Tyler Wendling
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Wendling & Boyd: The Blog

Wendling & Boyd: The Blog 

CRAFT + FOLK

Photo by Preston made

Photo by Preston made

Hey guys! Long time no speak. It has been super busy over at the @wendlingandboyd household but I'm making my come back! I've been working on another collaboration and this is one that has been a long time coming. I've been following Michael of Craft+Folk for a long time now and always loved his posts so he reached out and asked me to work on some hand lettering for him and to also feature his shop on Wendling + Boyd. How could I say no?

"Craft+Folk is a blog that explores heritage inspired design on a weekly basis. Each week I select a designer, studio or shop and explore their work throughout the week. It started as an Instagram blog but people can now find Archives of all past features on the newly launched website, along with a shop selling a selection of the featured items. I started craft+folk as a way to reconcile and document my design sensibilities. Using Instagram it was easy to document various designers and aesthetics while sharing with friends and others in the Instagram community. As the blog has grown and evolved, so has my mission. Below, I’ve outlined the fundamental principles and values that drive craft+folk. My hope for craft+folk, as it continues to grow, is to eventually create an interdisciplinary intersection of entrepreneurship, design and collaboration." - Michael Kolodesh

As you all know, I've always loved hand crafted and locally designed goods. Craft+Folk is a place where I like to plunder myself into finding new makers and see what goods are out in the world. All of the pieces that Michael features on the site are beautifully crafted and made with love. It explores this aesthetic of heritage and the people who are behind it. With supporting local makers here in Grand Rapids, It's nice to see that there are new ideas and new goods being made rather frequently all around The United States. He features a few of my of my all time favorites shops: Loyal Stricklin, Lostine, Preston made, Yellow 108 and many more! Craft+Folk's Instagram, is probably one of my favorites of all time. It inspires me to create whenever possible.

Here are some notes and goals from Michael for Craft+Folk:

1. Design Journal

The idea for craft+folk was born out of a passion for Architecture. Working in Architecture, I had realized that product design is a form of Architecture on a smaller, more manageable scale. Many Architects are revered as much for their furniture as for their buildings. So I started to research woodworkers and makers. Studios like Palo Samko, Bellboy and Studio Dunn started to surface. My interests were cemented when I landed a job at an Architecture firm that held similar values. At the firm I was introduced to many new makers so I wanted to document and share my experiences.

2. Share Design

I wanted to share what I have learned with friends and a likeminded community while bringing design insight and knowledge to a larger audience. Instagram was an ideal format where I could post once or twice daily, easily and from anywhere. This helped me to stay consistent as compared to a Tumblr blog or a traditional blog which takes more discipline to update on a regular basis. Instagram provided access to a world of creative thinkers. It allowed me to easily find and connect with makers and likeminded people.

3. Highlight Designers

At the heart of craft+folk is highlighting great makers and their work. I hope to shed light on designers & creatives across disciplines by telling their stories and sharing insights into their process. I hope to cultivate an understanding for how designers think, operate and make their work. Often times the process is not seen by the end user. Shedding light on that process gives people much more appreciation for the value of the work. But even more than that, I hope to support the individuals who are brave enough to pursue their own path. I think corporations certainly have a place in society but it is the small businesses that give texture and vibrancy to our local communities.

4. Encourage Thoughtful Consumption

I hope to encourage people to carefully consider their consumption habits. craft+folk is not about consumerism but it is not about denouncing consumerism. I hope to simply encourage people to understand how their products are made and value the physical work and thought process behind them. Everything in the world is designed but better design improves how we feel, think, interact and ultimately live our lives. My philosophy is to buy less but buy better. I want to purchase items that are ethically made, sustainable, purposeful and meaningful. Items that will stay with me and become part of my life’s narrative. Bill Nye says it best, “the key to the future is not to do less but to do more with less.”

5. Encourage Pursuit of Passion

I came to design from the business world. After working in marketing and much introspection, I decided that the only path for me was to follow my passion. I believe that if every individual is enabled to pursue his or her passions, then we will be able to maximize our collective potential. Wherever one’s passions may lie, the pursuit of passion must be encouraged. My hope is that helping people feel more fulfilled in daily life will make for a better society to live in.

6. Contribute to Social Initiatives

Issues such as environmental stewardship and animal and wildlife protection have always been close to my heart. As craft+folk has grown, I have realized that I can use it as a platform for positive change. Right now, I am researching organization that can help with this effort. Some ideas on the horizon include:

● Organizing/Contributing craft+folk items to a FEED Supper

● Planting a tree for every purchase made in the craft+folk shop

● Raising funds for Forest Management & Conservation efforts

● Raising funds for Wildlife & Natural Habitat Conservation

● Working with the Humane Society to help stop animal cruelty

7. Rmain Slow and Thoughtful

My goal with every decision at craft+folk is to keep things simple and concise. Reduce and eliminate anything that is not vital. I want to craft a cerebral and calm digital experience that reduces the anxiety and stress caused by choice paralysis in today’s culture. I designed the craft+folk website to intentionally minimize choice. Poorly designed with confusing navigation drive me crazy. They have too many links that lead to the same page from different locations. I designed the website with the fewest links possible in a way that gently nudges a user through the site. I intentionally decided on a weekly basis for features because it is a manageable way to learn about designers and their work. Many publications and media are too fleeting. They post long stories that are time consuming to read or short stories that don't give much insight and disappear that day. My goal is to tell stories slowly, over the span of the week, visually and through words in small digestible bites. This helps me easily reconcile my understanding of design (goal #1), it helps my audience because they are not overwhelmed and it helps designers because they receive meaningful exposure to people who care about their work (goals #2 to #5). My hope is to get craft+folk to a place where every word and pixel is carefully considered.

Here are some of the shops that are featured on Craft+Folk

Go follow Michael and his journey for finding great hand crafted goods and the makers who are behind those goods! 

CRAFT + FOLK

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Have an amazing Sunday everyone! 

I have some things coming your way soon!

-Ty