The story of The Tinderbox | Craft Collective:
I wanted to be my own boss and decided to open a shop. A shop where local artists can sell their goods, host a workshop, and reach the Houston community in a real way. I wanted to open a shop where people can come and make things, meet people, and shop locally for unique handmade goods and art. I wanted to have a space that mirrors the creative spirit of Houston, and caters to people who love a good handwritten letter, on homemade stationary. There are great pop up shops and markets around town, but Houstonians need the opportunity to shop from local artistans year round, take workshops from professional artists, meet other novice crafters, and give back to their community by investing locally.
So I did.
The Craft Organization Development Association released a report in 2011 which shows the “significant economic impact of craft artists and the importance of supporting makers as part of efforts to enrich cultural lives and grow the economy.” Houston is a budding place for the DIY revolution, and crafters should have numerous opportunities to promote their love of crafting and connect to local people who share their vision and spirit of making things. With the rise in popularity of Etsy, Pinterest, and arts and craft blogs, people are starting to WANT to make things, and everyone knows it is a lot more fun with great people around you. With technology all around us, and our hands busy typing, texting, tweeting, and whatever else we can manage, sometimes picking up a glue stick, knitting needle, or just a pair of scissors can feel like coming home.
Yes, going from an idea to reality was really hard. I needed to come up with a business plan, find a location, convince my husband it’s a good idea (eek!), leave my really great AND STABLE job, come up with the money, and take a huge leap of faith. But I really feel there is something magical happening in Houston, the creative economy is growing, and the need for community will always be here. I am blogging so I can track my progress, iron out marketing messages, encourage entrepreneurship, and most importantly, stay accountable to my dream.
And what about the name Tinderbox? (I think it has quite a nice ring to it.) I read an article during the summer we had an extreme drought here in Houston and the headline was “Houston: A Tinderbox,” and I thought it was the perfect metaphor for Houston. Readily ignited…that seems a perfect description of people in the crafting world as well.
We have closed our current location but you can check out these posts to see some fun things we were able to do: