Reviews of Homeward Bound

“3.5 out of 4 stars” - People Magazine                                                               “The brilliance of Emily Matchar’s new book is that it exhaustively describes what disillusioned workers are opting into: a slower, more sustainable, and more self-sufficient lifestyle that’s focused on the home. Matchar synthesizes dozens of trend stories … into a single, compelling narrative about the resurgence of domesticity….Refreshing.” -The New Republic                                                       "[P]rovocatively explores what the movement says about the role of women in society today.” – The New Yorker                                                                       "I unreservedly loved it…It’s empathetic and funny and thoughtful and smart, and I encourage all of you to read it."– The Hairpin                                                         “Cogently argues that choosing a more hands-on, DIY lifestyle – family farming, canning, crafting, can, without sacrificing feminism’s hard-won gains, improve on an earlier time when ‘people lived more lightly on the earth and relied less on corporations, and family and community came first.’” - ELLE                                                               “[I]ntelligent and insightful...essential reading.” - Christianity Today                                                       “A lively and perceptive reporter… a valuable and astute assessment.”—Publishers Weekly                                                         “A well-researched look at the resurgence of home life…. Offers intriguing insight into the renaissance of old-fashioned home traditions.”— Kirkus Reviews

What is New Domesticity?

This blog is a look at the social movement I call ‘New Domesticity’ – the fascination with reviving “lost” domestic arts like canning, bread-baking, knitting, chicken-raising, etc. Why are women of my generation, the daughters of post-Betty Friedan feminists, embracing the domestic tasks that our mothers and grandmothers so eagerly shrugged off? Why has the image of the blissfully domestic supermom overtaken the Sex & the City-style single urban careerist as the media’s feminine ideal? Where does this movement come from? What does it mean for women? For families? For society?                                                                                     My book, Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity, which explores New Domesticity in greater depth, will be published by Simon & Schuster in May 2013.

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The Etsy behemoth expands into Nordstrom

Etsy’s “very very small” business model, which we’ve talked about/critiqued before on this blog, is getting a lot bigger. The online craft company is expanding into conventional retail, connecting some of its sellers with brick-and-mortal retailers such as Nordstrom. Etsy is also collaborating with the town of Rockford, Illinois to teach residents entrepreneurship skills, the first of a series of planned collaborations.

As someone who has always seen Etsy’s business model as slightly hypocritical, talking big about changing the world economy while offering little more than a platform for low-wage pink collar labor (largely to women desperate for flexible work arrangements), I think these efforts are great. Few people make a living selling scarves from their living rooms, but everyone can benefit from entrepreneurial skills, and collaborations with brick-and-mortar retailers offer a real (if slim) possibility of capitalizing on economies of scale.

What do you think of all this? Any Etsy success or failure stories out there?

TWENTY-SEVEN DAYS until the book’s out! Pre-order here.

1 comment to The Etsy behemoth expands into Nordstrom

  • I thought the point of Long Tail internet sales is to fundamentally transform our ideas of how business is done–so small folks can compete differently with the huge. So partnering with bricks and mortar seems like a step back to me.

    Next step: the chosen Etsy makers find sweatshop manufacturers overseas so they can outsource their craft production.