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Breaking: ReadyMade is Folding

Filed Under: Know-How

We are so sad to break this news: ReadyMade is folding.

We just heard that one of our favorite titles, ReadyMade magazine, is folding. While we are seriously upset to hear about this, we can't say that we are 100% surprised, since so many of our favorite magazines have folded since 2008: Domino, Blueprint, House & Garden, Metropolitan Home and so many more.

Update: From my friend Liz Armstrong, (now former) Online Editor at ReadyMade. Here's what she had to say:

Unfortunately, this is true. Effective tomorrow, I will no longer be with the company, because ReadyMade won't exist. Seriously sad, sad, sad. And thank you for caring.

Liz blogs at xoJane, definitely go check her out.

Update: From the official press release on ReadyMade folding, citing weakness in the home category
Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP; said today that it will record a special charge of approximately $10 million (approximately $6 million after-tax or $0.13 per share) in its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter. The charge includes closing the ReadyMade brand due to ongoing weakness in the home category/marketplace, and other selected workforce reductions – for a total of approximately 75 positions companywide.

Update: From the Des Moines Register
Slusark said ReadyMade had a loyal following but it "didn't have the potential to grow into a large-scale brand, and that's what we're interested in offering. ... From a business standpoint, it was not profitable."

Update: From ReadyMade
ReadyMade farewell blog post is up. Check it out at ReadyMade.

Update: Designer and ReadyMade fan Brian Everett posts a screen grab of the final ReadyMade blog post.

Almost immediately after the news hit the internet, fans and readers had something to say. Here's a sampling.

Loren Lankford, vintage stylist and shop owner: Why close the website?

"As someone who has worked in this industry during a time of intense overturn and hardship, I can understand why Meredith would want to close a title to save money for more profitable titles. But what makes me the most sad is that they're shutting down the website. I find it hard to believe that the site doesn't get serious traffic...especially now. As the economy continues to be tough, people are going to want DIY content."

Blaine Deutsch, designer, via Twitter @BlaineDeutsch: There is a need for DIY content.
"ReadyMade was a wonderful source for ideas and inspiration. They proved that DIY didn't need to look cheap."

Elka Karl, editor, CasaSugar: Hope for a second life with print-on-demand.
"As someone who volunteered as an editor and all-around ringleader for an award-winning arts and cultural magazine for four years (Kitchen Sink, out of Oakland, we ran in the same circles as Shoshanna and Grace as far as independent publishing went), I can attest to the fact that making a magazine profitable is difficult at best.

After ReadyMade was bought by Meredith and moved to Iowa, I had my concerns that it would be unable to maintain the momentum needed to keep such a scrappy, delightful publication going. I was pleasantly surprised at the magazine's new look and great content after the move, and had high hopes that it might be able to make it. However, moves such as reducing ReadyMade's staff numbers pointed to the parent company's true priorities.

Precisely because so much of this type of DIY content can now be accessed online for free, it is easy for me to understand how Meredith made the unfortunate decision to cut the title. My great hope, at this point, is that ReadyMade can revive its online presence and publish print-on-demand DIY books, as it did with its ReadyMade 100 issue." [Note: Check out Elka's project from the ReadyMade 100 issue.]

Julia Walsh, editor, CasaSugar: Not so surprising, but disappointed that the website won't survive.
"To be honest, I'm not completely surprised. When Meredith moved ReadyMade to DesMoines two years ago, I worried this might happen. Anytime a publication or a company makes a big move like that can put it on shaky ground.

It's not that the demographics aren't there to support it, but it's evident that crafters are looking to the web for DIY inspiration and information. I find it quite unfortunate that ReadyMade couldn't just fold their publication and move solely online, as Craft magazine did. ReadyMade had such a firm grasp of the online space and handled it (and engaged with their readers) much more effectively than many other shelter and lifestyle magazines that are still running do."

Summer Pierre, artist and author: Another loss for print vs. web.
"What an end of an era. When I was starting out in the blog creative scene 8 years ago, ReadyMade was part of that world--the place you got ideas, and hoped to show up in its pages one day, and got your inner DIY crafty nerd reflected back to you. Now that's ending. Web sites are great, but it won't replace that sense of life the way that magazine did." ""

Crystal Gentilello, co-founder and editor-in-chief, Rue Magazine: There is support for DIY/home content.
"I'm so sad to hear the news about ReadyMade's closing. Not only because we're losing a beautiful publication, but because a passionate and talented group of people are losing their jobs. And it's unfortunate, because the demographics are absolutely there to support standout publications like ReadyMade. As design enthusiasts are becoming increasingly educated readers and consumers, thanks to targeted TV programming, the internet, and the democratization of information, we're observing great popularity with DIY and decor solutions. We're coming up on our one-year anniversary at Rue magazine - a digital interiors and lifestyle publication - and have enjoyed exponential growth in both readership and revenue, which confirms to us that there is in fact a healthy and strong demand for this type of content."

Nicholas Pavlidis, corporate/intellectual property attorney: Seriously, there is support for DIY/home content in print form.
"It's amazing that, with DIY so hot, people who are supposedly "in the know" are dropping out. I would think magazines would support DIY more than news audiences too because it's easy to do projects with a mag in front of you and there is really little functional benefit to having printed news with news stories changing by the minute. The "news" would be "old" by the time the paper is out. But DIY doesn't have that problem you would think."

From ReadyMade user SBG: A contrarian stance.
"I know I have to be realistic here, but I have to wonder in this consumer culture, if your demise was a result of encouraging your followers to embrace a more conservative lifestyle based on reusing, recycling and re-thinking instead of embracing one with the same old product pushing, buy-buy-buy mentality. Making money is so important, often times too important. I guess this is what happens when you're bought up by a company that is less concerned about your mission statement than your profits. Good bye and good luck."

From ReadyMade user Poorboy: Someone decided to send the widow a "Congratulations" card.
Great to see yet another ill planned hipster enterprise go where it should. in the trash. Good riddance.

[Editor's note: We don't normally acknowledge trolls, but the irony of someone who hated the magazine seeking out the website and going through the trouble of commenting is just too much. And doesn't irony = hipster?]

"We'll be adding to these reactions as they come our way. Want to get in on the conversation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on our Twitter page @DIYLife (make sure to use the hashtag #SaveReadyMade).

  • Connie

    I JUST subscribed and JUST got my first issue. High priced issue if it's the only one I'll ever receive.
    I liked it too.

  • J. S. Smith

    I mailed a check back on December 18, 2010, for $6.00 and never did receive a magazine. A refund would be appreciated.

  • 2 Comments / 1 Pages

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