Craft in America: INDUSTRY episode

Craft in America: INDUSTRY episode



>> ♪ I DON'T WANT NOBODY… ♪ >> WE BEEN SELLING QUILTS NOW FOR A LONG TIME, AND THAT MADE EVERYTHING BETTER. >> ONE OF MY PASSIONS IS KEEPING THIS SHOP ALIVE. >> MACHINES HELP US, BUT THAT'S NOT THE ONLY THING. THERE'S ALWAYS A HUMAN CONNECTED TO THE MACHINE. >> ARTISTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PRODUCING THEIR WORK, MARKETING THEIR WORK, SELLING THEIR WORK. THAT IS NOT DIFFERENT THAN A BUSINESS. >> HANDMADE GOODS ARE ABSOLUTELY IMPACTING THE NATIONAL ECONOMY. >> ♪ 'TIS A GIFT TO BE SIMPLE 'TIS A GIFT TO BE FREE 'TIS A GIFT TO COME DOWN WHERE YOU OUGHT TO BE AND WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE PLACE JUST RIGHT 'TWILL BE IN THE VALLEY OF LOVE AND DELIGHT ♪ >> MAJOR FUNDING FOR "CRAFT IN AMERICA" WAS PROVIDED BY CYNTHIA LOVELACE SEARS AND FRANK BUXTON, LILLIAN PIERSON LOVELACE, L.L. BROWNRIGG, HELEN AND PETER BING, STOLAROFF FOUNDATION, THE SHERI AND LES BILLER FAMILY FOUNDATION, THE SETH SPRAGUE EDUCATIONAL AND CHARITABLE FOUNDATION. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT WAS PROVIDED BY THE FOLLOWING… >> WHEN I STARTED MAKING QUILTS IN 1979, I CONCEIVED OF THE IDEA OF BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL, AND I THOUGHT, "I KNOW. I'LL HAVE A BUSINESS CARD PRINTED UP THAT SAYS JOE CUNNINGHAM, PROFESSIONAL QUILTMAKER," AND NOBODY CAN PROVE THAT YOU'RE NOT A PROFESSIONAL QUILTMAKER. THAT'S THE GREAT THING ABOUT IT, AND THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW, PEOPLE IN TOWN, THEY STARTED HIRING ME TO GIVE TALKS. THEN THERE WERE THESE QUILT GUILDS FORMING. AT THE TIME, I COULD GET TO KNOW–I COULD WORK AT ONE OF THE BIG CONFERENCES AND MEET THE OTHER DOZEN PROFESSIONAL QUILTMAKERS IN THE COUNTRY. NOW IT'S A $4.5 BILLION ANNUAL INDUSTRY, AND THERE'S THOUSANDS OF PROFESSIONAL QUILTMAKERS IN MANY DIFFERENT CAPACITIES. IT'S A HUGE INDUSTRY. SO MY PART OF THE INDUSTRY IS THAT. I'M A TEACHER, A LECTURER, AND A QUILTMAKER, AND OCCASIONALLY I SELL QUILTS SOMETIMES TO MUSEUMS AND TO PEOPLE. MY IDEAS COME FROM MY WHOLE LIFE, FROM EVERYTHING I'VE EVER SEEN, EVERYTHING I'VE EVER READ, BUT ALSO OLD QUILTS. THE WAY I MADE THIS QUILT IS PRETTY TYPICAL OF A LOT OF MY QUILTS, WHICH IS I HAD NO IDEA. I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO. SO I TOOK MY ROTARY CUTTER AND A PIECE OF THIS SHIRTING, AND THEN I STARTED CUTTING SOME OTHER STUFF UP AND ADDING IT TO THAT AND WONDERING WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF I DID THAT AGAIN, CUTTING UP THE PINK AND SEWING IT TOGETHER SO THAT THE LINES MEET IN DIFFERENT WAYS, AND I JUST PATCHED THIS VAGUE LINE ACROSS HERE, AND THEN I REALIZED THAT IT WAS A LANDSCAPE. "OH, IT'S A LANDSCAPE!" SO I PUT MY VANISHING POINT ON, AND I PUT SOME CLOUDS ON. THEN I QUILTED IT WITH CLOUDS. HAND-QUILTING WAS THE FIRST PART OF THE PROCESS THAT I LEARNED HOW TO DO, AND IT'S STILL MY FAVORITE. WHEN I SIT IN MY STUDIO AND I QUILT SOMETHING BY HAND, I OFTEN WILL NOT EVEN HAVE MUSIC ON. I'LL SIT AND ENJOY THE SILENCE FOR 4 OR 5 OR 6 HOURS A DAY. IT MAKES ME FEEL WEALTHY. IT MAKES ME FEEL, UH… LIKE THE LUCKIEST GUY IN THE WORLD. MY VERY FAVORITE TIME TO HAND-QUILT IS WHEN I GO AND VISIT MY FRIENDS IN GEE'S BEND BECAUSE THEY QUILT IN THE OLD-TIME WAY IN BIG FRAMES. THEY SIT AROUND TOGETHER, AND WHEN I LEARNED HOW TO QUILT IN THE LATE SEVENTIES, I SOUGHT THAT OUT. I WENT AROUND TO CHURCH GROUPS, AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS, BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING ABOUT SITTING AROUND A QUILT FRAME WITH A BUNCH OF OLD LADIES THAT I FOUND EXTREMELY PLEASURABLE AND INFORMATIVE. YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR GRANDMA? >> WHERE YOU GOING THERE? >> THE BEST. >> ANNIE–BEST TEACHER'S THE GRANDMA? BUT THIS–SITTING AROUND THE FRAME LIKE THIS AND QUILTING ON EACH OTHER'S QUILTS IS THE MOST OLD-FASHIONED THING, RIGHT? >> MM-HMM. >> BECAUSE ALL THE MODERN QUILTERS, THEY FEEL LIKE NOBODY WANTS TO TAKE THE TIME TO QUILT ON SOMEBODY ELSE'S QUILT, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? >> MM-HMM. >> THAT'S WHAT I LIKE BEST ABOUT COMING HERE IS THAT–IS JUST THIS, JUST SITTING AROUND THE FRAME AND QUILTING. >> YOU AND ME, TOO, JOE. I'M ENJOYING IT. I KNOW I DO. >> IT DON'T TAKE PATIENCE. >> QUILTING ON YOUR HAND LOOK BETTER TO ME THAN QUILTING WITH THE MACHINE. SEE, A MACHINE, YOU CAN DO THAT ANYTIME, BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE TIME AND DO IT REAL WELL WITH YOUR HAND. >> MEN IN QUILTS ARE GUESTS. IT'S TOTALLY A WOMAN'S WORLD. IT'S VERY KIND OF WOMEN TO ALLOW US TO DO THIS. >> ♪ STEAL AWAY