Not too long ago I wrote a bit about the new Barena collection and several people made reference to the props in the look book shoot. While it sort of surprises me, it really doesn’t surprise me at all that people are interested in hand made brooms. It reminded me of the profile on Henson Handmade Brooms in Symsonia, Kentucky that I saw on Tadd Myers’ American Craftsman Project. A photographer by trade, Tadd has also made several films that I have featured on ACL; he visited folks like Optimo hats and Oxxford Clothes in Chicago, and he also helped get Danner looking good.
What makes Tadd great is his ability to capture the process in a beautiful light and create an aura around a particular company or craft. Take for instance Henson brooms — Tadd’s photos show the maker in such a different and interesting perspective than the company’s own website projects. I understand why this is the way it is. Often craftsmen have so many different things to deal with that image and marketing is one of the last concerns. Though when presented well, it opens up such an amazing opportunity to build a direct distribution model and further solidify a business. Even someone making brooms of all things could open up such a potentially big consumer direct channel. It is certainly something I would hope all manufactures are thinking about.
At the end of the day I am happy there is still a guy in Kentucky making brooms the old fashion way while producing an honest living for him and his family. I’m also glad to be able to share it with you thanks to someone like Tadd Myers. To me supporting and empowering manufacturers of all sizes is a key part of the solution to the economic issues that America is facing. As I have said before, I don’t want to live in a country that doesn’t know how to make anything. [American Craftsman Project | Henson Handmade Brooms]