They're curating their lifestyles to match this philosophy. These entrepreneurs are trying to develop a business model where every step of their creation process is deliberate and thought through. For example, one of our upcoming makers Stephane Hubert is using reclaimed materials not only in his products but also packaging etc. On the consumer side, there's a growing community that appreciates and buys from makers like Stephane. Another big factor in the equation is design. Consumers are increasingly seeking well-designed and high-quality products which feeds back into these makers creating a sustainable business and lifestyle. Madesmith is focused on all these 3 factors equally: design, quality, sustinability.

  • Heidi Sistare

    Sumeera, I'm so excited to read about your work! I just signed up for your newsletter and look forward to sharing it with friends. Best of luck!

    • Sumeera Rasul

      Hi Heidi, Thank you so much! We'd love to hear any feedback you and your friends might have for Madesmith. We're really hoping to create a community where our audience gets a closer look at our makers and designers. And, we really appreciate you sharing with your friends.