STEAL AWAY TO JESUS ♪ TO ME, IT'S LIKE MEDICINE. IT'S, UH–YOU KNOW, I SUFFER WITH ARTHRITIS, BUT YOU WON'T KNOW IT IF I DON'T TELL YOU BECAUSE, SEE, I CAN JUST BE QUILTING, AND I DON'T HAVE A PAIN IN THE WORLD. I WILL SIT THERE, AND SOMETIMES, I WILL SING TO MYSELF OR SING OUT A LITTLE LOUD. ♪ MY LORD, HE'S CALLING HE'S CALLING BY THE THUNDER THE TRUMPET SOUND WITHIN MY SOUL I AIN'T GOT… ♪ >> GEE'S BEND IS A LOCATION IN CENTRAL ALABAMA THAT'S A BEND IN THE ALABAMA RIVER THAT HAS NO BRIDGE ACROSS IT, SO IT'S VERY ISOLATED. IT'S ABOUT 45 OR SO MILES WEST OF SELMA. ORIGINALLY, IT WAS A PLANTATION WITH SLAVES. AFTER THE CIVIL WAR, THE SLAVES STAYED ON AS SHARECROPPERS, AND IT WAS A VERY POOR, VERY ISOLATED COMMUNITY WHERE PEOPLE RAISED THEIR OWN FOOD AND MADE THEIR OWN QUILTS. >> ♪ TREES ARE BENDING OH, SINNER MAN STANDS… ♪ >> THIS WAS YOUR LEARNING QUILT. >> RIGHT. THIS IS THE FIRST LITTLE THIN JACKET I MADE. >> AND WHAT DO YOU CALL THE PATTERN? >> ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL. AND IT HAD THE FIELD COTTON AND EVERYTHING. I STARTED MAKING QUILTS WHEN I WAS 14 YEARS OLD. I WAS WITH MY MOTHER, AND SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO MAKE THEM, AND IT WAS FUN TO ME. I DID IT ALL THE TIME. I'M 82 YEARS OLD YET AND STILL DOING QUILTS. >> SOME OF THIS FABRIC, ELY & WALKER PRINTED IT FOR 125 YEARS. >> MM-HMM. >> SO GOT YOU SOME OF THAT ELY & WALKER IN THERE. >> WELL, IT CAME FROM THE QUILTING BEE. >> FROM THE QUILTING BEE. >> MM-HMM. >> IN THE 1960s, PEOPLE ASSOCIATED WITH SEARS & ROEBUCK AND BLOOMINGDALE'S FROM NEW YORK THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GREAT THING TO HAVE THESE QUILTMAKERS MAKE QUILTS FOR THE NEW YORK MARKET, AND THEY THEN CREATED THE FREEDOM QUILTING BEE. >> WE WERE JUST MAKING QUILTS TO KEEP OUR FAMILY WARM, AND WHEN THE FREEDOM QUILTING BEE CAME ABOUT, THEY BEGAN TO MAKE QUILTS TO SELL. >> IT PROVIDED JOBS FOR WOMEN IN GEE'S BEND TO MAKE QUILTS TO ORDER. >> THEY WAS MAKING PILLOWS AND PILLOWCASES, BUT WHEN THEY WAS DOING QUILTS, THEY HAD TO MAKE SURE THEY GOT THE STITCHES TO EXACT POINT. >> OF COURSE WHEN WE WERE WORKING ON QUILTS, YOU KNOW, WE ALWAYS MADE THE LITTLE, SMALL STITCHES, AND YOU COULDN'T SEE THEM, BUT PEOPLE WANT TO SEE THE STITCHES IN THE QUILT NOW. THEY GET TO THE QUILT AND CAN'T SEE THE STITCHES, THEY SAY, "WE NEED TO SEE THE STITCHES." >> THIS BUILDING WE'RE IN, THIS IS THE GEE'S BEND QUILTING COLLECTIVE, WHERE WE HAVE OUR QUILTS STORED AND SELL FROM HERE, AND I'M THE MANAGER OF THE COLLECTIVE. MY JOB HERE IS TO SELL THE WORK HERE, AND SO I TRY TO DO MY BEST, AND I TRY TO HAVE IT LOOKING A LITTLE DECENT ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE TO WANT TO COME BACK AGAIN. SO WE DO HAVE BUSLOADS OF PEOPLE THAT DO COME FROM BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, AND NOT JUST BIRMINGHAM. WE'D HAD PEOPLE FROM HAWAII. WE'D HAD SOME FROM AUSTRALIA, I MEAN, THE UNITED KINGDOM, AND THEY COME, THEY SAY, YOU KNOW, THEY'D LOVE TO GET SOMETHING TO TAKE BACK WITH THEM, AND EVERYBODY LOVE OUR WORK. I WAS TOLD THAT IT STARTED BACK IN 2002, AND THIS IS HOW I WAS TOLD IT GOT STARTED. BILL ARNETT SAW THIS QUILT IN A BOOK. SOMEBODY HAD TAKEN THIS PHOTOGRAPH OF ANNIE MAE YOUNG AND HER GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER STANDING BY A WOOD PILE WITH SOME LITTLE QUILT SPREAD OVER IT, AND WHEN HE SAW THAT QUILT, HE SAID, "I NEED TO FIND THE LADY THAT MADE THIS QUILT." >> THE ARNETTS WENT TO GEE'S BEND AND FOUND THESE INCREDIBLY ART-LIKE OBJECTS THAT LOOKED LIKE MODERN ART, AND THEY REALIZED THAT THEY COULD COLLECT THEM, WHICH THEY DID, AND HAD A SHOW OF THEM IN HOUSTON, AND THE REST IS HISTORY. I WAS UNABLE TO GET TO HOUSTON TO SEE THAT SHOW, BUT THE NEXT YEAR, THEY WERE IN THE CORCORAN GALLERY IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND MY WIFE AND I WENT TO THE CORCORAN FOR THE WEEKEND. A BUNCH OF THE WOMEN FROM GEE'S BEND WERE THERE, AND THEY DID A GOSPEL BRUNCH. IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT I'D EVER HEARD. I LOVED THE SHOW. THIS WAS MY KIND OF THING. A LOT OF IMPROVISATION. FREEDOM FROM RIGIDITY WAS WHAT I LOVED MOST ABOUT THEM. MAYBE MOST QUILTS ARE MADE OF BLOCKS, AND YOU WOULD ASSEMBLE THE QUILT BY PUTTING THE BLOCKS TOGETHER IN A GRID. MANY OF THE GEE'S BEND QUILTS ARE ONE LARGE DESIGN. IN THAT WAY, OUR QUILTS ARE VERY SIMILAR. I'M USUALLY MAKING ONE LARGE DESIGN. THIS IS A QUILT THAT I MADE AFTER I FOUND THIS PIECE OF FABRIC FROM A TEXTILE TRAINING CENTER IN GHANA. I THOUGHT THAT IT LOOKED LIKE A DROP CLOTH FROM THE WAX FACTORY. IT'S JUST FANTASTIC. THERE'S NO DESIGN. IT'S JUST RANDOM, WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT