Matt Crumpton scored his dream job straight out of law school, but the powerful firm laid him off within two years. Rather than pout, Crumpton relished the chance to try something new. He started his own firm, made his own hours and launched a wide range of projects that made him a force in the music scene.
Thanks to events like Craftin' Outlaws -- the popular yearly fair that caters to crafters making things like rockabilly lunchboxes rather than, say, cross-stitched angel doilies -- and stores like Wholly Craft and What the Rock?!, local indie crafters are seeing more demand for their work.
"It used to be that we were alternative craft, but now we're just the mainstream craft," said Megan Green, co-organizer of Craftin' Outlaws and the crafter behind Stinkybomb Soaps. "We're not so edgy anymore. But that's a good thing. It's exciting to see where the future of craft will go as a result of that."
Expect Green to be on the front lines of Columbus' crafty future, her grenade-shaped soaps in hand.
This spring, Green became the manager of The Candle Lab's new Short North location. The partnership is "genius," she said. Candle Lab gets to employ Green's soap-making know-how to introduce new products to the Candle Lab family, and Green gets to work retail in a successful Columbus brand and create more exposure for Stinkybomb Soaps.
"I think sometimes 'craft' can be a little bit of a sad word," Green said. "I think some people can frown on that. They don't give it the recognition of what it is. We are artists. We are small businesses."
More male DIYers and technological craft will join the mix within the year, Green predicted, and the community will continue to grow.
"A lot of it still comes down to education," Green said. "Sometimes it is easier to go to Target or Walmart, but I do think buying from your local crafters is catching on a lot more."