One aspect of what many women find appealing about crafting is the act of using their hands, getting away from the glut of electronics and making something original. From Paint-By-Numbers Kits in the 1950s to velvet paintings in the ’70s and Perler beads in the ’90s, most of us have dabbled in some sort of craft fad or two. The cool thing is that when you make something yourself, it feels more special than your average Target impulse buy. So, whether it’s your bedazzled purse from middle school or your new DIY T-shirt, today, wear it proudly, crafty lady!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 30 Percent
Crafting has a weird reputation. It used to be thought of as a hobby of grandmas, and some still view it as such. If you’re a millennial, though, you know this isn’t even close to the truth. These days, if you can make something yourself, be it a knitted scarf, needlepoint or handcrafted jewelry, you’re automatically cool. Furthermore, lots of crafty gals are turning their flair for DIY arts into booming businesses. In a recent nationwide survey of sellers on online handmade-goods marketplace Etsy—which boasts more than 1.5 million sellers worldwide—30 percent of those artisans said they consider their craftwork to be their primary occupation. So, ladies, what are you waiting for? It’s time to turn your love of DIY crafting into a full-blown biz!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Midge Blitz, Founder of Modern Girl Blitz
They say the best way to be successful is by being true to yourself, and today’s Woman to Watch is the perfect example. Midge Blitz has turned her sassy, crafty, feminist-focused personal style into an online shop called Modern Girl Blitz, which features adorable handmade trinkets made with lots of coffee, magic and love.
Apart from having an outrageously cool name, Midge is an incredibly talented artisan, and every piece of her Modern Girl Blitz handiwork packs a punch. From hand-illustrated brooches emblazoned with the word “feminist” to fluorescent-pink, screen-printed girl-power tote bags, Midge is known for her cheeky, illustrated aesthetic, and many of her crafts were inspired by her 365 Ways of Feminism project, the graphic designer’s year-long effort to create thought-provoking pieces using feminist symbols every day.
Indeed, much of Midge’s 365 art includes the universal symbol for the goddess Venus. She uses flower petals, sequins and even magazine clippings to create one-of-kind, impactful crafts. One of my favorite Midge designs, which has likely gained a cult following, is a colorful piece inspired by Rosie the Riveter.
What’s also impressive about Midge is that she walks the walk. Unlike big-box retailers that crank out trendy pseudo-feminist products, Midge is a devout feminist, unafraid to shout it from the digital rooftops, whether through social media or on her endearing blog. This career crafter is the real deal, and her wearable designs give other women the opportunity to display their feminism proudly.
Midge says there are many ways to express one’s devotion to feminism, noting it’s that philosophy that has most inspired her artwork. For instance, she created an art series about body hair and one about makeup because, as Midge says, she’s often taunted by naysayers, who question her dedication to the cause with such doubts as, “Oh, you’re a feminist? But you shave your legs and you wear makeup!” Midge’s response: “I wanted to open up a forum on this sort of body politics because there are so many ways to express yourself as a feminist.”
Thanks, Midge, for proving that feminism is not only empowering, but also pretty dang stylish!
QUITE THE QUOTE
One woman Midge Blitz featured in her 365 Ways of Feminism project is a tried-and-true feminist herself, actress and unapologetic advocate Roseanne Barr. She said:
“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.