I LIKE. I TRIED TO FIGURE OUT HOW I WAS GONNA CREATE A SHAPE WITH THESE INDIGOS WITH PIECING THEM OR HOW I WAS GONNA DO THAT, AND THEN I SUDDENLY REALIZED, "OH! YOU KNOW WHAT I'M GONNA DO? I'M GONNA PATCH THEM ON THERE JUST LIKE YOU WOULD PATCH YOUR BLUE JEANS OR SOMETHING." SO I JUST FOLDED THE EDGE UNDER AND SEWED THOSE DOWN IN THE MOST NON-QUILTY WAY. THERE'S NOTHING TECHNICAL OR INTERESTING ABOUT DOING THAT, BUT IT ALLOWED ME THE FREEDOM TO KEEP THE RECTANGLES AND TO MAKE A SHAPE, AND SO THEREFORE, I CALLED IT "PATCHWORK QUILT," YOU SEE, BECAUSE–WELL, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. THE WAY I ACQUIRE FABRIC IS I GET AS MUCH OF IT BY CHANCE AS POSSIBLE. I'M REALLY INTO CHANCE OPERATIONS, AND SO IF SOMEBODY HANDS ME SOMETHING, THEN IT PUTS PARAMETERS AROUND WHAT I'M GOING TO DO NEXT. ONE OF MY FAVORITE QUILTS I'VE MADE IS MADE OF SUITING. I MET A WOMAN FROM SOUTH DAKOTA. SHE WAS 93 YEARS OLD. SHE SENT ME A BOX OF HER LATE HUSBAND'S SUITS THAT SHE HAD COMPLETELY DISASSEMBLED AND IRONED ALL THE SEAMS FLAT, AND SO THESE BEAUTIFUL SUITINGS FROM THE THIRTIES, FORTIES, AND FIFTIES, I CUT UP AND MADE A QUILT OUT OF. >> I USE OLD JEANS, KHAKIS. ALL OLD STUFF LIKE THAT I'LL PUTS IT IN MY QUILTS. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO THROW IT AWAY. WHEN MENS GO TO THE FIELD AND WORK WITH THE PANTS AND THINGS ON, THEY'RE GONNA WEAR OUT IN THE FRONT, BUT THE BACK IS ALWAYS GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU TO TAKE THE BACK AND MAKE A QUILT OUT OF. SINCE WE BEEN FAMOUS, MOST EVERYBODY NOW WANT THE OLD-FASHIONED QUILTS LIKE MY MOTHER OR MY GRANDMOTHER OR MY AUNTIE MADE. FANCY QUILTS DON'T SELL NOW. OF COURSE I HAD A COUPLE OF FANCY QUILTS. WOULDN'T NO ONE LOOK AT THOSE. THEY WAS TOO FANCY. >> BECAUSE IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A GEE'S BEND QUILT. SO I BELIEVE THAT IT'S SORT OF NARROWED THE IDEA OF WHAT THE WOMEN CAN DO, AND PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN THE IDEA THESE WOMEN THEY MAKE THESE KIND OF QUILTS BECAUSE THEY HAVE LIMITED ABILITIES. IT'S TOTALLY NOT TRUE. NO. THESE WOMEN HAVE GREAT ABILITIES. SO THIS IS AN ALL-WHITE QUILT. I LOVE THIS QUILT BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, ALL-WHITE QUILTS IN TODAY'S QUILT WORLD THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE FANCIEST OF THE FANCY. >> WHAT? >> THE FANCIEST OF THE FANCY IS THE ALL-WHITE QUILT. YOU RESERVE IT FOR YOUR SPECIAL, SPECIAL, SPECIAL LITTLE THINGS, AND WHAT YOU DID IS–I JUST LOVE THIS. NOW THIS IS, LIKE, SNAKE. >> MM-HMM. >> SNAKE QUILTING YOU CALL THAT. >> RIGHT. I QUILTED THAT BY MYSELF. >> ALL BY YOURSELF. >> MM-HMM. >> AND I ALWAYS CALLED THIS A FAN VARIATION. >> MM-HMM. >> BUT SNAKE. I NEVER HEARD THAT BEFORE. I'M JUST THRILLED TO HEAR ABOUT IT, AND YOU WOULD JUST QUILT IT ONE DIRECTION AS LONG AS YOU FEEL LIKE AND THEN… >> CHANGE TO SOMETHING ELSE. >> CHANGE TO SOMETHING ELSE. >> MM-HMM. >> NOW WOULD YOU MIND IF SOME GUY OUT IN SAN FRANCISCO MADE ONE SOMETHING SIMILAR. >> YOU'RE WELCOME. >> ALL RIGHT. >> THAT'S ALL RIGHT, JOE. I'LL STRAIGHTEN IT. >> LET ME STRAIGHTEN IT OUT. >> I'M GONNA PUT ALL BACK UP THERE. >> ALL RIGHT. I'M GOING TO GO HOME AND BRAG ABOUT THIS NOW. >> OH, MY GOD. >> "YOU'LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT I DID." >> WHAT? >> "I FOLDED LUCY MINGO'S QUILTS." >> HA HA HA! JOE, YOU'S A MESS. "I FOLDED LUCY MINGO QUILTS." >> YEAH! >> MY, MY, MY. >> I'M NEVER WASHING THESE HANDS AGAIN. >> OH, YES. >> WELL, LIKE I SAY, I'M TRYING TO BE FREE BY MAKING QUILTS, AND IT SEEMED TO ME THAT THEY HAD VERY FREE WAYS OF WORKING, AND, OH, BOY, OH, BOY, IT'S BEEN VERY INSPIRATIONAL TO ME, YEAH, YEAH. >> COMING TO WORK EVERY DAY, I PERSONALLY AM LOOKING AT THE SAME RIVER, I'M HEARING THE SAME SOUNDS, KNOW THE SMELLS THAT THE GUYS ENCOUNTERED WHEN THEY CAME TO WORK. SOMETIMES, IT'S AS IF I'M HERE IN 1910. HMM. MY EDUCATION IS NOT NECESSARILY IN LINE WITH MY CURRENT JOB SOME MAY THINK. I WENT TO HARVARD AND GOT AN ECONOMICS DEGREE. MY TRAINING IN ECONOMICS HAS BEEN INCREDIBLY HELPFUL. MY OFFICIAL TITLE HERE AT LOWELL'S IS THE BOAT SHOP MANAGER AND BOAT BUILDER. COMING AROUND, GARY, COMING AROUND. DEPENDS ON WHICH ONE YOU WANT TO PUT FIRST. YOU CAN SAY BOAT BUILDER AND MANAGER OR MANAGER AND BOAT BUILDER, BUT THE MANAGEMENT HAS AT LEAST EQUALED IF NOT SURPASSED THE BOAT BUILDING SIDE. [BUZZING] SO I'VE LEARNED TO BOAT BUILD IN MINUTES WHEN I CAN AND IN BETWEEN PHONE CALLS AND E-MAILS. IT'S ALWAYS BEEN A CHALLENGE HERE SINCE THE SHOP BECAME A NONPROFIT. ONE OF MY PASSIONS AND MISSIONS IS KEEPING THIS INDUSTRY ALIVE AND THIS SHOP ALIVE. