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This is an ongoing discussion in our office as we prepare the prospectus for the big move to Washington, DC and the rebranding of the Buyers Market into the American Made Show.  For years we've been using the term craft, but the association with hobbyists or non-professionals is holding us back.

Here are my own thoughts:  Why American Made Show?

If we are going to "grab" the attention of new wholesale buyers then we must come up with some new words for what we do.  Here are some of the terms we are considering... Your "generation" has so much to do with the use of these words... boomers and academics (like me) are comfortable with handmade and craft, but things are changing.  Lasers, CAD weaving, computers and other new "tools" are now part of our world.  So what words to you prefer?

Mini-facturer, Maker, Designer producer, Applied Designer, Cottage Industrialist, Local Producer, Studio Artist, Artisan, handmade ceo, DIY, Estian, creator, creative entrepreneur, Artrepreneur.  Do you have other great descriptive words for your title or business.  Add them here!

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Owner/artist, custom saddlemaker/silversmith, designer/craftsman all used at one time or another in the last 55 years of professional work.

Over the years have you changed in the ways you use those titles?

As a patron, when I see the word artisan, I think of high quality hand made items.  That word as well as variations such as artisanal are used to describe out of the ordinary breads, cheeses, meats as well as works of art.  

Using 'cute' words like artrepreneur devalues the work.  JMHO.

Wonderful thoughts. I agree but I am concerned that manufacturers are taking the word artisan and hijacking it as they have the words handmade, handcrafted and craft. Authenticity in anything is more and more difficult to determine.

I prefer words like designer, studio artist, artisan and maker. I have to admit I shy away from "crafts" or "craftsperson". I agree that those words seem to be weighted toward hobbyists. I'm very proud of my lifelong devotion to the design field and so most of all I feel a strong affinity for the word designer.


Do you think the term Maker is as much generational as it is defining?

Artist-Photographer and Estian

I feel that whatever word, titles or descriptions, however fancy or basic that someone wants to call themselves and their creations are just that...words. What really is important is what impression and visual impact your craft, art, or whatever fancy name you choose to describe what you do is instilled on those who view it.

So true! Good work photo'd well is everything!

I actually like cottage industrialist, artisan, and studio artist.  But I agree with Geri on the word artisan.  I have seen that on food labels in a regular grocery store.  Not on foods that are made in small batches with special characteristics, but on loaves of bread and a frozen pizza box in a freezer.  I just don't think those are works of art.  Food marketers are hijacking that word.

Its like a lot of other terms that get abused if it is possibly profitable, food labeling for one.  Is it possible it will become another government regulated term?


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