Carla Tate has finally mastered the art of knitting. Not from a book or an online tutorial, but from a prolific knitter who loves to teach.
Cherish Cullison is not a friend, but didn’t charge the woman a dime. Instead, they each used a barter website, TimeRepublik.com, to work out their transaction.
“It’s nice to make things for people,” Tate said after knitting three scarves and a baby blanket.
Cullison shares her other talents with online takers: “Wardrobe stylist, I also love to organize closets, I knit, I craft.”
She shares all those talents to help launch her other businesses as an stylist and a retro clothing boutique. She recently enlisted a graphic artist in Italy to conceptualize a new logo for her business. Again, no money changed hands. And Cullison said she enjoys the worldwide commerce.
“Canada, Germany, Italy. Even New York sometimes," she said of the places in which she's done business.
Cullison is a working mom with several businesses. She’s done everything from style a monk who decided to move into secular life and needed to learn to dress for dating, to teaching knitting and closet organization.
Just in time for the holidays, it’s the latest take on barter. This is considered time banking, using an international forum for bartering, with complete strangers.
It's the brainchild of a Swiss Musician, now New Yorker, Gabriele Donati. He’s says it’s less about money than.
“Time," he explained. "Time is really an excuse to meet people to share talents and skills in order to create trust.”
That fosters new relationships, too. Gabriele started Time Republik with his childhood friend. No fees, no signup costs, and completely ad-free. They hope it will make money when their platform technology is bought, but the swap site won’t change.
“It goes a little bit beyond bartering," he said. "You provide a service, you collect time and then you use your credits for any other service you need. With any other professional, anywhere in the world.”
Donati himself is multi-talented. A surfer, language coach and music teacher, he says the site was born out of his own necessity.
“I’m a musician. I came to New York 20 years ago to study music," he said. "But being a jazz musician in New York where gigs pay, like, $75, I needed some help."
And it’s paying off for people like Tate. She’s used her talents to give personal gifts and sees a greater good in all of this.
“New York is a very money-oriented city but there are a lot of people who want to share," she said. "I think it’s perfect for New York.”