It’s often said that good things come in threes – a sentiment that certainly seems to apply to The Make District, a collective of artists and makers based in the North West of England.
Brought together by a series of lacklustre craft fairs, creatives Charlotte, Lucy and Jenny decided to see how they could aid their local, burgeoning art scene. Their aim was to promote the work of artists from their area at a grass-roots level while getting people excited about all things handmade.
Tapping into the current trend for pop-up shops and ‘make-your-own’ workshops, the artists knew that by joining forces they could combine their skills and make the events a reality.
‘‘We decided we needed a name to make it official – something that encompassed what we wanted to do. And that was it, The Make District was formed!’’ explains freelance artist Lucy.
Workshops and craft fairs hosted by The Make District
Their ‘do-it-yourself’ approach was clear from the outset, from organising fair stands to designing their own website with Moonfruit – something textile designer Jenny highlights as being particularly important: ‘‘Being in control is priceless, there’s no go-between or waiting for a web designer to put new content on the site.’’
Forming a collective has had cross-promotional as well as social benefits for the artists. ‘‘It gives us another platform to shout about ourselves from and, personally, it’s been great because it’s like having colleagues at work to chat to,’’ says illustrator Charlotte.
Through their website and social media activity, they’ve been able to extend their network far beyond the North West. The artists keep in touch with makers from all over the country to share what they’re doing: ‘‘We’re all constantly learning new things from each other and feeding it back into our own businesses.’’
The Make District homepage
2013 looks set to be a big year for The Make District as they continue to grow their collective and introduce more events, workshops and pop-up shops as well as expand their retail product ranges – proving that when it comes to collectives, three certainly isn’t a crowd.
The Make Who?
Have you been inspired to start your own collective? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Savvy shops and sharing skills in the world of arts and crafts
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