ACMoore, Jo-Anne’s, and Michael’s

Has anyone ever heard a kid say “I want to be a PMP when I grow up?”

I’m pretty sure that’s never been said in the annals of childhood aspirations.

What is it that people really want to do with their lives?  All the people that are stumbling from work to home and back again, the professionally miserable class…  what do they really want?  They want to be artists and designers and writers and chefs and bakers and soap makers and potters.

What do these dream jobs have in common?  The result is every day things that get used.  Human-sized and shaped objects that are tangible and temporary (cupcakes get eaten, dishes get broken).

Nobody wants to be a PMP when they grow up.  Nobody wants to shuffle papers and wear a suit and spend 8 hours a day away from sunshine.  And herein lies the problem.  There are a lot of places that will pay you to be a project manager.  But if you want to be a cabinet maker, there’s only a small portion of the population who will choose to have custom cabinet work done when they could run off to Ikea and get a brand new kitchen, appliances and all, for the low, low price of $2,000.

The job market demands people to navigate the layers of complexity with varying degrees of success and a great deal of boredom and frustration.  It does not demand more makers of stuff.

But yet makers we are.  Take the success of the box stores full of components which you can buy at full retail price and put together in order to make other stuff which has no value to anyone but you.  Scrapbook mavens, I’m looking at you.  Why is that?  It isn’t because any single life is so scintillating that it requires a scrapbook a year.  We lived a long time without recording every minute detail of our lives in excruciating detail, complete with stamps and fancy scissors.  It isn’t the scrapbook that people want, it’s the connection between time and product; it’s having made something tangible.  The process of taking an idea from concept to reality.

What to do in the gap between who we are and what we do?


Okay, maybe not drink.  It’s a big gap and it would take a lot of <insert your drink of choice> to fill it up.


ACMoore, Jo-Anne’s, and Michael’s

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