‘Makers Across Borders’ with special guests from Indonesia

Makerhood is all about local. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in things outside Lambeth. In the past five years we’ve come across more and more makers all over the world who are working to strengthen their local community and to bring local makers together. So we were very excited to host our first international speakers at a Makers’ Club meeting on 8 February at the Brixton Pound Cafe.

Our special guests at the meeting were Kadek Febryanti (Febry) and Ellya Zukhaylla. Febry manages communications for the Tunjung Womens’ Creative Project in Bali and also works as a freelance buyer of fairly traded crafts for Shared Earth UK while Ellya is a Lecturer in Industrial Design at the Sepuluh Nopember Institure of Technology in Surabaya, East Java, who researches small scale craft production businesses.

Picture of Febry and Ellya

Febry and Ellya are visiting the UK from Indonesia as part of the Create Connect Sustain research project run by the University of Sheffield. They came along to Makers’ Club to meet Lambeth-based makers and to share the challenges of developing businesses as makers. As it turns out, many of the challenges are the same wherever you are based!

Photo of makers in discussion

After short talks and a discussion on the joys and challenges of trying to succeed as makers, we shared possible solutions to some of the problems we currently share:

Selling & Promotion:
Using social media – it’s free!
Including link to own website on social media profiles
Collaborating with others
Selling via someone else – shops and markets
Promoting each other’s work
Telling our story / the story of the product/s

Running a business:
Education – learning new business skills
Networking – sharing ideas and experiences
Taking part in pop-up events and markets
Developing an online presence
Having the time and money to allow for experimentation, development, failure

Time management:
Evaluating each task regularly according to specific criteria
Prioritising activities and focussing on what’s really important
Recording exactly how we spend time
Exercising self-care and sticking to boundaries
Scheduling social media posts and dealing with email at fixed times
Having something to work towards
Saying no to “should”

Photo of post-it notes from the discussion

It was interesting that these tips applied whether you’re a maker in Indonesia or Lambeth. And it was a great way to meet new friends from both near and far.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to our special guests, Andy and Ann from the Create Connect Sustain research project and all our fabulous Makerhoodies for generously sharing their experiences. Now, if only we could make a return visit to Indonesia some time….

9 quotes about the ideas behind Makerhood

Some feedback from survey contributors we wanted to share:

“We need to bring back care in this world. I’d like to know that I’ve bought something with a bit of love in it rather than some cheap plastic machine made crap.”

“I love buying handmade goods that someone has put time, thought, effort and love into rather than buying mass-produced rubbish. It’s also really nice to have a one-of-a-kind item rather than something loads of other people own.”

 “I don’t want to end up living in a ‘Tesco clone-town’ where the only choice I have is to shop in chain stores. I want to support local businesses and keep money circulating in the local community.”

“In modern days, we’ve become a total throw-away generation, where everything is built to fail… I think it’s just a terrible waste.”

“I think to keep a vibrant local economy and prevent cloning on high streets and preserve character we should support local business and enterprise.”

“If food-related, it’s good to know exactly where the product has come from and how it has been sourced. If non-food related, it adds to the appeal of a product if you know the story behind it and who has made it.”

“Buying/selling locally is more environmentally sustainable and helps strengthen communities. It’s nice to know your neighbours/ who made your bread/who bought your tablecloth/who makes the best cheese.”

“I feel really passionate about buying locally-made products – it’s so much better for environment and community reasons and I’m becoming more and more disillusioned with buying from supermarkets.”

“Being able to chat directly to the person making the product is a great boon – shopping shouldn’t be a trial! Plus the obvious benefits of less food miles, fresher output, knowing what has gone into the product.”

Can you give us a tenth?