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The Amazings: Redefining Retirement

Jun 2, 2012

by Chappell Ellison

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

As a record-setting number of Americans turn 65, expect the definition of retirement to be debated and expanded. While some may still dream of passing their golden years in total leisure, others envision a more active future, and new social enterprises see fresh opportunities for good by serving this growing population. One such enterprise is The Amazings, a skill-sharing program that creates opportunities for the over-65 crowd to pass their creative skills to the next generation.

Established in east London in 2011, The Amazings recruits retirees to teach classes, passing on their lifelong knowledge of a skill to students willing to pay between £5 and £30 ($10 – $45). “We realized the solutions for the aging population were typically doing things for them, like the daycare centre or meals on wheels,” says Katie Harris, co-founder of The Amazings. “But the majority of older people we met are able-bodied, passionate, and are skilled. They are willing to give their time and skills back to the public, but it wasn’t easy to do.” Along with company chairman Adil Abrar, Harris works with a handful of community managers who secure venues around London and manage class scheduling. The small team also recruits new talent that ensures a dynamic range of class offerings. The subject matter is broad — current classes include hair styling, street photography, condiment making and hammock construction.

60-year-old street photographer Andrew Pegram guides his class around the urban sprawl of London. “It’s not just that I have the experience to teach what I do with a certain amount of self-assurance, I also have the maturity to do it,” Pegram says. He acknowledges that The Amazings also crushes the idea that reaching the age of retirement means succumbing to a humdrum way of life. “It’s still quite scary, starting something new like this and meeting people.”

“The Amazings isn’t really a radical concept — this type of intergenerational skill sharing has been going on for ages. There’s so much negative press about the aging population, it’s depressing,” says Harris in an interview with Trend Hunter. “Over-65’s are often grouped together and spoken about like a drain on public resources. What we’re arguing is that with age comes experience — proper lived experience at that. They are in fact a massive asset.”

Over the next decade, expect to see more countries creating unique support systems for the rapidly-growing retiree population. In the US, an initiative called Senior Corps pairs members of the over-55 crowd with organizations that need help and can use their skills. Programs like these show the potential of a model that rewards experience. In a time where dreary headlines make the future seem uncertain, these innovative programs are a comforting reminder that life and meaningful employment can continue past the age of 65.

UK Edition

3 Featured Comments

  • adilabrar

    Adil Abrar said 4 years ago Featured

    Hey all, i'm the co-founder of The Amazings. Just wanted to say thanks for all your kind words. We're just getting going, and support like this really helps remind us why we're doing what we're doing. Etsy is a total inspiration. It shows we can make markets where most people aren't looking or don't care. If anyone knows any Amazings in the UK, send them our way! And maybe one day, we'll be seeing you in the States. All the best.

  • birose

    Rose from BigIslandRoseDesigns said 4 years ago Featured

    As a member of the over 65 gang I applaud you for bringing us to the forefront with this article. I am retired from an office environment but not retired from life. From my Etsy shops, to watching my grandson 4 days a week, to helping others learn my crafts and how to set up their Etsy shops I'm pretty busy most days! And I still have lots to learn! Part of never growing old is to keep on learning!

  • creativevisions

    Marianne Sieg McCament from CreativeVisions said 4 years ago Featured

    It gives me great hope to hear other people encouraging the passing on of handcrafting skills of any kind to younger generations! I always encourage anyone with an interest to try; what matters is the desire to learn and create. So many skills end up getting lost and it's so fabulous to see someone reach out to older folks who have years of mastery and are happy to share.

127 comments

  • TheBerryPress

    Wendy Hogue Berry from TheBerryPress said 4 years ago

    Great idea. Now that I'm not so young any more I realize that seniors have a lot of interesting things to say and teach us and all we have to do is listen. Thanks for the article

  • LineaLina

    Susanne Major from LineaLina said 4 years ago

    Lovely article! In the end we all are getting older and I don't think it is nice to know that your getting kind of "useless". I love to have conversations with elder ones. They are often quite relaxed and they have a lot of experience!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 4 years ago

    All the really worthwhile things I've ever learned in my life have come from people who are "old". They seem to have not only the skills to pass on, but also the patience & time to take the trouble to teach. I think this is a wonderful way of fostering inter-generational interaction, ensuring that skills don't die out, making retirees feel useful again & enabling folks to learn something at a reasonable price. Life experience is something that just simply can't be faked or taught quickly... it really does take a lifetime!

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom from ohbabydotcom said 4 years ago

    Great article!

  • my2handsstudio

    Donna from my2handsstudio said 4 years ago

    I've just entered "retirement" at age 55, I have also just volunteered my services to a health organization,to organize volunteers! My skill and expertise is greatly appreciated.

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop said 4 years ago

    Interesting.

  • ThatGirlShelley

    Shelley from ThatGirlShelley said 4 years ago

    This was a wonderful article. I get tons of insight from older people. I think that this is a win-win situation. The younger generation gets valuable knowledge and the older generation gets a realization that they still have value.

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 4 years ago

    Awesome!

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 4 years ago

    Awesome article!

  • hmmills

    Helen Mills from 1820BagCo said 4 years ago

    Fantastic read.

  • cameoshoppe

    Cristina from cameoshoppe said 4 years ago

    Wonderful article and great idea!

  • calvertcottage

    calvertcottage from calvertcottage said 4 years ago

    Great article. High time that Seniors should have the opportunity to pass on their skills learned over a lifetime, and nor be dismissed as 'over the hill'. If they can add a little to their pensions, well, why not. I taught my first ever day school age 65 and over a decade on, I'm still doing them, not ofter - but that suits me fine. I learn so much from my 'students', and of course, they come because they want to. I certainly find I get back more than I could ever give. Shared experience becomes more important as the years go by.

  • stinnovation

    ST Innovation from stinnovation said 4 years ago

    Yes this is a niec way for those retirement, everyone will be get this set, But how do we make it more valuable? now you could be get one, and it is go on!

  • thehappycouple

    Brianna from thehappycouple said 4 years ago

    I think this is such a great idea. In my own life, my amazing grandmother taught us to knit and I take sewing classes from a woman with so much knowledge it blows me away. Sometimes I even think one day I'll have to be the teacher just to keep her knowledge going. My mom is a wonderful crocheter and as her retirement is getting close I'm slowly convincing her to open her own etsy shop.

  • beliz82

    Beliz from beliz82 said 4 years ago

    Wonderful article !!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    Great read! Thanks for sharing :)

  • coolranchstudio

    caroline from ohchalet said 4 years ago

    i love this article. :)

  • StringBeardCraftery

    Stephanie from StringBeardCraftery said 4 years ago

    Interesting article!!!

  • RuralRetreatVintage

    Dena from RuralRetreatVintage said 4 years ago

    Inspiring article. I love it.

  • mirabellamorello

    mirabellamorello from mirabellamorello said 4 years ago

    Thank you for this article. It makes me wish we lived in the U.K. "The Amazings" looks like a much more engaging program and geared toward those in their 50's, a much-forgotten sector of work-force at the current time. As we are in these years ourselves, my husband and I see so many people like us who are valued less and less by society in general. In an economy where finding "real" jobs is nearly impossible in some areas of the country (like ours), we know that we will be using all of the things we learned in our lives in our businesses here on Etsy and lots of other ways. We think the concept of retirement is ridiculous and on the days after our 65th birthdays, we will be back at work selling beautiful vintage things, creating new things, photographing the beauty in the world and supporting ourselves and making our lives (and hopefully others' lives) better and more beautiful. I challenge the younger Etsians who are not so near this part of their lives to really pay attention to their futures and blaze their own paths. Society does not define you. You define you.

  • ArtsyFlair

    Michaela Bowles from ArtsyFlair said 4 years ago

    Great article! We can learn so much from our elders. They always have the best stories and can teach us so many things! :) There's so many things to learn - one life is so short but the time that I have I'll learn as much as possible. :)

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 4 years ago

    What a great idea!

  • jewellerymadebyme

    Jennie Glaze from jewellerymadebyme said 4 years ago

    Amazing, my nan taught me to knit and crochet in a far better way than any books etc could have done. There is something very special about people passing on knowledge and experience, I wish my nan was still here sometimes to help me with a difficult pattern. Whenever I need help though she will always visit in my sleep and say, right then lets start at the beginning and do one stitch at a time. This is such a great idea, maturer people have lived and done it before, we have so much to learn and when its time impart our knowledge.

  • FranceGallery

    France Gallery from FranceGallery said 4 years ago

    A wonderful idea!

  • simpledream2

    Lisa S. from simpledream2 said 4 years ago

    What a great article. Something that I will refer to in not too distant future when I retire. Years ago I read an article about the lost skills/trades that need to be taught to younger generations and it had the phrase "teach a girl to sew". The article was trying to build momentum in that direction. At one time parents did pass down their skills, we don't see that happening much as a lot of parents don't have the traditional "life skills" as past generations. As many people such as myself go to jobs that require sitting at a computer all day "working" we get things done but we leave at the end of the day with no tangible product to show for our labor such as having built more on a house, crocheted a blanket, knitted a scarf, sewed a baby quilt, made a traditional meal from scratch, etc. That is why Etsy is such a great outlet for many of us that have skills but don't work in those fields. We can come home from our computer based job and enjoy a few hours a week working in our skill and find even more joy when people buy our tangible products and give positive feedback that keep us motivated to on creating. As my children grew up they new that after the were in bed mom would have her "therapy".....sewing. They have benefited thru out their lives from my love of sewing all the way from clothing, mending, home decor, wedding dress, etc. I am now an empty nester and when I come home from work each day I go to my sewing room (aka boys old bedroom) and savor creative time. I have even taught a young girl I work with to sew and she had blossomed with the skill and now her young children are benefiting from her sewing. We had even talked about my setting up a class for sewing lessons and renting a venue in town because many of her young friends have loved what she has been making. That idea is on hold as I work a FT job and enjoy my "therapy" after work. When I retire is when I would like to do the sewing classes and this article renewed that thought. I am going to start a file (tangible hard copy file) and save this article as a resource to pull from when I become one of "The Amazings". Thank you for adding another stepping stone in my path to planning my future.