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE BUILDING WOODEN BOATS BECAUSE IT'S A CONNECTION TO THE PAST, JUST A REAL VISCERAL CONNECTION TO YOUR ANCESTORS. I GREW UP HERE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD LITERALLY DOWN THE STREET FROM LOWELL'S BOAT SHOP, AND I WAS ALWAYS DRAWN TO THE RIVER. I WAS WHAT YOU WOULD CALL A RIVER RAT. I WOULD WALK AROUND THE BANKS AND FIND COOL STUFF AND WAS NATURALLY DRAWN TO THE WATER AND TO BOATS, AND MY FAMILY ALWAYS HAD A BOAT. >> FROM DAY ONE, WATER AND HE WERE INSEPARABLE. HE FELL INTO THE WATER TWICE. WHEN HE WAS ABOUT 4, FELL OFF A WALL AT THE NEIGHBORS'. HE FELL DOWN. HE LOOKED UP AT ME, NOT SCARED AT ALL. JUST LOOKED UP AT ME LIKE… THERE'S SOMETHING IN HIM THAT FEELS SECURE WITH THE WATER. >> MY PARENTS WHEN I WAS GROWING UP GAVE ME A LOT OF FREEDOM FOR WHICH I CAN'T THANK THEM ENOUGH, AND IT'S WHAT'S ALLOWED ME TO DO THIS AS A CAREER. WE'RE NOW A MUSEUM, BUT WE'RE A WORKING MUSEUM. SO WHEREAS YOU CAN GO INTO MOST MUSEUMS AND SEE STATIC DISPLAYS, YOU CAN COME IN HERE AND SEE A BOAT BUILDER BUILDING A BOAT AS THEY'VE ALWAYS CREATED BOATS HERE. THERE'S A MUCH SMALLER MARKET FOR THEM, BUT THERE IS A MARKET FOR THEM. YOU'RE NOT JUST SEEING SOMETHING COME TOGETHER THAT IS GOING TO BE A MUSEUM PIECE OR HAS NO UTILITY ANYMORE. YOU'RE SEEING SOMETHING COME TOGETHER IN A TRADITIONAL WAY THAT IS ACTUALLY GOING TO BE USED BY SOMEONE. THE ACTUAL BOAT BUILDING PAYS FOR ITSELF. IF YOU CAN CONSIDER BOAT BUILDING AN EXHIBIT, IT'S A SELF-PERPETUATING EXHIBIT. BOAT BUILDING IN THIS PARTICULAR AREA WAS BIG BUSINESS IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 19th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… WE HAVE CHOSEN TO BUILD THE BOAT WITH HIGH SCHOOL APPRENTICES. IT'S A WAY OF TEACHING A LOT OF BOAT BUILDING SKILLS TO A GOOD NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE. GRAEME, SET THIS DOWN. >> IT'S A LONG BOAT. >> HA HA HA! IT'S GONNA LOOK A LOT SMALLER ON THE WATER. [HAMMERING] I WOULD OF COURSE HOPE THAT THEY FALL IN LOVE WITH BOAT BUILDING AND WANT TO BE BOAT BUILDERS. I'M NOT AT ALL COUNTING ON THAT. I CAN'T EXPECT ANYONE TO HAVE THAT PASSION, BUT I WOULD LOVE TO THINK THAT I'M HELPING THEM DISCOVER THAT THEY DO HAVE A PASSION FOR THIS SORT OF THING AND THAT THEY WILL FOLLOW IT. TRY THAT. SEE IF THAT'S GONNA WORK A LITTLE MORE. IT'S NOT NECESSARILY TEACHING SOMEONE ONLY TO GO OUT AND BUILD THEIR OWN BOAT, BUT IT'S TEACHING THEM HOW WOOD WORKS, HOW TOOLS WORK. IT'S MEANT TO BE A SLOW PROCESS. TRY WORKING WITH THEIR HANDS OR TAKE AN INTEREST IN SOMETHING THAT IS NOT MAINSTREAM. >> YOU CAN GO A LOT DEEPER RIGHT INTO THAT SOCKET THERE. >> MAKING SOMETHING BY HAND IS DIFFERENT THAN MAKING SOMETHING WITH A MACHINE BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO BE CONNECTED WITH WHAT YOU'RE MAKING. THERE'S NOTHING BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR PIECE. >> BECAUSE WE ARE HERE AT AN HISTORIC BOAT SHOP, IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO TEACH THE CLASS WITHOUT TEACHING THE HISTORY. IN DOING THAT, I CONNECT THEM TO THE BOAT THAT THEY'RE ABOUT TO BUILD. >> IT WAS DESIGNED FOR A MAN TO GO OFF OF A LARGE SHIP AND HARPOON WHALES. IT WAS DESIGNED DOUBLE-END, SO WHEN THEY HARPOONED THE WHALE, IT COULD TURN AROUND AND GO EITHER WAY. WHEN A WHALE WOULD PULL IT ALONG, IT'D BE CALLED A NANTUCKET SLEIGH RIDE BECAUSE THE WHALE WOULD PULL THE BOAT FOR MILES AND MILES AND MILES. A LOT OF BOATS WERE LOST THAT WAY. >> LIVING HISTORY. ONE OF MY SONS IS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL RIGHT NOW AND HAS BEEN TAKING A MONTHLY FIELD TRIP DOWN TO LOWELL'S, WALKING DOWN ALONG THE RIVER FROM THE MIDDLE SCHOOL TO LOWELL'S. JUST SAW DAVID McCULLOUGH ON "60 MINUTES" LAST NIGHT LAMENTING THE FACT THAT HE THOUGHT WE WERE RAISING A GENERATION OF KIDS WHO NO LONGER HAVE HISTORY IN THEIR LIVES, BUT WHEN KIDS CAN TAKE A FIELD TRIP TO A 300-YEAR-OLD BUSINESS AND SEE IT IN ACTION, THERE'S A LOT TO LEARN THERE, AND THEY GET TO SEE IT FIRSTHAND. THEY'RE GONNA LEARN A LOT MORE THAN THEY WOULD IF A TEACHER JUST SORT OF HAD THEM RECITE FROM A HISTORY BOOK. >> BEAUTIFUL. >> IT HELPS MAINTAIN AN OPERATION LIKE THIS WHEN YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY A COMMUNITY THAT IS SUPPORTIVE OF IT. >> HOW MANY PEOPLE IN AMERICA TODAY CAN SAY THEY WERE ABOUT TO ROW A WHALEBOAT THAT THEY BUILT THEMSELVES? YOU GUYS ARE. [INDISTINCT CHATTER] >> THIS ONE'S HERE, RIGHT? THIS… >> 5 IS ALL THE WAY AFT. SO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. THE TIDE IS GETTING HIGH, SO I WILL KEEP IT BRIEF, BUT I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO