The idea of a DIYer or "maker" has evolved over the years. There are crafters, artisans, DIYers and a slew of others. Each name has its own personal definition and each niche can be sorted into its own category if we get down to the nitty gritty. DIY traditionally refers to how-to content. But the term has evolved over the years to mean so much more. The term "maker" or "DIYer" is constantly changing. Currently, there is an overarching movement, or revolution if you will, that is all encompassing. That, my friends, is the Maker Movement. But what exactly is the "Maker Movement"? Let's take a look at Adweek's definition:
The maker movement, as we know, is the umbrella term for independent inventors, designers and tinkerers. A convergence of computer hackers and traditional artisans, the niche is established enough to have its own magazine, Make, as well as hands-on Maker Faires that are catnip for DIYers who used to toil in solitude. Makers tap into an American admiration for self-reliance and combine that with open-source learning, contemporary design and powerful personal technology like 3-D printers. The creations, born in cluttered local workshops and bedroom offices, stir the imaginations of consumers numbed by generic, mass-produced, made-in-China merchandise.
Startup companies like Quirky and Kickstarter are now aiding makers in turning ideas into real-life products. And Etsy has become the go-to virtual marketplace for modern makers to sell their wares. And to date, DIY is one of the most popular categories on Pinterest, the virtual, visual curation social media site.
The Maker Movement is more important now than ever before in that it's encouraging and inspiring people to shift from passive consumers to active creators while at the same time prompting people to spend their money on handmade, locally crafted items that are perceived as being of higher quality (more about that in our recent blog post).
Consumers are getting smarter and savvier about their purchasing power. They want transparency in their products and they appreciate a touch of the hand when it comes to what they're spending money on. Big brands are taking note and adding "maker" product lines or taking inspiration from the Maker Movement and incorporating it into their products. Take a look at how Levi's is infusing a maker brand into its product lineup. Some companies are even adjusting their manufacturing process to a more localized or ethically friendly process. The movement is having a palpable impact on brands around the world and that, I'd say, is pretty darn important.