Craft Is Dead, Long Live Craft.

Introducing Material World, a podcast digging into the stories behind the things you buy

Subscribe to Material World on iTunes Podcasts

Subscribe to Material World on Pocket Casts

There’s a whole lot of stuff out there to buy—all the things we eat, drink, wear and even smoke. In our new podcast, “Material World,” hosts Lindsey Rupp and Jenny Kaplan examine the universe of consumable things.

Lindsey writes for Bloomberg about all the stores you’d find in the mall, from Macy's to Abercrombie to Gap. Before that, she covered currencies and banks. Jenny writes about all the things you drink and smoke, from Coca-Cola to Marlboros to your local craft brewery and dispensary. Before delving into vice, she covered planes, trains and U.S. stocks.

Every other week, Lindsey and Jenny get the scoop from trendsetters on what’s hot, what’s not—and why you should care. In the first few episodes, they’ll investigate everything from what’s changing in the world of legal weed to why it is that fashion executives hate your skinny jeans.

In this inaugural episode, Lindsey and Jenny discuss why it is that so many people want the stuff they buy to be special, one-of-a-kind, artisanal. It’s a trend that’s helping small, local businesses and hurting old standbys like MillerCoors and Kellog. Is “craft” just another meaningless marketing term? Can people even tell the difference?

Some craft entrepreneurs say the term describes a broad movement among consumers. The musicians behind the 1990s hit song “MMMBop,” are also the founding members of the Hanson Brothers Beer Company, and continue to make music for their own record label. Zac, Taylor and Isaac Hanson tell our hosts that we're just at the start of the craft revolution.

Meanwhile, Brian Smith, one of the founders of Ample Hills Creamery, is navigating what it takes to grow into a successful business while staying true to his craft roots. The ice cream company recently raised $4 million in equity funding to accelerate the husband-and-wife founders’ expansion plan with a factory and a location at Disney World. Now, Smith says the key is how to retain the chain's unique Brooklyn flavor.

And then there are the multinational conglomerates who for years have dictated your choices at the grocery store and the bar. For some of these big companies, the race is on to think small. They’re simplifying products and even buying upstart competitors, Bloomberg consumer reporter Craig Giammona explains to our hosts.

Want to hear more? Subscribe on iTunes Podcasts or Pocket Casts for new episodes every two weeks.