Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jargon of the Week - Indie

What does the term indie mean to the crafty world? This edition of Jargon of the Week is mostly my interpretation of the term.

According to, indie is:
in⋅die [in-dee]
1. an independently owned business: to work for an indie.

2. (of a person) self-employed; (of a business) privately owned: an indie film producer.

1940–45; ind(ependent) + -ie

n. Informal

1. One, such as a studio or producer, that is unaffiliated with a larger or more commercial organization.

2. An artistic work produced by an independent company or group: "[His film] showed that indies could . . . take in millions at the box office" (Liesl Schillinger).

adj. Of, relating to, or being an indie: an album of indie rock; an indie film company.

Word Origin & History


"independent record company," 1945, shortening of independent; used of film production companies since 1920s, of theaters from 1942; extended by 1984 to a type of pop music by such labels.

Indie means something a little different in the crafty world. My interpretation is that an indie crafter is someone who doesn't craft like the mainstream. It's somebody who develops a final product from something someone else has made all design decisions on. Like, say a scrapbooker. The mainstream scrapbooker would use some sort of prefabricated items, like maybe stickers, to decorate their pages. An indie scrapbooker may use items from the vacation they are creating a book for.

Let's use baking cookies as an analogy. A mainstream batch of cookies would be plopped onto a baking sheet right out of the Pillsbury tube. An indie route of cookie making would be to make the dough from scratch to use Grandma's famous recipe.

The indie v. mainstream is a hard thing to define. I think the cookie analogy may be the best way I've come up with to describe it. What do you think? Am I on the right track with this definition?

Come back next week and I'll touch more on the mainstream side of crafting.

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