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Afraid Of DIY? These Kits Are Designed To Turn Anyone Into A Craftsperson

Get beyond Ikea, and make your own projects like a pro.

If you’re convinced that you’re not capable of building anything more complicated than a bookcase from Ikea–and possibly not even that–a new startup was created to prove you wrong.

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“People naturally want to make things,” says Taylor Sizemore, one of the cofounders of Steps. The Seattle-based company makes kits designed to convince people that making and repairing things–from art to furniture–is within reach. “We want people to feel like they have that opportunity.”

The kits lead people through simple projects that can be done anywhere–if you live in a studio apartment and don’t have access to a workshop, you can work on your kitchen floor–and with a minimum of tools.

Each project is just hard enough to feel like an accomplishment. “It’s more than just assembling something,” says Sizemore. “There’s some glue involved, and sanding so it’s all nice and smooth. Those aren’t things that you do when you assemble Ikea furniture.”

In theory, after building a few things with some guidance, you’ll start to believe that you can also make something more complicated on your own. Sizemore sees it as a way to help reconnect people with working with their hands, and demystify the craft of building.

“I think that there’s a lot of idolizing that goes on around people who make things,” he says. “It makes it seem a little bit out of reach for someone–that they could never be so-and-so maker that’s this amazing craftsperson that they follow on Instagram. I think a lot of the reason why craftsperson/maker culture is so popular right now is that people have the desire to make things, and they’re kind of living vicariously through these people or the product they buy.”

Eventually, they’re hoping that their customers will have no need for the kits, and the confidence to build whatever they want on their own.

About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.

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