nuts & bolts by jody hollier
what’s your class?
I first became aware of Richard Florida and the The Rise of the Creative Class in 2005 while I was working at Borders. He was in my town speaking and we supplied the books for purchase & signing at the event. While I didn’t have the chance to attend, my manager did and she came back completely reinvigorated. Just like me, she was a creative, intelligent woman who felt beat down by our retail, service sector job.
She was so pumped to hear that someone was projecting that creative jobs were on the rise, that you could make a living doing something that you were passionate about, that life was about more than working 9-5 to pay bills. She left a few months later to go back to school and study Art History and Women’s Studies. Richard Florida got her excited. Really excited.
Simply put – the creative class is made up of the jobs that require innovation and creative thinking: healthcare, business, law, writers, artists, musicians, engineers, technology, etc… They’re the jobs that require an extensive education or an extensive amount of self-learning and motivation. These aren’t easy jobs to get but they are (to many) some of the most rewarding.
The creative class comprises over 40 million workers (30% of the workforce) in the United States alone – and earns over 50% of the income of the America workforce. What’s more, the creative class controls 70% of the discretionary income in the United States. Hot damn.
While the creative class – and our burning desire to become a part of it – has been rising steadily since the time Florida has been writing on the subject, with the onset of the current economic crisis, there’s something new to talk about The Great Reset.
new systems of innovation
The Great Reset represents a complete paradigm shift in how economies function from consumer to professional to service provider to government and back again. It happened before in the Industrial Revolution and after the Great Depression. It’s happening again now and it’s benefiting creative people like you & me. Instead of assigning value to piles of stuff sitting in storage units, value & spending have shifted to reflect quality of quantity, passion over pure profit.
To bring the concept into my own experience, the Great Reset is the shift that we are counting on to make the indie craft & design movement work. It’s the shift that provides a hope for creative people to find real value in work that represents their true passion and for others to accept the true value of passionate work. It’s the shift that backs up Rob Kalin’s vision for the future of Etsy, “Instead of having an economy dictate the behavior of communities, to empower communities to influence the behavior of economies.”
Florida has a similar thought, ‘the Great Reset is not the result of overarching government policy – it’s the result of the multitude of tiny resets that individuals are making all over the world.‘
One of these tiny resets happens every time you – or a neighbor – decide to buy handmade instead of from a huge corporation.
photograph by jody hollier
a shift to profiting from your passion
As more workers make the shift from working for a paycheck to having a passion for what they profit from, we as a society will begin to value the creative work that goes into art, craft, and micro-manufacturing. More people will be willing to pay more for their stuff. More people will make creative choices to live within their means but surround themselves with beautiful and inspiring objects.
The indie craft movement is full of people who have made the jump from work that pays the bills to work that pays the bills and feeds the soul. Not only has this movement brought a whole new group into the creative class, it has created a new industry that has begun sending out the creative message to new groups. The indie craft movement provides an attainable goal (not without hard work, for sure), a realistic vision for people who want to reclaim their creativity in a society that for too long has valued dollars over passion.
How does the indie craft movement benefit from the great reset & the rise of the creative class? Easy. The more our society values quality over quantity – whether in goods, jobs, income, sustenance… – the larger the market will be for original design, handmade goods, and real innovative craftsmanship.
What could be better for the indie craft & design movement?
People living lives based on quality and passion, looking to creative people for leadership in rebuilding our economy. It’s happening. Right now. Take advantage of it. Mobilize your town, your neighborhood, your street.
Embrace your creative life.
For more information on the creative class and the Great Reset, check out this podcast with Richard Florida at the Total Picture.