daft's back!

I'm Cody, the main brain behind Daft Crafts.

Daft Crafts was born from my dream of bringing more exposure to unique handmade shops and making art business resources readily available and affordable for artists. I had been sewing Mon-stors for my own handmade business, Lu & Ed, for two years and was selling my Mon-stors in three different gift shops at the time when I realized I wanted to do more for the handmade community. We (me, my fiance, and my good friend Jessica) set to work planning, and a few weeks later rented a small studio in downtown Independence, Missouri, in the Spring of 2011 and two weeks after we got the keys we were ready for business. At least, we thought we were. We were flying by the seat of our pants, with no savings in the business account and no business plan... And you know what, it worked. It really did.

Daft was a hit from the beginning. We had brought together some of the most unique and fun handmade items from various artists in one place, which created an atmosphere of wonder and made customers "oooh" and "aaaah". We gave local artists opportunities to teach workshops and became a staple in the community with classes two nights a week. Some people drove from as far as four hours away to visit our shop after hearing about it and we even had a customer once visiting from overseas who heard about Daft from her cousin and HAD to see it before she went home. We drew in a crowd and often had people just hanging out at the shop for hours at a time.

Our prices were reasonable for the artists - we charged $20 a month flat rate, and in exchange promoted and advertised for the artists via social media and at local events. That is the same type of value we are offering with our sponsorship program here on the site. Daft Crafts was never about the money - it was about the handmade experience. It was about helping artists of amazing creations grow and reach a new audience. It was about bringing great quality handmade items to the public without the stuffy boutique feel - a hands on, playful shopping experience full of fuzzy hats, stuffed monsters, colorful clothing, eclectic jewelry selections combined with heirloom wooden children's toys, all natural handmade bath and body products, hand carved jewelry boxes, fine art paintings and so, so much more.

But unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse, when Daft was at it's best. In February of 2012 I had a breast cancer scare. Less than two weeks after getting orders for a mammogram and breast ultrasound, my grandfather, my last living grandparent, passed away. Less than a month after that, days before my appointment for my mammogram, I found out my aunt, who is like a mom to me, was having health complications and would possibly have to start dialysis. Talk about blow after blow - but I was so busy with Daft Crafts I didn't have time to process any of the terrible happenings. I was there for nine to twelve hours a day, five days a week, and on weekends occasionally I had craft shows I had booked previously that I had to take merchandise from Daft Crafts to so I could represent the shop and the artists. I was spending several hours on the weekends at craft shows every three weeks. I had no time to rest and process all the craziness going on in my life. I couldn't just close up shop for a week or two to get my bearings because the loss in profit it would cause for the artists. I did some serious soul searching, and realized I needed to just step back from it all for a while.
(at the ultrasound, I learned that the lump was probably a malformed rip, and two weeks later got confirmation in the mail that the mammogram was clear!)

So that's why, just a few weeks before our one year Daft anniversary, we closed up Daft Crafts. And I cried, like a baby, the entire ride home from the shop that night. And again when I saw the new shop owners had painted over the front of the store. And every time I got an email asking if we wanted to advertise in the paper or from an artist interested in selling with us. But eventually I stopped feeling sad. I focused on Lu & Ed again and poured my heart into sewing, and started promoting artists through my blog and Twitter. And that is where I found healing, clarity and purpose.

The vision of a Daft handmade community never died, even though the physical presence was no more. I felt it stirring inside me and slowly started using the Daft Crafts Facebook and Twitter accounts again to share artists I loved and wanted to promote. The more I did it, the more I felt that sensation in me growing, and I could feel Daft Crafts being reborn. I talked to my bestie Cari about it, a lot, and we started talking about (gasp) remaking Daft Crafts - virtually. The more we talked about it, the more it made sense. I already own the domain, have the media sites active, have the connections. So I carefully started planning (with a lot of help from Cari!), creating content, seeking guest contributors and artists to feature, and set a date for our relaunch.

And that day is today! But it couldn't have been made possible without the help of many people. Here is a huge thank you to EVERYONE who was involved in helping me prepare to relaunch Daft Crafts!

And a big thank you goes out to you, the readers. Thank you for your support of this venture, for your support of our sponsors, and for taking the time to read this entire long-winded intro post. :)  I hope you enjoy Daft Crafts, and if you have any questions, feel free to shoot us an email to daftcrafts@yahoo.com
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you don't miss out on any awesome posts!

No comments:

Post a Comment