The Design Digest: April 4, 2019

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This week’s Design Digest had me reminiscing about the good old days of the internet, when finding handmade goods was way easier and social media was way nicer. For the latter, I bring you Thrive Global’s intriguing discussion of social media and probably the invention of new malady: the ‘Techxistential Crisis‘, written by By Elizabeth Yuko, Staff Writer/Editor at Thrive Global. Be sure to check out one of the recommended articles on social media and mental health while you are there. You’ll probably find something there to agree with, besides the great vector art.

Tech & Design News

I’m sad to see Tictail go the way of Shopify. I’m sure it makes sense in the long run, at least for Shopify, but my inbox has been filled with shops like this one and this one, who’ve had to find another home. You had a great ride, Tictail. I really thought they might be the only viable alternative to Etsy, but alas, that’s not gonna happen. Someone really needs to create a new e-commerce platform for indie artists.

Bodega WordPress theme by Themes Kingdom.

On a brighter note, I just updated my portfolio site with this boomin’ theme from Themes Kingdom called Bodega. It’s fun, fast and a great way to show off some of my resent design work. I’ve got a few other design jobs cooking that I can’t wait to show you. And since I’m on a design kick, check out this design calendar. I wish I knew it existed when I was in Milan two weeks ago! Need a little splash of color in your life? Try this palette from Design Seeds. It’s got to be one of my favorites!

Speaking of Milan, The Spaces showcased some amazing rental apartments in Milan, perfect for your next visit to the style capital of the world. Not ready for a trip to Italy? Try this amazing cabin I discovered on Dwell this week. I know, it’s in Finland, but seriously: don’t you want to sleep there? OK, if not there, what about here?

One more well designed space: this incredible pet friendly apartment by Sim-Plex Design. It’s so innovative and, since we all know cats run the internets, you’re probably required to take a look or risk an unpleasant evening of having your cat give you the side eyes. On a serious note, Sim-Plex really have noble reasons for their clever design work:

“In Hong Kong, the children of many families have left their home after growing up. The elders left behind are inevitably lonely. The causes are also related to the increasing emphasis on privacy and freedom of the younger generation. After receiving this project, Sim-Plex hopes that the flexibility of the layout will enable the homeowners and their mothers to have private and communal living spaces which would stop creating the same problem.”

Yes, we need less lonely elders and more communal spaces like this. I love those doors! See more from this talented team on their website that graciously has English and Japanese captains.

Makers To Watch

So many great makers to share this week. I’d like to thank all of those who returned my emails and gave me permission to use a pic or two. Those who I missed, like Mica Peet and Zuzii: maybe next week.

Jewelry by Julie Cohn Design

Our lead off and header image belongs to Julie Cohn. When her email hit my inbox and I saw those Japonica Bronze chandelier earrings, from her Eden collection, I knew I just had to feature them. There are so many incredible pieces to discover, like her stunning bracelets. Take a minute and bask in the glow of this talented Dallas, Texas-based designer.

I love a good chair and so I bring you this fun number from Dowel Jones, another favorite maker to watch. This half hurdle chair is a real winner. It’s a great blend of Australian design and American oak. Can we all agree that we need something in our live in the minty cool green? Yes, yes we can.

Alex Bender Bags on Etsy

Lastly, Alex Bender delivers with another great collection of modern handmade bags. I’ve followed Alex on Etsy for years and had forgotten how much I love her use of color. I think I have minty green on the brain because this is the bag that immediately made my smile. See more of her work on Etsy and on her personal website.

One last note for you makers out there. I know how hard it is to get your work seen. Sites like this one used to have 40K visitors a month, hunting for the latest modern handmade finds. Ties have changed but the interest in modern handmade goods has only gotten stronger. I know how hard it can be to find the good stuff. Well don’t despair, something grand is coming. Othermakers is coming!

Othermakers is my new online directory and discovery platform for modern handmade goods. It will showcase individual makers on their own custom built profile pages, with a selection of item for sale from each maker, linked to their online shops. Oh, and it’s FREE!
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Othermakers will also feature a directory of brick & mortar shops in a selection of cities, making it easy for travelers and locals alike to support local businesses and the makers they showcase. Head over to othermakers.com and sign up to learn more.

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