  • rosebudsvintage

    rosebudsvintage from WillowsWear said 4 years ago

    As I am in the 60+ years and it is taking on new meaning with the opportunity that Etsy is offering. I have been doing crafts all my life and giving them away or storing them, now I have this door that is open for my talents. This country needs to remember the seniors with all their valuable knowledge and experience and seize the moment to gather and utilize this "gold mine" that is available. There is nothing like experience to help others who are young and starting out, we can learn from each other. It is so wonderful that Etsy allows everyone the chance to share all our talents. A big Thank You!

  • OxOriginalArtJewelry

    Patsy Oxley from OxArtJewelry said 4 years ago

    Sounds like a wonderful program for both young and old. It is difficult to connect with the younger generation. Doing so while teaching, learning and creating is a great idea.

  • PatternsAndPlans

    PatternsAndPlans from PatternsAndPlans said 4 years ago

    Redefining homogenized mass culture is a major effort in itself and well worth the cause.

  • my2handsstudio

    Donna from my2handsstudio said 4 years ago

    I did not think about what the older generation taught me, all that I am is because I had a tutor that was my senior, whether it be my aunt, my grandma, or someone else, I hope that we can pass these skills on to a new generation.

  • EllenCrimiTrent

    Ellen Crimi-Trent from EllenCrimiTrent said 4 years ago

    Great article-its no surprise to me that because of internet age there are more and more opportunities for the over 60 group to be more useful than ever before. As an artist myself- retirement will never happen.. how do you just stop creating? You don't but passing along knowledge and tips to the younger generation is key into keeping the arts alive and well. I would love to see seniors with talent volunteer their time in classrooms that have no arts. This would be so beneficial to everyone involved. Change one life you change the world!

  • kartism

    Kim Archie from KartisimDesign said 4 years ago

    Wow! What a truly relevant article. I love the concept of "The Amazings" and similar ideas. I often consider all of those around me, who are entering into retirement and still so full of life and having so much to share. I appreciate all the comments above. I too have been blessed to work with the senior population and for the last 14 years. Though they appreciated my youth, I am the one who benefits by far. I love the stories and experiences which so many of them share so passionately with me. I was just speaking with an older woman yesterday about the great work she is doing for the community. I mentioned to her that when I was in grade school, there was a woman(must have been a retired dancer) named Louise Jorgenson, who went around to all of the public schools in Oakland, single handedly teaching children of all grade levels their various roles of dance part. At Christmas time all the children were bused down to the Oakland Auditorium to put on the most massive and impressive "Christmas Pageant " as it was coined. It was incredible. Anyone who grew up in Oakland during that time will gladly join a trip down memory lane regarding this event. Unfortunately, after she passed away this program ceased to exist. Had Ms. Jorgenson had an apprentice or two it could have continued. She was truly an " Amazing" woman who had so much to give. Thank you Chappell for such an enriching article! If anyone's interested, the link below shows her in a picture ca.1910-15 with her hands up holding her castanets..she always used them for us to keep in step. I don't remember any music while she taught us. Just her castanets. I enjoyed this trip down memory lane ;o) http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/2497233052/ http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1998/12/28/MN103159.DTL&ao=all

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 4 years ago

    It is so true that those over 65 are still lively. I have known people who have retired then gone back to work simply because they were bored. My grandfather even was still watersking at 85, and camping into his 90's. Age has no impact on what you can or can't do, and we should always be allowing and encouraging those who can do something, no matter their age, to do it.

  • elegantjewelrybyyaya

    elegantjewelrybyyaya from elegantjewelrybyyaya said 4 years ago

    It is heart-warming to read the responses to the article. People get it! However, who is actually going to create "The Amazings" in their own communities?

