A big but not entirely surprising bum-out announced earlier today:
After a 10-year run filled with pretty pictures and do-it-yourself projects, bimonthly DIY lifestyle publication ReadyMade has folded and, as a result, 75 jobs have been cut by publisher Meredith Corp. due to sweeping cost-cutting measures.
Said Meredith CEO Steve Lacy in a statement confirming the shutdown: "Positioning Meredith for continued growth requires periodic realignment of resources, including how we deploy our workforce. These actions will enable us to devote additional resources to key strategic growth initiatives, including digital platform expansion."
ReadyMade, not-too-inaccurately dubbed as "Martha Stewart Living for Hipsters" was founded in 2001 in Berkeley by Shoshana Berger and Grace Hawthorne and was based there until 2006 when Meredith snatched it up and moved operations from California to the company's home base in Des Moines, Iowa.
Meredith, publisher of Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal, saw the acquisition of ReadyMade as a way to attract a younger, hipper readership normally not interested in shelter publications. The little-indie-craft-magazine-that-could had made it to the big leagues ...
Although I haven't been a ReadyMade subscriber since around the time of the Meredith acquisition, I remained a reader of the website and blog, a frequently linked to source of inspiration for this blog. For me, ReadyMade's online presence struck a nice balance between more technical industrial design sites like Core77 and bougie-twee green home design blogs. I actually remember the first time I purchased a copy of ReadyMade as a college student in Boston, circa 2002, studying magazine publishing — one of those seminal magazine moments, I guess.
ReadyMade — described here as "the most Brooklyn magazine published in Iowa" received National Magazine Award nominations for General Excellence in 2005 and 2006 and recently teamed up with New York's McNally Jackson Books for the ReadyMade Project Manuel, a print-on-demand DIY bible. At the time of the shutdown the magazine's editor was Andrew Wagner, a founding editor of Dwell and former editor-in-chief of American Craft.
Reads a farewell letter published today from Team ReadyMade:
ReadyMade encouraged people to take a much broader view of what they might consider DIY. In the ReadyMade realm, DIY could mean everything from starting your own business to starting your own band. From building your own dining table out of discarded shipping pallets to growing your own food and cooking your own meal, ReadyMade was about taking your life into your own hands and shaping your own existence in any way you see fit. The ever-growing DIY movement truly encompasses every facet of our existence. The ReadyMade community will continue push DIY into the mainstream by building websites, writing blogs, taking photos, and most importantly, forming coherent opinions that are ours and only ours, and letting those be known. ReadyMade’s can-do spirit even in the most dire of circumstances has always been its life-blood and we know it will continue to be the driving force of ReadyMakers in the future. And this will keep us all going.