Handcrafted Vintage-Style Macramé
Wilma Nesti

How I Became Knotty Nanna

by Wilma Nesti

Macramé was a wildly popular craft when I learned it as a teenager in the 70s. When my career as a bookkeeper came to an unexpected end, I started making macrame plant hangers as a kind of therapy. I happened upon Bonnie Braid cord in a local craft store and knew it would be great for macramé plant hangers, so I bought some and dusted off the old knot-tying skills. It wasn't long before I was making hangers for everyone I knew.

People really liked them so I decided to make a little side-business out of my hobby. For the last six years, I have been designing and making hangers and wine racks and selling them at the Ybor Saturday Market in Tampa, Florida. Because they are made of braided polypropylene, my hangers are super-strong, fade/weather resistant and will not mildew making them perfect for use outdoors. They are also washable. I have several original designs available in over 40 colors and frequently do custom work. As far as I know, I am the only person in our area making and selling macramé hangers.

I call it the 70s flashback -- the look people get when they recognize their old craft made new again. The most frequent comment I hear at the market is "My mom/grandma use to make those!" Bringing back macramé almost feels like a pubic service when a customer says, "I've been looking all over for these!" I have sold hangers to people from all over world and no matter where they are from, they all recognize "macramé". I never imagined what started as therapeutic distraction would turn into such a fun, money-making enterprise.

As a teen in the 70s, I never thought I'd be designing and selling my own hangers to folks from Seattle to Saudi Arabia. I am enormously proud and pleased to revive the craft of macramé and bring it to people in a way that is both beautiful and useful.