What Indie Means to Me

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by Tara Swiger

What Indie Means to Me

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about Indie Business in all its incarnations.  We shared what indie means to us and then we asked some of our favorite designers and artists what ‘indie’ means to them.



Indie means an impossible dream turned into reality.  It means hard work, dedication, sacrifice and an unshakeable confidence in oneself and one’s passions.  Indie means trusting that the struggles of starting small are worth it when they blossom into work that has personal meaning.  It means balancing caution with risk, trusting that major sacrifices made will lead to something greater but always treading carefully and with an open mind.  Indie is independence, it is the individual who is motivated to pursue a goal, but beyond that, it is a community of individuals, encouraging and inspiring each other along the journey.

Moorea Seal, Moorea Seal Accessories


Indie to me means going from nothing to something. It's taking a flicker of an idea and using your hands, ingenuity and resources around you to create something tangible and alive. Indie is about taking personal experience and translating it into some form of self-expression, sharing your thoughts and loves with others.

Peggy Li, Handmade Jewelry by Peggi Li



 Indie Design to me is design with a human touch.  It is products designed in house, created by hand by someone whose name I know, and then shared with our customers who feel a connection with our products both aesthetically and emotionally.   We know that a handbag doesn’t just pop out of the sky…it is touched by many along its supply chain and we want to share those stories. 

Harper Poe, Proud Mary


To me, “indie” is defined as something created by one or a few individuals, free from the constraints of an outside company, management or funding. Without those external influences, an indie company is able to take more liberties, creatively and expressively, leading to an end result that is more original and representative of its creators.

Lauren Gryniewski,  Old Tom Foolery


'Indie' means just that, being independent. Not only in the way our business is run but in the way we think, act and create. There is nothing we can't do because we are our own bosses, we are in charge of what comes out of our shop and is sold to the public. There have been so many instances where Emma and I laugh until we cry because we come up with a super silly idea, but then translate it into something tangible and worth selling to a customer. It’s a perk that my business partner is my best friend and other half, but someone with a like mind who is extremely talented in the arts. We are able to make products we are extremely proud of while still having a great time together. Being indie artists means we are happy and fulfilled by what we are creating because those products were part of us, and are now off in a strangers hands.

Kaleigh Atkinson, Four 14 Paperworks


 What does indie mean to you?


Sarah Von is a Vianza contributing columnist and interview wrangler.  If you follow her on Twitter, you’ll be privy to all sort of tweets about small business, good ideas and, um, cheese.