RACK MY BRAIN FOR SOMETHING POIGNANT TO SAY, AND IT WASN'T COMING TO ME, AND LAST NIGHT AFTER EVERYONE HAD GONE, I WAS UPSTAIRS IN THE SHOP, AND THE LIGHTS WERE OFF, END OF DAY, SUN SETTING, AND–HEH HEH. THAT'S OK. I'M BACK. [LAUGHTER] AHEM. I'M OVER IT. SO IT WAS GETTING DARK IN THERE, AND IT WAS JUST A BEAUTIFUL SCENE. IT CAME TO ME THAT WE'RE A MUSEUM, WE'RE A BUSINESS THAT'S PRESERVING ARTIFACTS, BUT REALLY, WE'RE IN THE BUSINESS OF PRESERVING KNOWLEDGE. BY PASSING ALONG THESE SKILLS TO THESE APPRENTICES, WE'RE PRESERVING THOSE SKILLS AND PRESERVING THAT HISTORY. EVEN BY BUILDING BOATS IN THIS BUILDING, WE'RE PRESERVING THE SMELLS, THE SOUNDS, AND THE SIGHTS OF 100 YEARS AGO, AND SO THAT, I THINK, IS OF EQUAL VALUE TO THE ARTIFACTS THEMSELVES. [CHEERING] >> HUZZAH! [CHEERING AND APPLAUSE] >> OHH! [LAUGHTER] [CHEERING AND APPLAUSE] >> IT'S AN INCREDIBLY REWARDING PROCESS, YOU KNOW, GOING FROM JUST HAVING RAW LUMBER TO HAVING A BEAUTIFUL BOAT AT THE END OF THE YEAR. >> KIND OF SURREAL TO ACTUALLY BE IN A BOAT THAT YOU BUILT. I DEFINITELY WANT TO BUILD MORE BOATS IN MY LIFE. >> IN VOLUNTEERING HERE, I GOT A TRADE WHICH WILL LAST ME THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE OF MY LIFE. I'LL ALWAYS BE ABLE TO HAVE WOODWORKING WITH ME. I'LL NEVER LOSE IT. [CHEERING AND APPLAUSE] >> ASHEVILLE WAS ALWAYS A NICE, LITTLE TOWN TO LIVE IN, BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE LEFT, ME INCLUDED, BECAUSE THERE WAS NOT MUCH TO DO. I GUESS IT WAS LIKE 25 YEARS AGO NOW. YOUNG PEOPLE MOVED HERE, AND THEY INFUSED LIFE BACK INTO THE CITY, AND THE CRAFT INDUSTRY STARTED–IT JUST BOOMED. >> IT IS A COMMUNITY THAT BELIEVES IN ONE THING, AND THAT'S MAKING, THAT'S IN USING THESE. WE CELEBRATE THAT. WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE ECONOMY, PARTICULARLY IN THIS AREA, IS REALLY HOW IMPORTANT THE CRAFT COMMUNITY IS TO THE ECONOMY IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. I MEAN, IT IS ARGUABLY THE LARGEST CONCENTRATION OF CRAFTSPEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY. >> THEY DID AN ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY IN THIS REGION RECENTLY AND DISCOVERED THAT IF ALL OF THE INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS WORKED FOR A SINGLE COMPANY IT WOULD BE THE LARGEST EMPLOYER IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA. >> I THINK IT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THE ORIGINAL SETTLERS HERE. >> THE EARLIEST EUROPEAN SETTLERS WERE QUITE ISOLATED LIVING IN THE MOUNTAINS, SO THERE WAS A MENTALITY OF SELF-SUFFICIENCY. SO IN THIS AREA, WOMEN WOVE THE FABRIC THAT THEY NEEDED FOR THEIR HOMES, AND THAT HISTORY OF PARTICULARLY TEXTILES HAS SURVIVED AND CONTINUES TO FEED THE ECONOMY. THE ORIOLE MILL'S MORE LIKE A CRAFT ART STUDIO THAN IT IS LIKE MOST MILLS, AT LEAST IN THE UNITED STATES. THE 6 JACQUARD LOOMS THAT WE HAVE UP AND RUNNING HAVE A DIFFERENT SETUP. IN SOME CASES, A MILL WILL HAVE ONLY ONE SETUP, AND ALL THE LOOMS WILL BE THE SAME. THAT'S WHAT YOU DO TO SUPPORT VOLUME AND COMMODITY PRODUCTION. WE CHOSE A VERY DIFFERENT APPROACH. >> WE'VE SLOWED DOWN ALL OUR MACHINES. ALL OUR MACHINES RUN AT A SLOWER PACE THAN THEY CAME IN. THIS IS EXACTLY COUNTER TO WHAT INDUSTRY'S ALL ABOUT. INDUSTRY'S ALL ABOUT SPEED. >> I WOULD SAY, YES, I'M AN ENTREPRENEUR, I'M A DESIGNER, I'M AN ARTIST, I'M A BUSINESSPERSON. ULTIMATELY IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO ONE THING–I'M A HARD WORKER, AND I LOVE WHAT I DO. CONCERNED ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE ROLL AND HOW MUCH WEIGHT… EVERYONE HERE IS CREATIVE. IN A STARTUP IN PARTICULAR, YOU HAVE TO HAVE PEOPLE WHO CAN WEAR DIFFERENT HATS, AND IN MOST MILLS, YOU PUNCH A CLOCK, AND YOU DO ONE THING, AND YOU DO ONLY THAT ONE THING FOR 40 HOURS, AND FOR SOME PEOPLE, THAT'S THEIR COMFORT LEVEL, BUT WHAT I'VE FOUND IS THE MORE CREATIVE THE WORKER, THE MORE THEY APPRECIATE BEING IN A PLACE WHERE THEY CAN REALLY SHOW THEIR COMPETENCE AND THEIR VERSATILITY. >> I'M FROM A TEXTILE FAMILY, AND THAT'S HOW I BECAME IN THE TEXTILE BUSINESS. I'M ACTUALLY NOT A WEAVER. I'M AN OVERHAULER. I FIX AND REPAIR THE ELECTRONICS AND THE MECHANICS OF THE MACHINE. I BASICALLY CAN TEAR ONE APART AND PUT IT BACK TOGETHER, BUT SINCE WE'RE A SMALL CREW, WE HAVE TO MULTITASK, SO I END UP WEAVING AND FIXING ON THE MACHINES, WHICH IS GOOD FOR ME BECAUSE I KNOW WHEN IT TEARS UP I KNOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT, SO I CAN RUN IT AT THE SAME TIME, SO… BUT EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE SMART OR INTELLIGENT MACHINES, THEY TELL YOU EVERYTHING, YOU STILL HAVE TO HAVE THE