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Crafts go corporate: Indie movement glue-guns its way into the mass marketplace

December 11, 2010 |  6:00 am

When Renegade and Unique L.A. go head-to-head this weekend in Los Angeles, the two craft fairs have some additional competition from an unlikely source: the mall.

Many merchants have dabbled in handmade crafts, especially during the holiday season. But two modern home décor retailers, West Elm and CB2, are making a strategic push to woo the young decorators who have been fueling the crafts revival. Small-batch letterpress stationery from Brooklyn and San Francisco is selling alongside felt ornaments made in Nepal and pottery proudly touted as made in China -- by artisans.

"Do I raise an eyebrow when I see 'Handmade Holidays' in a West Elm catalog? Maybe a little bit," Unique L.A. founder Sonja Rasula said. "They know that they can make money, but I would like to believe that there is new, young blood in these companies and they believe in the movement."

Read the rest of our article online or pick up the Home section in the Saturday Los Angeles Times.

-- David A. Keeps


Illustration credit: Ellen Weinstein / For The Times

Photos, from left: Wool ornaments from Nepal, handmade paper garland designed by David Stark and wooden birds from El Salvador are among the handmade fair items at West Elm this holiday season. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times


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