  • kartism

    Kim Archie from KartisimDesign said 4 years ago

    What a relevant and wonderful article! I have always gleaned from older adults. There is so much to be learned from their experience.I was just speaking with an older woman yesterday about the great work she was doing in her community. It brought to mind an "Amazing" woman of my childhood. Louise Joregenson single handedly around went to 50 schools in Oakland to prepare for the yearly Christmas Pageant. She taught us all our own dance role and one weekend during the Holiday season, we were all carried by yellow buses to the Oakland Auditorium to put on the most fabulous performance. I wish she had an apprentice or two. No one could continue this production after she could no longer. Please check out this photo of her dated circa 1910-15 holding her castanets. I always remember her in this position holding and clicking them to keep us in time. http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/2497233052/ If you're interested in and article check this out. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1998/12/28/MN103159.DTL&ao=all

  • kartism

    Kim Archie from KartisimDesign said 4 years ago

    What a relevant and wonderful article! I have always gleaned from older adults. There is so much to be learned from their experience.I was just speaking with an older woman yesterday about the great work she was doing in her community. It brought to mind an "Amazing" woman of my childhood. Louise Joregenson single handedly went around to 50 schools in Oakland to prepare for the yearly Christmas Pageant. She taught us all our own dance role and one weekend during the Holiday season, we were all carried by yellow buses to the Oakland Auditorium to put on the most fabulous performance. It was incredible. I wish she had an apprentice or two or had been able to pass down her knowledge. No one could continue this production after she could no longer. Thank you Chappell for this meaningful article. If you search: "Louise Jorgenson Oakland" you can view a photo of her dated circa 1910-15 holding her castanets. I always remember her in this position holding and clicking them to keep us in time.

  • SuVasi

    Debbie Vasilinda from SuVasi said 4 years ago

    Great article! As I quickly approach 65 it's nice to know that we aren't useless. I learned so much from my grandmothers, mom and aunts when I was young and cherish those times immensely and hope I've done the same for someone. Never stop sharing what you can do!

  • Auntiesoapworts

    Auntiesoapworts from BrackenfernCottage said 4 years ago

    That's what it's all about! Thank you for this...a great contribution to the world!

  • knitfitt

    Cate Fitt said 4 years ago

    Etsy has given me the opportunity to share some of my over 65 years' experience and I cherish the chance. I also try to pass it along in my teaching and by helping out younger artists one-on-one here in Richmond. There may not be a chapter of The Amazings here but everyone, no matter the age, can share and pass along their skills.

  • messinabella

    messinabella from BandBEstate said 4 years ago

    great post!

  • adilabrar

    Adil Abrar said 4 years ago Featured

    Hey all, i'm the co-founder of The Amazings. Just wanted to say thanks for all your kind words. We're just getting going, and support like this really helps remind us why we're doing what we're doing. Etsy is a total inspiration. It shows we can make markets where most people aren't looking or don't care. If anyone knows any Amazings in the UK, send them our way! And maybe one day, we'll be seeing you in the States. All the best.

  • birose

    Rose from BigIslandRoseDesigns said 4 years ago Featured

    As a member of the over 65 gang I applaud you for bringing us to the forefront with this article. I am retired from an office environment but not retired from life. From my Etsy shops, to watching my grandson 4 days a week, to helping others learn my crafts and how to set up their Etsy shops I'm pretty busy most days! And I still have lots to learn! Part of never growing old is to keep on learning!

  • Pastecchi

    Pastecchi from TheAmazonBazaar said 4 years ago

    This is wonderful! The elderly community is always looked down on, its horrible! The us culture is obsessed with youth and preserving it that we shut our eyes to people older that 50s. The older generation have much more to offer than people give them credit for. The value of a person is not in thier age, but who they are. I hope this changes the minds and thinking patterns of many. I look foward to one day being a part of this wonderful group of people.

  • vinylclockwork

    Scott from vinylclockwork said 4 years ago

    Love the Article

  • misponko

    Liudmila Rosario Ponko from PonkoWorld said 4 years ago

    great article!

  • AlisaDesign

    Alisa from AlisaDesign said 4 years ago

    Great article! Thank you!

  • exnomad

    pierce and colleen from exnomad said 4 years ago

    I love this!

  • RenataandJonathan

    Renata and Jonathan from RenataandJonathan said 4 years ago

    Excellent idea ! Go Amazings ! :)

  • wonderlaneart

    Missy Anne from wonderlaneart said 4 years ago

    It is still funny to me to think of our elders as 65+ group. Most of that age group in my social circle are so full of life and excited to try new things that I often feel quite inspired by this generation! They seem to young to be called elders. ;-)

  • OhMyLuckyStar

    Samantha Hughes from OhMyLuckyStar said 4 years ago

    As we age, many find that they wish to pass on some of their knowledge and skills to the younger generations. If we would all take the time to sit up and listen, learn, and love them - as opposed to our US culture where older things become useless and are thrown away for new things - I think the world will be a better place. It seems senseless to me to ignore the wisdom of anyone, regardless of age. Go Amazings! And thank you. :D

  • telepelekids

    ilanit bronstein from telepelekids said 4 years ago

    Great and intresting.age is a state of mind! i know people in that age and i wish to have the same energy like them,,,,we can learn so much from this generation!

  • ME2Designs

    Meg from ME2Designs said 4 years ago

    Fantastic article! Kudos to 'The Amazings' for creating opportunities for the 65 and 'better' (vs. 65 and 'older') population to share their wealth of talent in such a meaningful way!