SKILL SET WITH THE HANDS IN ORDER TO OPERATE IT. >> IN ADDITION, WE HAVE LIBBY O'BRYAN, WHO'S THE FOUNDER AND OWNER OF WESTERN CAROLINA SEWING COMPANY, AND THAT'S A FULL CUT-AND-SEW WORKROOM THAT'S HOUSED WITHIN THE SAME BUILDING AS THE ORIOLE MILL, AND THAT HAS ALLOWED ME TO COLLABORATE WITH SOMEONE WHOSE EXPERTISE IN SEWING AND CONSTRUCTION IS UNSURPASSED. >> SEW CO. IS A SMALL-SCALE, HIGH-END MANUFACTURING FACILITY FOR INDEPENDENT DESIGNERS TRYING TO PRESERVE THE SKILL OF SEWING AND DOMESTIC MANUFACTURING HERE IN THE U.S. AND REALLY WANTING TO CATER TO THAT KIND OF DESIGNER WHO HAS AN ELEVATED STYLE AND AN ELEVATED SENSE OF CONSTRUCTION AND DETAIL. >> SO WHAT ABOUT THE WEIGHT? IS IT GETTING TO HEAVY? IS THERE TOO MUCH STRETCH ON THE BIAS? MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH TEXTILES OR CLOTH WAS HELPING MY MOM CUT AND SEW OUR CLOTHING. TEXTILES WAS PART OF DAILY LIFE OUT OF NECESSITY. HER MOTHER MADE ALL OF THEIR CLOTHES OUT OF FLOUR SACKS, SO SHE HAS VERY STRONG MEMORIES OF GOING TO PURCHASE THE NEXT BAG OF FLOUR AND BEING QUITE MINDFUL ON WHICH PATTERN THEY NEEDED TO PURCHASE, AND THEY KNEW HOW MANY FLOUR SACKS IT TOOK TO MAKE A PARTICULAR DRESS. BUT THAT TIGHT RIB IS WHAT'S GIVING US THAT… >> MY GRANDMA AND MY MOTHER WOULD MAKE ME EVERYTHING, AND THAT EXPERIENCE OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUTTONS, CHOOSING THE FABRIC, CHOOSING THE PATTERN WAS WHAT WE SPENT OUR TIME DOING, AND THOSE ARE MY FONDEST MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD. THERE WAS SOMETHING ABOUT THE CLOTHES THAT I WORE HAVING THIS HISTORY THAT GAVE ME MORE PRIDE IN THOSE OBJECTS AND MORE VALUE IN THOSE OBJECTS. I THINK THAT'S WHAT I'M TRYING TO GET BACK AT, THAT REAL LIVED EXPERIENCE AND THAT KIND OF… LOVING LABOR. I INSTILL IN MY CREW AND IN MYSELF IS THAT REALLY IT'S NOT ABOUT HOW FAST WE CAN DO IT, IT'S HOW GOOD WE CAN DO IT, AND TAKING THE TIME TO REALLY DO THINGS WELL ALLOWS US TO EXTEND THE LIFE OF WHAT WE'RE MAKING. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE AN ORIOLE MILL COVERLET ON EVERY BED IN AMERICA. I MEAN, I THINK IT'S LIKE LEVI'S. IT SHOULD BE LIKE THAT. IT'S A VERY AMERICAN BRAND, AND IT'S ONE OF THOSE PRODUCTS THAT IS JUST HARDY. >> I THINK TEXTILES ARE OFTEN UNDERAPPRECIATED BECAUSE THEY ARE SO MUCH A PART OF ALMOST EVERY MOMENT OF OUR DAILY LIVES. RIGHT AT BIRTH, WE'RE WRAPPED IN CLOTH OR AT LEAST HISTORICALLY WE WERE, AND FOR BURIAL, WE'RE WRAPPED IN CLOTH, SO REALLY FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE, CLOTH PLAYS A VERY EVER-PRESENT PART IN OUR LIVES. FOR THE HARNESS MEASUREMENTS… STEPHAN MICHELSON IS THE REASON THAT THE ORIOLE MILL EXISTS. WITHOUT HIS INVESTMENT, IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN. WHAT I BRING TO THE EQUATION IS SWEAT EQUITY. MY KNOWLEDGE, MY EXPERTISE, AND MY WILLINGNESS TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES TO MAKE THIS MILL A SUCCESS. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN PEOPLE TELL ME THAT I'M COURAGEOUS, AND I THINK THAT'S A LOVELY THOUGHT, BUT I THINK IT'S NOT ACCURATE. WHAT COMES TO MY MIND IS WHITEWATER RAFTING. THERE'S A POINT WHEN YOU'RE GOING THROUGH THE RAPIDS WHERE IT'S TOO LATE TO SAY, "NEVER MIND. I'VE CHANGED MY MIND. I DON'T WANT TO. I WANT TO GET OUT NOW." IT'S TOO LATE. I DON'T HAVE A CHOICE BECAUSE THERE'S TOO MANY PEOPLE DEPENDING ON ME. DURING THIS PERIOD WHERE STEPHAN AND I WERE STARTING TO MAKE PROGRESS ON STARTING A MILL COINCIDED WITH THE DECLINE OF THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY. FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE YEAR 2000, IN THE SPRING OF THAT YEAR, I WOULD PROBABLY GET ONE TO TWO INQUIRIES PER WEEK OF MILLS THAT WERE LOOKING TO HIRE DESIGNERS. BY OCTOBER OF THE SAME YEAR, WITHIN 6 MONTHS, I PROBABLY HAD THAT MANY INQUIRIES PER WEEK OF DESIGNERS LOOKING FOR JOBS. THE COLLAPSE WAS REALLY RAPID AND DEVASTATING. >> PEOPLE HAD THEIR LIFE BASED UPON THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY. THAT WOULD BE THEIR LIVELIHOOD, AND AS THAT WENT OVERSEAS OF COURSE, THEY HAD TO CHANGE THEIR LIVELIHOOD AND THEIR JOBS. SO IT AFFECTED THE WHOLE ENTIRE TOWN, YOU KNOW? >> THE PUSH WAS SO MUCH ON PROFIT AND NOT SO MUCH ON A LONGER VIEW OF THE INDUSTRY THAT IN SOME CASES THEY SET UP MANUFACTURING OVERSEAS THINKING THAT THEY COULD KEEP EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL, BUT IF YOU'RE SENDING THE DESIGN FILES, THE LOOM FILES OVERSEAS, THOSE PEOPLE ARE SMART, AND THEY CAN SEE WHAT YOU'RE DOING, AND THEY CAN LEARN FROM IT, AND THERE WON'T BE TOO LONG A PERIOD OF TIME WHERE THEY GO DIRECTLY TO THE BUYER AND SAY, "I CAN CUT OUT THIS