The main reason I was so slow to fix RCS was a brand new project: Ramble & Make.
Ramble & Make is an online directory of real life craft stores. For the official story of how it all began, read the blog post over here. For the slightly less polished version, read on…
A few months ago a friend and I spent half an hour driving and walking around a small country town unable to find a wool shop because the address wasn’t listed on the mobile website. We weren’t even sure if it was going to be open. And this is a common tale of woe repeated again and again: lovely craft stores that have vital information either missing from or difficult to find on their website. I understand – I know how expensive and difficult websites can be to make and how many people would rather spend time with the business and customers. But this doesn’t help the avid crafter when they’re driving around the Victorian countryside dropping in and out of mobile reception!
Ramble & Make is an attempt at a solution to help crafters and stores.
I want to help crafters find the shops that provide them with exactly what they need. This is in the form of objective information (like addresses and opening hours) and also more subjective information (like shops reviews from users). Ramble & Make wants it to make finding new wonders in your own backyard and sourcing the finest suppliers while you’re traveling easy and fun.
I want to help suppliers find more customers. With the ease and affordability of online stores, many brick and mortar stores are struggling to stay open. But these stores offer something far more than any online store can – a chance to touch fibres and fabrics, assess the true colour of products, and – most importantly of all – receive expert advice. These stores need our support – or soon they will all be gone.
It’s a win-win really – crafters get access to the supplies they want, stores get customers, crafters have continued access to the supplies and so on and so forth.
But I need your help. The areas I’m familiar with – namely Melbourne and parts of New Zealand – are starting to look populated on the database. Those areas I’m less familiar with are looking a bit sparse. Ramble & Make is designed for (and needs) contributions – so please, if you have a moment, take a look at the website, submit a shop, place a review, and tell your friends!