How I Became Knotty Nanna
by Wilma Nesti
Macrame 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 macrame 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 over a decade, I have been designing and making hangers and wine racks and selling them at the area street markets including the annual Green Thumb Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida. As far as I know, I am the only person in the Tampa Bay area making and selling macrame 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 macrame 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 the world and no matter where they are from, they all recognize “macrame”. 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 macrame and bring it to people in a way that is both beautiful and useful.