Everyone is talking how AI is going to take a lot of jobs. Yes, it is possible. I won’t deny that. But cool part of it is that we have free time to have other jobs. Cooler jobs! In the midst of an ongoing crisis that is in place since 2008 for oh, so many factors, a lot of people started getting creative! You can call them hipsters, but there are a lot of people bringing back almost extinct professions. How are they doing it? By giving it a human touch of pure creativity and humanity. Here are some of them.
The reason I am writing this blog is that I discovered an interest in lettering. And now there are a lot of people who are solely living by creating letterings for brands, painting signs, giving lettering workshops or even posting their art on Instagram.
Back in the days, artists would be paid to paint a sign in a warehouse or on top of a local shop. With the invention of computer graphics and printing, this profession was gone. But not anymore. If you walk into any hype and happening store, you are going to see a hand-painted sign, menu or quote. In 2016 a group of diverse professional quit their day job to fund Amsterdam Signpainters. They give workshops and now live solely by hand-painting beautiful lettering all over the Dutch city.
Men, rejoice! That’s a pretty cool one. I do like the process of pampering myself, and I assume that barber shops are the place where men can go to be pampered, right? I mean, speaking in a heteronormative way.
Anyway, Gilette killed the barbers, and now they back! Cooler than ever. Barbers learned something from Starbucks and invested a lot in creating a whole experience out of grooming. At the new barber shops, you can eat, drink a beer and even stay for a party later on. In Cut Throat in Amsterdam, they host several events beyond serving drinks, food and of course, grooming!
And if you think this is a temporary trend, know that barbering is the fastest-growing profession in the US according to Forbes. And it is estimated to reach a market of 26 billion dollars by 2020. So get your razors and trim for your lives! Ok, a bit dramatic here.
In the last decades, fast fashion came. And with its ridiculously low prices. From then on nobody cared anymore about repairing clothes. You just buy new ones! And that’s what we are still doing, but less and less. As themes as circular economy and sustainability gain more ground, more people are conscious of consumerism and are rethinking before throwing something away and buying something new.
Clothing repair was one of the few businesses to grow in 2008, and in 2014 the trend gained more visibility. Actually, beyond tech, this is one of the other markets that has been increasing, and there are not enough qualified people. Now, in every hipster street, you walk, you will see a tiny store where you can repair all your clothes. I know it because I live next to one! In conclusion, why code when you can sew?
An artisan is a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand. If you think about it, actually all the other three professions that I listed are already artisans. But now I want to talk more broadly. And to do that, I would like to address the creation of etsy.com. Etsy is an online platform for artisans. It was created in 2005, and its first community was a group of anti-consumerists on the rise. They were becoming influential, and Etsy was the perfect and only online platform for them.
Later they became even better by integrating the website with social media and empowering the seller, giving them a better fee than eBay and more tools to engage with their customers. That allowed that crafter around the world turned their hobbies into their businesses. And that is extremely powerful. In 2014 the average gain of a seller on Etsy per year as 13K dollars. And that’s the average.
The platform, reunited with crafters themselves, created a whole movement that is getting bigger every year. And on the platform, you can find everything from clothes to furniture to books. The growth of the platform also shows a tendency of people preferring to buy handmade items. And that’s only on Etsy. Outside the platform, there is a whole world of people creating homemade products and selling them in their own webshops. Or even supermarkets, where you can find more craft beers and other handmade products than ever!
*If you want to know more about Etsy and the craftsmanship movement you can read their Growth Hackers case here.
Yep, they are all hipsters!
You may despise the bearded hipsters with their suspenders and bow ties. But what started with them is going mainstream. And that’s great! All those jobs and comebacks are fulfilling a hole in the economy and bringing dignity to some jobs that were looked down before. More than that, it is bringing passion back to earning a living. With the artisan’s case, the sellers on Etsy create products out of what they love and used to be their hobbies. I would also like to bring attention to the fact that as a lot of people talk about which markets millennials are killing, those are the markets that millennials are creating. And that’s where you should keep an eye on!