Dörte's first macramé studio in Berlin Neukölln
(for English version scrawl down)
It all started in 2013...
... when my current husband Joel, who moved to Berlin from Los Angeles in 2011, inspired me with stories and pictures from California. He himself is a lifelong musician and has always lived in houses where vintage macramé from the 1970s still hung. Again and again he asked me why everything in Berlin was so minimalistic, who lived in Berlin at the time can remember the time before the Urban Jungle Trend. The citywas notorious for its bare walls with torn wallpaper, and cafes were considered plants the occasional dried flower on the table.In California, on the other hand, the apartments and houses are filled with macramé and plants, at least Joel said. Impressed by the idea,we went in search of a flower traffic light for our apartment.
Since it was 2013simply did not buy flower lights anywhere, I went in search of instructions. It's hard to believe today, but back then there were neither macramé Youtube tutorials nor macramé guides in the form of books or other media to be found. On Etsy I finally found what I was looking for, there I came across a manual booklet from 1977 - California! It was supposed to be mine, the booklet was bought, and now made its way across the continent to me in Berlin. The way was paved for California Dreaming.
The Macramé Fever has broken out
It shouldn't be long before the macramé fiber has caught me completely. Every free minute was spent trying out new knots and designs. Soon there was no trace of minimalism in our apartment. Plants, flower lights and tapestries have taken over our home within a very short time. As well asFriends and family it was clear: I have to part with my creations. Since I worked at DaWanda, a platformsimilar to Etsy, on theCreative and vintage collectors can sell their products (DaWanda closed the marketplace in the summer of 2018 after 12 years), it was an easy decision to open my small shop there. When it came to finding a name for my small business, California wasmy first association. The connection to the American West Coast was not only the impetus for making macramé, but also a constant accompaniment, an attitude to life. Our home has always been a welcome for many of our friends from LA, especially musicians who have brought their timeless style with them.
California Dreaming was now the first shop on DaWanda (and as far as I could see, in the German-speaking e-commerce landscape) to sell macramé flower lights and wall decorations. Early in the morning and late in the evening were knotted, orders were sent during the lunch break and new products were photographed and uploaded on weekends. After almost one and a half years of full-time work and an online shop on the side that now took a lot of time, I took a heart at the beginning of 2015 and quit my job, um freischaffende Makrameekünstlerin zu werden. Viele hielten mich für verrückt, damals galt Makramee als veraltetes Hobby, vielerlei war es gänzlich unbekannt. Es folgte ein Road Trip entlang der amerikanischen Westküste, der den Traum noch größer werden ließ.
A trip to the west coast and its consequences...
After our return followed various shop and studio scenarios, dozens of workshops, a retreat in Portugal, collaborations, interviews, features in publications and television appearances, and a lotgreat projectsfor restaurants, hotels, shops and private households. My crazy dream has come true!
Now, years later, macramé is a worldwide phenomenon and more than just a craft technique. In addition to the almost infinite variety of knots, techniques and designs, knot art also enjoys great popularity for its therapeutic and meditative aspects.
My mission is to empower people to find their own creativity. Macramé is a wonderful way to do this, as it is quite easy to learn and everyone can find their own creative expression in it. To this end, I give regularWorkshops, kreiere Video Tutorials, DIY Kitsand sell a large selection of sustainable macramé in my online shopYarns & Ropesand moreMacramé Accessories. Why sustainable? Because a conscious and resourceful life has always been a concern of mine. You can read more about this topic in theFAQ’s glean.
I cordially invite you on my journey! Daily updates and inspirations can be found on myInstagramProfile!
Keep up the dream!
Dörte and Joel with their daughter Elodie Nova
It all began in 2013...
... when my partner Joel moved in with me into my apartment in Berlin and plied me with stories, photos, and music, providing a romantic and inspiring image of California. He is a lifelong musician, and would often describe the charming canyon houses and domiciles where he and his bandmates lived and played in which original macramé decorations from the 70s still hung. He would constantly bug me about how minimal and plain Berlin interiors seemed to him, and as any local resident would testify and agree, this was before the 'urban jungle' trends had proliferated through the city. Typical cafe decor consisted of bare walls with the wallpaper ripped down and a few dried flowers scattered on the tables. Joel would always emphatically insist that these spaces needed a cozier touch and should to be filled with plants, adorned with macramé like the rooms he recalled from California. It was from this constant discourse we agreed to set out and find our first plant-hanger for our apartment
Because in 2013, there were pretty much no plant hangers available to buy on the market, I decided to search for instructions to craft my own. It's hard to fathom today, but back then there were no macramé Youtube tutorials or books with instruction manuals or downloads covering the basics, however, after a considerable search, I finally tracked down what I was after when stumbled across an original 1977 macramé instruction manual from (where else?!) California for sale on Etsy. I pounced upon the offer, and opted for rushed shipping to get this book across the globe into my eager and awaiting hands in Berlin. The future for California Dreaming was thus paved.
A Bad Case of Macramé Fever
California Dreaming was the first online shop on the DaWanda platform (and as far as I know, throughout the German-speaking E-Commerce world) to sell macramé plant-hangers and wall-hangings and other decorations. Early mornings and late-late nights were thus spent knotting, finishing orders and creating new designs, lunch-breaks were used to ship orders, and weekends were full with photographing new products and uploading and servicing the online shop. After just about a year working a full-time job while maintaining this online business that demanded an increasing amount of my time, at the beginning of 2015, I took the plunge, and let go of my job to concentrate on being a freelance macramé artist. Many people thought I was crazy to take this bold step in trying to make a living with the craft as macramé was often considered a quaint and kitschy hobby, and often completely unknown to others, and hardly a means to support oneself. Shortly after this decision, an inspiring and memorable road-trip along the American West Coast took this commitment further, and solidified my commitment to the dream!
A trip to the west coast and what followed:
After our return from a California adventure, various shop and studio scenarios unfolded, dozens of workshops including a retreat in Portugal took place, collaborations, interviews, features in publications and television appearances were initiated, and lots of great projects for restaurants, hotels, shops and private households followed. My crazy dream has come true!
Now, years later, macrame is a worldwide phenomenon and more than just a craft technique. In addition to the almost infinite variety of knots, techniques and designs, knot art is just as popular for its therapeutic and meditative aspects. My mission is to enable people to find their own creativity. Macrame is wonderfully suitable for this, as it is quite easy to learn and everyone can find their own creative expression in it. I also give regular workshops, create video instructions, DIY kits and sell a large selection of sustainable macrame yarns&ropes and other DIY accessories in my online shop. Why sustainable? Because a conscious and resourceful life has always been important to me. You can read more about the topic in the FAQ's.
I cordially invite you on my journey! You can find daily updates and inspiration on my Instagram profile!
Keep up the dream!
Dörte with her husband Joel and their daughter Elodie Nova