MIDDLE PERSON AND DO IT FOR CHEAPER." WHAT THEY FOUND OFTEN WAS THAT IT REALLY WAS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IN TERMS OF THE ULTIMATE BOTTOM LINE. >> AND I THINK THAT'S THE DEATH OF THE INDUSTRY UNLESS WE CAN BRING UP MORE PEOPLE LIKE US TO HAVE SMALL MILLS IN WHICH THEY WANT TO MAKE FABRICS. >> I DON'T EXPECT TO SEE IT RESURRECT IN ITS FULL GLORY LIKE IT WAS BEFORE, BUT THIS IS A BEGINNING. >> I HOPE THAT IT WILL COME BACK IN A KIND OF MORE ARTISANAL WAY THAT ARE REALLY DOING HIGH-LEVEL, HIGH-SKILL, HIGH-CRAFT MAKING. >> OUR GOAL IS ALWAYS TO MAKE PRODUCTS THAT ARE HEIRLOOM QUALITY, THAT WILL LAST MULTIPLE GENERATIONS, AND THE TRUTH IS THAT IT'S ONLY IN RECENT HISTORY THAT FABRIC HAS BECOME A DISPOSABLE ITEM. HISTORICALLY, FABRIC WAS ONE OF THE THINGS YOU INHERITED, AND IT HAD AS MUCH VALUE AS GEMSTONES AND PRECIOUS METALS BECAUSE OF THE TIME THAT WAS INVESTED. >> THINGS HAVE BECOME SO INEXPENSIVE AND SO DISPOSABLE THAT WE DON'T REALLY REALIZE THE LABOR THAT GOES INTO HOW THOSE TEXTILES ARE MADE OR HOW THOSE GARMENTS ARE MADE OR HOW THAT PARACHUTE IS MADE OR THAT HOT AIR BALLOON. I MEAN, ANYTHING THAT'S SEWN, RIGHT, HAS ALL OF THIS HAND LABOR THAT GOES INTO IT. MACHINES HELP US, BUT IT'S NOT–THAT'S NOT THE ONLY THING. HA HA! THERE'S ALWAYS A HUMAN CONNECTED TO THE MACHINE. >> [SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> THE WORLD IS A REALLY COMPETITIVE PLACE RIGHT NOW. YOU'RE NO LONGER COMPETING WITH SOME ONE JUST RIGHT DOWN THE STREET. YOU'RE COMPETING WITH PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD. YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD. >> PEOPLE, THEY JUST WANT TO SEE YOUR WEB SITE, THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING. EVEN IF THEY'VE COME TO SEE ME AT A SHOW, THE FIRST OR SECOND QUESTION IS "DO YOU HAVE A WEB SITE?" BECAUSE THEY'LL USE THE WEB TO REFERENCE BACK WHAT THEY SAW THAT DAY. SO IT'S EITHER THEY'RE GOING TO DO THE RESEARCH FIRST ON THE INTERNET AND THEN COME AND SEE ME AT A SHOW OR HERE AT MY SHOWROOM OR AFTER THEY'VE MET ME AND THEY'VE LOOKED AT THE FURNITURE. SO THAT'S WHY BOTH SHANE AND I HAVE SPENT A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TIME MAKING OUR PRESENCE ON THE INTERNET SIGNIFICANT AND ALSO INFORMATIVE FOR OUR CLIENTS. >> THERE ARE SO MANY GREAT AREAS TO MY BUSINESS. I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHERE ONE STARTS AND ONE ENDS, BUT I'D SAY I WORK A LOT ON MY WEB SITE. IT IS A CONSTANT STREAM OF REVENUE FOR ME, AND WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, I NEED TO BE ABLE TO PAY MY RENT, I NEED TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE DOING WHAT I'M DOING, AND THAT'S MAKING JEWELRY FOR A LIVING. I REALLY LOVE STONES. THOSE ARE THE CENTERPIECE OF MY WORK. I HAVE KIND OF THIS OBSESSION WITH PLAYING WITH THE STONES WITHIN MY WORK. SO A LOT OF THE PIECES I'M DOING RIGHT NOW ARE BEZEL-SET STONES, ROSE CUT, DIAMONDS AND SAPPHIRES. A BEZEL IS BASICALLY MADE UP OF TWO PARTS. YOU HAVE THE OUTER WALL, WHICH IS THE VISIBLE PORTION OF THE BEZEL, AND THEN YOU HAVE THE INNER WALL, WHICH IS IN A SENSE THE LEDGE OR THE SEAT THAT THE BOTTOM OF THE DIAMOND IS SUPPORTED BY. BY DOING THIS, IT TACKS THE STONE IN PLACE, KEEPS IT FROM SHIFTING, AND MAKES SURE THE STONE IS SET NICE AND EVENLY. AND I LIKE TO CONTINUE GOING BACK AND FORTH AND SIDE TO SIDE UNTIL ALL OF THE METAL IS EVENLY PUSHED OVER THE STONE AND IT'S NOT GONNA POP OUT. ETSY IS A BIG PART OF MY ONLINE BUSINESS. IT IS ONE OF THE TWO SHOPS THAT I HAVE THAT I SELL MY WORK ONLINE. >> ETSY STARTED IN 2005 RIGHT HERE IN BROOKLYN WHEN OUR FOUNDER ROB KALIN, WHO'S AN ARTIST WHO COULDN'T FIND A PLACE FOR HIMSELF TO SELL HIS OWN WARES, SO HE STARTED ETSY TO DO THAT. WE DESCRIBE HOW ETSY OPERATES AS A BUSINESS. INTERNALLY, WE CALL IT BUSINESS AS UNUSUAL. IN A SORT OF MORE COLLOQUIAL SENSE, WE TALK ABOUT KEEPING ETSY WEIRD. WE WANT TO RUN IT WELL AS A COMPANY, BUT WE WANT TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY AND PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT A CREATIVE BUSINESS CAN BE A PROFITABLE BUSINESS. >> YOU COULD THINK OF IT ALMOST AS AN ONLINE CRAFT SHOW, WHERE EVERY SELLER GETS THEIR OWN BOOTH, BUT WITH ETSY, YOU GET YOUR OWN VIRTUAL SHOP WHERE YOU HAVE YOUR ITEMS. THERE ARE OVER 18 MILLION INDIVIDUAL ITEMS LISTED ON ETSY. THAT'S ONE WAY THAT IT'S VERY DIFFERENT EVEN FROM THE LARGEST DEPARTMENT STORE THAT YOU CAN IMAGINE. IT'S ALWAYS VERY AMUSING WHEN SOMEONE SHOWS UP AT OUR OFFICE WITH A CHECK OR CASH, AND THEY SAY, "I WANT TO BUY THAT CROCHETED HAT!" AND WE HAVE TO EXPLAIN, "NO, NO, NO. YOU HAVE TO BUY IT ONLINE, AND YOU'RE BUYING