  • cyasarcan

    Canan from Zembil said 4 years ago

    Great post!!!

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld said 4 years ago

    The older I get, the more I appreciate the wisdom, experience and skills of people older than I am. It's great to read about a program that helps people pass on their knowledge.

  • yomarismillan

    Golden Hearts MILLAN from AgapeArts said 4 years ago

    Nice!!!

  • paintmydog

    Justine Osborne from paintmydog said 4 years ago

    Inspirational!

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts said 4 years ago

    This is great!!!!

  • LoveButtons

    Julia K Walton from FireHorseVintageHQ said 4 years ago

    Great initiative.

  • SEOWebDesign

    Mary from WingsDoveSEOGuides said 4 years ago

    Passing along a long life-time of learning and honing skills is one of the joys of aging. Making a difference in the lives of others is very rewarding. Excellent article.

  • dayslonggone

    Gwynne Collins from DaysLongGone said 4 years ago

    A wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 4 years ago

    Wonderful idea!

  • DaisyandFlorrie

    Sue from DaisyandFlorrie said 4 years ago

    Great article and obviously, it resonates with many. I hope we see this type of sharing grow - we all can learn from each other no matter our age.

  • GraceAndFlowers

    Miss Scarlett Scarlett from GraceAndFlowers said 4 years ago

    Wonderful article, really inspiring!

  • 63artlove

    Diane from LaughingWaveDesigns said 4 years ago

    there is definitely room for all of us who are 65 plus...our experiences and skills are very helpful for those who want to learn from us..so thanks for this great article..

  • DarlinBrandoPress

    Alisa and Alyssa from DarlinBrandoPress said 4 years ago

    Great article! :)

  • KevinInmanArt

    Kevin Inman from KevinInmanArt said 4 years ago

    It's a great way to bridge generational gaps with things like woodworking and quilting, which my grandparents learned growing up on farms in Oklahoma, but which our generation, moving around with the military, would have to otherwise try to puzzle out from reading books.

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets said 4 years ago

    So important, and good to hear. It strikes me often, how little more than 5 decades have gone by and most of piers have had a need for skills replaced by a consumer on demand atmosphere. It's hard to think of convenience ever going away or the simple concept of not being able to buy what we need. But throughout history, hand skills have sustained and kept afloat through economic downturns. There may come a day where it is difficult to replace a milling machine, an embroidery machine, and a store bought cake, and many are finding that time is now. But it is mostly the investment of learning and passing down that give the chisel and file, needle and thread, and the recipe so much value.

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 4 years ago

    Great article! Thank you!

  • bedouin

    Nicole from bedouin said 4 years ago

    Just last week I was asking myself "what the heck are my mom's hands doing on my wrists" ? But after reading this article I'll cherish the years of work her tough little crafty hands put into the most "Amazing" venues of life. Viva la Oil of Olay

  • nicolerisinger

    Nicole Risinger from SoSewOrganized said 4 years ago

    This is such a needed program in every area of the world! Learning from an older generation is the logical thing to do. It doesn't make sense to run a young person through undergrad, masters, doctorate, etc. etc., and then set him in a teaching position when he hasn't *lived* it! Learning from those with not only the head knowledge but the practical wisdom as well is a much better investment of our time and money. Thank you for this article!

  • mimishingleton

    Mimi from aTreasureInStore said 4 years ago

    Even though I was a teacher of smalls or littles for quite a few years, it's the seniors and their stories that never cease to entertain. Reminds me of my teenage years when I finally got my license, i would run my grandparents on all their errands. Oh the stories they would tell!

  • sweetpeepshere

    JennyandDonna from sweetpeepshere said 4 years ago

    awesome and inspiring article! keep up the good work :)

  • 4EnvisioningVintage

    Tracy from 4EnvisioningVintage said 4 years ago

    This is just an awesome idea! I wish we had something like this locally. Very inspiring and I think needed for young & elderly!

  • creativevisions

    Marianne Sieg McCament from CreativeVisions said 4 years ago Featured

    It gives me great hope to hear other people encouraging the passing on of handcrafting skills of any kind to younger generations! I always encourage anyone with an interest to try; what matters is the desire to learn and create. So many skills end up getting lost and it's so fabulous to see someone reach out to older folks who have years of mastery and are happy to share.

  • CopperheadCreations

    Sarah from CopperheadCreations said 4 years ago

    This is awesome on so many levels!

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 4 years ago

    Great!

  • dizhasneatstuff

    deb fearon from dizhasneatstuff said 4 years ago

    Not a day goes by that i don't think of my own grandmother and her influence on my life, style and the homespun skills she taught me. When I listen to my own daughters speak of impressing their friends with their pie making skills, I thank my grandma for taking the time teach me. I'm 55 and my most important talents are things I learned by making lots of mistakes, I look forward to teaching those younger than me and letting them make their own screw ups.

