What happens when two designers, hooked on the Make-It-Yourself (MIY) revolution, see the need for a new magazine for creative New Zealanders? They make one themselves, of course. For Thomas Schickedanz and Hannah Gardiner, the beginnings pretty much epitomise the concept of World Sweet World, a new kiwi, alt/indie (alternative/independent), MIY/lifestyle magazine. “Basically, we like making stuff,” says Hannah, “and we know that loads of other people do as well, but when we were first looking for a magazine for makers and creative folk, we were really surprised to find one didn’t already exist. It's part of who we are as New Zealanders, but seems to be really underrepresented in terms of our magazine fare.”
Taking inspiration from 1970s how-to books and giving them a modern, indie spin, the two have created a magazine that slots neatly into the gap between high-end design magazines and the more traditional craft fare currently on offer. “We saw this gaping hole,” says Thomas, “there just didn't seem to be anything around for people who are hands-on creative, that had fun, modern projects with a design aesthetic. We also know that the world's resources aren't limitless, so we wanted to provide people with new ways of looking at their waste and energy consumption. Our projects focus on re-purposing things rather than throwing them away, a process also known as 'up-cycling'.”
Split into two parts, 'Making Time', and 'Story Time', World Sweet World has beautifully illustrated, “step-by-step instructions for making cool stuff”, says Hannah, “followed by fun articles about people, places or things that we think our readers will find inspiring”. And it certainly does.
Issue one, endearingly named, 'Making Friends,' shows how to re-upholster kitchen chairs using old billboard skins, make tumblers out of beer bottles, and shelves out of drawers. It delves into the world of indie craft fairs, recycling in Wellington, and Christchurch artist Gemma Stratton's fantastical art works.
World Sweet World magazine aims to be a swap-meet of ideas and inspiration, so readers are invited to participate in creating content, sharing design ideas and exchanging views on how to lead a creative and sustainable life, via the website, www.worldsweetworld.com. Thomas says, “Our three main focusses are creativity, sustainability and fun – if someone has an idea and it fits those criteria, it's got a pretty good shot at making it in to the World Sweet World. The idea is to give readers a creative hit every few months to inspire them to get thinking and making. We’ve got heaps of fun projects planned based on the idea of up-cycling and re-using, and we’ll be showcasing makers and creative people from New Zealand and around the world.”
The pair feel that 'nice' as a brand value is often underrated, and it seems that they aren't the only ones. Feedback pre-launch has already been overwhelmingly positive – as one happy retailer put it, “There is just something that feels good about this magazine.”
World Sweet World Magazine launches on March 22 at Wellington's leading indie craft fair, Craft2.0, at TheNewDowse (www.craft2.org). It is published quarterly and is available through nice stores (like JUNIPER) around the country. See www.worldsweetworld.com for a full list of stockists.
official WSW press release march 08