Friday, January 15, 2010


I watched a documentary last night entitled Fado. It was a collection of performances done by Portuguese Fado singers or Fadanistas; Fado being Portuguese for destiny or fate. The songs were heartfelt and crooning; graceful trills emanated from deep inside the singers' bodies only to be released through mouths quivering with emotion. These Fadanistas, their eyes would be shut, their faces turned upward as though the only escape from their longing, their heartbreak, was to send this sound up into the ether to be consumed by the sky. The words used in these songs have no real direct translation into English, but convey messages of deep emotions; longing for homeland, jealousy, love, passion, revenge, and betrayal. I noticed 'fado' was used as a noun, a verb and an adjective. (Lila Downs sings of being more 'fado' than another woman competing for her man, and wins him back because she could sing fado, and that made her a real woman.) When the first singer used the term 'Fadanista', I immediately thought of Craftinista and the many definitions that surround our moniker. Craftinista is beyond what it initially implies: crafts for sale. Craftinista also translates to local economy, harmonizing with our community, support for local artists, demonstrating strength in numbers, rejection of poor working conditions, networking, taking an active role in our lives, bringing awareness to the money that we spend, creating beautiful things and sharing them with the people that surround us. We are a group of professional designers who run businesses, but together, we are not a business, we are an idea in action. We are our own sweet piece of the revolution.*

*revolution refers to a regime change; the change I refer to is the shift from over-dependence on 'box' stores back to a more balanced marketplace where locally made goods are able to compete for consumer dollars.