  • Penelopeslinenloft

    Penelopeslinenloft from Penelopeslinenloft said 4 years ago

    An excellent scheme, I am 65 and I am more creative now than I have ever been. I had the ideas years ago, but non of the time to do them in, children, job and mortgage to pay. I now live in the south west of France, a fabulous source of vintage and antique materials and as a retired widow have the time to concentrate. Since joining Etsy I have developed a 'micro enterprise' and also have had Etsians come to stay and search out their own treasures. To be able to pass on these skills to others would be a pleasure, and in turn I am learning something new every day. I think a resource similar to this concept could be set up here, it would be ideal sharing skills and bringing people, perhaps lonely people, together to brainstorm and develop their interlingual and crafting 'nous'... Penelope

  • DreamsAndConflicts

    Dreams And Conflicts from DreamsAndConflicts said 4 years ago

    Great Article.. Sometimes I really want to be able to read the minds of the people with experiences. That would be so easy to learn! Ah, there's no way. We're all be old and learn one day (I hope!)

  • fabiusmaximus

    fabiusmaximus from fabiusmaximus said 4 years ago

    This is a great post on a topic which merits far more attention than it gets. my mum (Calvert Cottage) posted on this above but she started giving craft workshops at the age of 65 and is in great demand. Seniors have such a wealth of experience that really should be used.

  • TheHickoryTree

    Linda from TheHickoryTree said 4 years ago

    Great article and fantastic concept. I hope other communities embrace this idea.

  • neusbatllori

    neusbatllori from neusbatllori said 4 years ago

    i love the idea. i think we really NEED their experience!

  • coalchild

    coalchild from coalchild said 4 years ago

    awesome group ....i have taught a few people to do stained glass but i really can't wait to teach my grandkids..although i've not reached that 65 pinacle, i understand the importance of passing things along ...like how my auntie taught me to knit and play a little slide guitar...not everyone has an auntie so this group is just what this generation needs .....love to learn

  • CTCosta

    Chris Costa from CTCostaPhotography said 4 years ago

    This is such a great concept. Wonderful article!

  • BlueMoonLights

    Alexandra Simons from BlueMoonLights said 4 years ago

    Great idea! I learned so much from my grandparents and am so thankful for that.

  • PalomaAccessories

    Kelly from PalomaAccessories said 4 years ago

    Excelente articulo!

  • InMaterial

    Peggy McCallum from InMaterial said 4 years ago

    I love this article. Seniors have so much wisdom and talent to share with everyone.

  • volcanogirlcreations

    Connie Haskell from volcanogirlcreations said 4 years ago

    What a wonderful article, a traditional way of life for native Hawaiians. Older people are called Kupuna and are looked upon as mentors and teachers, passing on their knowledge and wisdom as well as their love or aloha is what has kept our unique Hawaiian culture alive and well all these years! Love the name Amazing! Aloha!

  • JanJat

    Catherine from JanJat said 4 years ago

    My grandmother is turning 90 and is still on the march!! She knits beautifully and is teaching me slowly...very slowly :) My mom learnt her tailoress skills from her grandmother who could copy a Chanel suit to perfection. These strong, independent, creative and generous ladies are my Amazings! Thank you for this lovely article reminding us that just because you turn 65 does not mean you suddenly fall off the earth or lose your marbles. In a fast-paced, consumer-based, mass-produced world we are always looking out for the 'new' when the 'old' actually has more to offer than we could ever imagine...we just have to rotate the lens.

  • ClaudiaLord

    Claudia Lord from ClaudiaLord said 4 years ago

    Great idea!

  • fantasygarden

    Anna Kikute from fantasygarden said 4 years ago

    I think that is very important to respect and love our older people . 65 actually is not so old :) i think age is hove you feel . Mostly my professors where older then that when I have been studying

  • EnterpriseAmericana

    Enterprise Americana from EnterpriseAmericana said 4 years ago

    Happy to live in a time where 65 doesn't look a thing like it used to. ...and I can only hope and wonder about how it will be even better in 25 years when I hit 65.

  • gjarvisjewelryetc

    G. Jarvis from gjarvisjewelryetc said 4 years ago

    A very inspiring article indeed! Thank you.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 4 years ago

    Its a great idea skill sharing but I don't see myself retiring ever! I think those days are long gone for UK citizens of my generation...