DIRECTLY FROM THE MAKER." SO WE'RE JUST A PLATFORM TO CONNECT PEER TO PEER. >> THERE'S SUCH A RANGE OF CRAFTSPEOPLE ON THERE. WE ALL ARE RUNNING BUSINESSES, AND WE ALL ARE LOOKING FOR INVENTIVE WAYS OF SHOWCASING AND SELLING OUR PRODUCTS AND GETTING IT OUT TO THE PUBLIC. >> AS A SELLER, YOU'RE PAYING FOR YOUR LISTINGS, BUT REALLY YOU COULD THINK OF THAT ALMOST AS YOU'RE PAYING TO BE SERVICED WITHIN THIS SURGE IN DIFFERENT SHOPPING TOOLS THAT THIS SITE OFFERS, AND THEN ONCE YOUR ITEM SELLS, ETSY TAKES 3.5% FROM THE SALE PRICE. AS A SHOPPER, I CAN EXPLORE THROUGH THESE VARIOUS BROWSE AND SHOPPING EXPERIENCES, AND I CAN DISCOVER PRODUCTS, OR I CAN DO A SEARCH FOR SOMETHING–IF I HAVE SOMETHING SPECIFIC IN MIND THAT I'M LOOKING FOR. SO IF YOU'RE ON THE HOME PAGE, YOU CLICK ON "WEDDINGS," YOU GET TO OUR WEDDING SHOPPING EXPERIENCE. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH WITH RINGS, YOU CAN SEE A SELECTION OF DIFFERENT RINGS THAT ARE ON OFFER THROUGH THE SITE. SO THIS IS SHANE YAMANE. THIS IS HIS SHOP WHERE HE SELLS THESE BEAUTIFUL ENGAGEMENT RINGS. SO IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN SOMETHING, YOU CAN CLICK THROUGH AND SEE MORE PICTURES OF IT. HE HAS A BEAUTIFUL SELECTION OF REALLY HIGH-QUALITY, HIGH-END STUFF. SO YOU CAN ALSO CLICK THROUGH AND LOOK AT HIS ABOUT PAGE AND GET A LITTLE BIT OF A SENSE OF WHAT HE'S ALL ABOUT AS AN ARTIST. LIKE, HERE HE SAYS HE'S TRYING TO USE 100% RECYCLE METALS IN HIS WORK. THAT'S REALLY COOL. IF YOU'RE GONNA GET AN ENGAGEMENT RING, YOU WANT IT TO BE SOMETHING THAT'S VERY UNIQUE AND VERY SPECIAL, AND SHANE'S WORK IS JUST THAT. >> ENGAGEMENT AND WEDDING RINGS KIND OF FOUND ME WHEN I STARTED SELLING ONLINE. I DID A LOT OF NECKLACES AND A LOT OF STATEMENT PIECES, AND IT WASN'T UNTIL I GOT ONLINE THAT PEOPLE STARTED TO CONTACT ME ABOUT MAKING THEIR WEDDING AND ENGAGEMENT RINGS. >> THERE'S THIS NICE FLOW TO IT, AND IT LOOKS BEAUTIFUL WITH THE OTHER RING, AS WELL. >> I'M GLAD YOU LIKE IT. >> I LOVE IT. IT'S GORGEOUS. >> IT'S LOVELY. >> IT'S EXACTLY–YOU–YOU FIGURED OUT EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED THROUGH MY VAGUE E-MAILS. >> HA HA HA! >> I REALLY LIKE THE ROSE CUT LOOK, AND SO I DID A KIND OF GOOGLE SEARCH FOR ROSE CUT DIAMOND, AND I FOUND SHANE, AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIS WORK AS SOON AS I SAW IT. >> IT'S GREAT. MY FINGER'S GETTING… THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED. THAT'S PERFECT. >> GREAT. HA HA HA! MY PHILOSOPHY HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THE PERSON THAT'S WEARING MY PIECE. THEY ALWAYS FACTOR IN TO HOW I DESIGN. MY PIECES SHOULD BE COMFORTABLE AND WEARABLE, AS WELL AS IT SHOULD FIT WITH THE LIFESTYLE OF MY CLIENT. IT SHOULD GROW WITH THEM AND BECOME ALMOST AN EXTENSION OF THEIR BEING. >> SO IT WILL AGE, AND THEN IT WILL–SORT OF IT WILL ADD CHARACTER TO IT, AS WELL? >> IT WILL ADD CHARACTER, EXACTLY. >> YEAH, THAT'S GREAT. >> IN THE DIGITAL AGE, THE DISTRIBUTION MODEL HAS CHANGED ENTIRELY SO THAT IF YOU ARE A SMALL CRAFTSPERSON OR AN ARTIST YOU DON'T HAVE TO SIT IN YOUR SHOP AND WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO WALK IN THE DOOR ANYMORE. YOU CAN FIND AN TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE ONLINE, AND THAT COULD BE ANYONE ACROSS THE GLOBE. >> I THINK THAT TO SOME EXTENT PEOPLE ARE VERY EDUCATED BUYERS NOW BECAUSE OF THE INTERNET. >> THEY WANT TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE, HOW YOU'RE MAKING IT, WHERE YOU'RE SOURCING YOUR MATERIALS FROM. >> IT'S A REALLY EXCITING TIME RIGHT NOW TO BE IN THIS INDUSTRY. I GUESS OUR INDUSTRY IS THE TECH INDUSTRY, BUT IT'S ALSO THE ARTS, IT'S ALSO RETAIL, IT'S ALSO ONLINE COMMUNITY. IT'S AN INTERESTING MIX. >> I THINK PEOPLE ARE REALLY TIRED OF THE BIG BOX RETAIL EXPERIENCE, AND THEY WANT SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE SPECIAL. IT JUST FEELS BETTER TO SUPPORT AN ARTISAN TO ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP WHERE YOU CAN HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE BUYING, YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS OF MAKING, YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE PASSION OF THE PERSON INSTEAD OF JUST PURCHASING SOMETHING. >> MAJOR FUNDING FOR "CRAFT IN AMERICA" WAS PROVIDED BY CYNTHIA LOVELACE SEARS AND FRANK BUXTON, LILLIAN PIERSON LOVELACE, L.L. BROWNRIGG, HELEN AND PETER BING, STOLAROFF FOUNDATION, THE SHERI AND LES BILLER FAMILY FOUNDATION, THE SETH SPRAGUE EDUCATIONAL AND CHARITABLE FOUNDATION. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT WAS PROVIDED BY THE FOLLOWING…

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