What was not so amazing, was the surprising backlash from crafters. I really thought they would get behind this show. Beyond selective market shows on PBS and re-runs, there are no craft shows on TV. In fact, if you talked with folks in the TV biz over the past few years, crafting was a dirty word. They didn't want to entertain any pitches related to crafts. So having a show on TV with the word 'craft' in it, is a really big deal.
I was surprised to see the level of negative feedback, even from craft industry pros. I get that a competition show may not be everyone's cup of tea. I get that people for some reason don't like Tori Spelling, but having met her I can say she was a gracious, charming and excellent hostess. I get that this may not be the light people want to shine on crafts and creativity. But the old format of host/guest/linear step by step project doesn't work anymore. It needs refreshing, updating, reworking.
If this show is a hit, guess what? More shows will emerge and other formats will be explored. We could, if all goes well, be reinventing craft TV in all sorts of exciting and interesting ways. I would like to believe that most of us can get behind that. I plan on getting behind that with my own pitches to the networks, so stay tuned.
Even if you don't like TV, here's the thing, it's about selling the soap and that's really is a good thing. Or in this case, it's about selling the craft supplies and the idea of DIY. It's about getting the Average Joe and Jane excited about crafting. It's about getting them motivated to buy craft products and make craft projects. It's about getting people to buy books about crafting. It's about getting them to buy handcrafted goods. It's about showing them why crafts matter and why handmade rocks!
It's about...re-energizing an industry that sorely needs it.
And that is something I would like to believe that we can all get behind.
I am going to keep banging the drum all summer for this show, and not just because I'm on it, but because I really and truly believe this could be the harbinger of bigger and better things to come for crafters, DIY, creativity and crafting. And those who worry that it devalues what they do, remember that getting people making things means helping them gain a deeper appreciation for making. Then they start to understand why handcrafted things have so much resonance and value.
If we want the spirit of DIY to fly, if we want more craft shows on TV, if we want to see this industry and movement energized and excited, we all HAVE to get behind this show. Love it or hate it, we need to support it so shows you can love will get made. Because if this show fails, it's going to be a while before crafting gets back on network TV.
This is my new mantra, my call to action, my invitation and my plan for crafty world takeover:
"Make Handmade. Give Handmade. Buy Handmade. Live Handmade."
Wash, rinse, repeat. Viva la CRAFTS!