  • GoldenSpiralDesigns

    Lola Ocian from GoldenSpiralDesigns said 4 years ago

    Absolutely brilliant! I wish that the US would adopt something like this, rather than shipping retired people off to warmer climates, or locking them away in elder homes. My father is a case-in-point: he's in his mid-60's now, and he's worked construction all his life. He's incredibly skilled with cabinetry and restoration, as well as making stringed instruments and other crafty things. Two years ago, his retirement plan evaporated (thanks, US gov) so he's kept up at night thinking of how he's going to be doing hard labor until he can't stand up or see anymore. It's tough cause he's already losing his sight and he's got carpal tunnel so bad, he's mad multiple surgeries to alleviate the pain. But he can't stop working, or he'll have no where to go. I think if he were able to teach his skills, not only would it allow him to keep working (he'd have to accept the cut in pay), but he'd be doing more of what he loves, and teaching future generations the skills that he got from grandpa, and his father before him. I really hope we take more of an active role in caring for the aging population. It's not just about helping them clean the house or making a grocery run for them - but actually giving them something that can keep them inspired and fulfilled creatively.

  • takingshape

    Aleta Ford Baker from AletaFordBakerDesign said 4 years ago

    Since when is 65 year old? I am almost there, and I feel like I'm just getting started with my beadwoven art - my 'mentors' are people like the late Georgia O'Keefe, and Henry Moore - both contributed so much more in their 'twilight years'. And what about Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, and Patti Smith? All going strong!

  • cathleenantoine

    MarisGirl Antoine said 4 years ago

    In many cultures the elders are looked upon as deserving of respect and a unique connection to traditional ways. As an educator I embrace this concept. No matter how old I get I know I can learn new things and hopefully share that with others. Wonderful work UK!

  • sukran

    Sukran Kirtis from SukranKirtisJewelry said 4 years ago

    Excellent, excellent idea!!! Congratulations!!!!

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 4 years ago

    This seems like an amazing idea! I know plenty of people who are crafty and would love to learn from an expert, but honestly don't know anyone. Two of my friends just started crocheting and were learning through videos on the internet and a book. They said many times how much easier it would be if they had someone there who could just show them, who already knew what they were doing. I feel the same way when it comes to some crafts. You just need to see it, and you need to be able to ask questions. Besides the benefits to the person learning, the teacher also gets some perks. They get to make a little extra cash, and teach others their skills, skills they have mastered well over the years. It's also a great way for people to give back to their communities and keep everyone busy, learning, and exchanging information. Definitely a good idea.

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts said 4 years ago

    Interesting concept. What a great idea!

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz from collectiblesatoz said 4 years ago

    Wonderful article. As a retiree I am always happy to share with and to learn from the younger generation. We have to be there for each other.

  • BigRockPaperCo

    Melissa Cyrenne from BigRockWeddingFavors said 4 years ago

    We need this in Canada; I have a 98 year old grandmother who could be just as big of a creative influence on others as she has been to me and my children...

  • chunnurm

    Pooja Shrestha from Nuptse said 4 years ago

    Great article. Excellent idea!

  • FruitOfMyHands

    Deborah Felumlee from FruitOfMyHands said 4 years ago

    I loved this article. I would like to be involved in something like this since I am in that age range.

  • BootiesBowsandBling

    Camille from BootiesBowsandBling said 4 years ago

    Glad to see this happening As some one who is nearing that age I want to and need to remain vital and involved. Wish ther was something in SoCal.

  • tomsgrossmami

    Tom's Grossmami from tomsgrossmami said 4 years ago

    Great idea!

  • kimcollinsphotog

    Kim Collins from KimCollinsPhoto said 4 years ago

    What a great article!!!!!!!!!! Life is just beginning when one retires!

  • SweetPeachyGirl

    Patty said 4 years ago

    This is super! I have taken a few continuing education classes at local colleges over the years in Texas and Oklahoma in the USA. Some of the classes were Soapmaking, Tole Painting, and Photography. I also attended a hands on Paper Marbeling Workshop. They weren't given by 65 or older, but the concept is similar. They were taught by local people wanting to pass on their knowledge of a skill. I hope to do the same someday...after I get situated in my new home in Maine, and after I have begun my own Etsy Shop. I love to inspire others in their artwork. I have a few years before I reach 66, but why wait until then?

  • CougarTShirtCompany

    Cougar T-Shirt Company from CougarTShirtCompany said 4 years ago

    Thank you do much for writing this! This is a great thing. It is scary to approach 65, because younger people don't want you in the work force. This gives the over 65's something meaningful, as well as exposing younger people to the fact that over 65's are cool, have something of value to offer. The USA really needs to promote its version. The program should be commonplace. Thank you again for writing about this!

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry from pinksnakejewelry said 4 years ago

    Super Post!!

  • ExLibrisJournals

    Meaghan from ExLibrisJournals said 4 years ago

    this is awesome! I would love to have classes like this available in my community!

  • OliveSpoonStudio

    Michael and Erin Waite from OliveSpoonStudio said 4 years ago

    Wonderful article! I often am saddened by the realization that I didn't truly "see" my grandparents until it was too late. What I wouldn't give now to spend a day with them again! In other cultures, and in generations past, elders were revered for their wisdom and skills. Now, we are just obsessed by youth - perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect bodies. How ridiculous!! None of those things matter. I hope with a resurgence of handmade, combined with a down-turned economic future, we finally see a shift in values and an understanding of what truly matters in this life.

