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Art + Commerce: Rise of the ‘Indiepreneur’

paper august 08.jpgWhat do Kidrobot founder Paul Budnitz, publishing powerHouse Daniel Power, and Colette conservatrice Sarah Lerfel have in common? They’re all “indiepreneurs,” writes David Hershkovits in this month’s “action-culture” issue of Paper magazine. “Working predominantly outside the mainstream, these pioneers found a niche and cobbled together a livelihood with a mission statement that includes joy and fun among its core values,” writes Hershkovits, who finds the origins of this new breed in “the DIY aesthetic born of the hippies, updated by the punks, and set into full throttle by the emergence of a mass market catering to the tastes of people with an affection for street art, bad haircuts, comics, skateboards, computers, rock n’ roll, dumb (smart) movies, personalized t-shirts, tattoos…”

He goes on to profile Budnitz, Power, Lerfel, and Ace Hotelier Alex Calderwood. In talking with Lerfel, Hershkovits extracts the secret of global cool mecca Colette, the Paris “lifestyle boutique” that launched a thousand copycat emporiums: “Some shops have been inspired by Colette—they write on a piece on paper everything we have and open six months later,” says Lerfel. “Of course we are completely different six months later because we keep renewing. We keep changing and no one can follow the rhythm.”

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