  • HelloShoes

    HelloShoes from HelloShoes said 4 years ago

    Wow what a great idea..and a great site:)

  • NannyMadeandfound

    Melinda from sixtybeansVntg said 4 years ago

    Thank you, Thank you for this article. What an "amazing" idea to help those who have so much to offer find ways to do it. Currently unemployed and needing to get a new job to replace the income, I find that it is very hard to buck the "younger is better" mentality out there. Bravo to those who see things differently and help promote it :-)

  • PinwheelStudio

    Whitney from PinwheelStudio said 4 years ago

    This is a wonderful idea, and I hope it gains more and more success! Life is all about learning from and sharing with each other!!

  • sachintha84

    Sachintha Peiris said 4 years ago

    Very inspiring !

  • TatianSuicide

    LadyTatian Suicide from ThoughtfulDesigns said 4 years ago

    I love this. I hope it continues to grow.

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas from FreakyPeas said 4 years ago

    I was inspired to pursue my painting career by my mother who is a painter whose own mother inspired her.

  • BayMoonDesign

    Kathy Lindemer from BayMoonDesign said 4 years ago

    I think it is important to keep physically and mentally active as long as possible!

  • carinenadia

    Carine said 4 years ago

    I took a Roman lamp making class with the Amazings last month and had a total blast. They have really fun classes and would encourage anyone to sign up for workshops

  • cindychafer

    cindy chafer from cindysboho said 4 years ago

    Its great to read all your comments, I have always soaked up all the crafts I could from grandparents etc- I feel we all have our own God given talents we can share with each other, I had to take early retirement due to a near drowning while on holiday and being able to carry on with my sewing and using my imagination for my crafting has been a blessing, I am proud to say I taught my children and now my grandchildren to sew, knit, crochet and even wallpapering - the sense of achievement gives confidence and pride!

  • AiChngGanBhullar

    Ai-Ch'ng said 4 years ago

    Congratulations, Amazings. What a wonderful set-up to utilise the wisdom that can only be acquired from years and years of learning, revising and refining that we do as we get older. My own father is a brilliant, kind and much-loved obstetrician and gynaecologist alongside his complementary medical approach (rare where we live here), who only this year, has just given up delivering babies... at the age of 70. He still has a massive treasure trove of experience, an incredibly sharp mind and such a beautiful energy, and he finds it impossible to "settle down" to the (for him) brain-deadening days of golf, morning tea, gardening and walks. He's looking for a way to pass his love for human kind and his vast experience in women's health, on to the next generation of medical practitioners and on to women, and it has not been so easy to find a suitable avenue to do so. Hopefully we'll find an outlet for him to share his gifts, before it's too late and he takes his experience - un-shared, to the grave with him.

  • elit716

    Elena from TheCraftyRascal said 4 years ago

    I have learned a ton from my grandparents and constantly get inspired by their energy and willingness to explore, travel and continue to learn. Very inspiring article.

  • lassandaliasdeana

    lassandaliasdeana from lassandaliasdeana said 4 years ago

    great theme! ;)

  • julietdiyjewelry

    xiu qing zhu from julietdiyjewelry said 4 years ago

    wonderful idea

  • liddysopretty

    liddy sopretty from liddysopretty said 4 years ago

    Yes, I love this!

  • hanovergals

    denise davison from HanoverMerryMakers said 4 years ago

    What a great article, good luck and every success. I live in an Independent Living housing complex. I am a young 63, and after being in the caring profession all my life, my friend and I decided to start Craft classes for all the residents to attend if they wished. We began this year and have about 12 dedicated crafters. I showed jewelry making one week and that really took off and the ladies love creating jewelry. We are aged from 60 to 90 and in varying degrees of old age abilities. If one lady cannot manage to do a certain step, someone will do it for her. We have 1 Gentleman that has found the love of jewelry when he was helped to make earrings for his Daughters. The Gentlemen that come to crafting either chat, play games, but most importantly keep us going with cups of tea. The idea is to get people out of their flats and enjoy some time engaging with fellow residents. Now Summer is here, we're having more residents stop by to see what we do, we even have neighbours asking us to alter their costume jewelry and repair broken pieces. We have so much fun, we named ourselves Merry Makers and meet once a week at the moment. Selling on ETSY is our latest idea. So many of our pensioners are on a tight budget, this will hopefully add a little extra to their purse.. The main thing is, we're keeping wrinkly hands active and our brains active. See us at Hanover Merrymakers.

  • CaliPeachInc

    SHARMAINE SHANELLE from CaliPeachLLC said 4 years ago

    Everyday we are rediscovering something new about ourselves. If something isn't working try something new, it won't hurt. It is said that repeating the same act, expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. We must commit ourselves to get unstuck out of our daily routine. Awesome Post!!!

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