A Craft Industry Analysis
The Craft and Hobby Association in 2011, released results of research into the U.S. Craft
and Hobby Industry. You may be surprised to learn that the craft and hobbyist's contribution
towards this industries net worth is approximately $29 billion, double the $14 billion first
reported by Craft Organization Directors Association (CODA) in 2001. A surprising figure to
emerge from this research (even to us avid craft enthusiasts) is that over half of U.S. households
acknowledged engaging in a craft activity at least once per year.
When we unpack that $29 billion net worth figure we get a clearer picture of who it is
that loves their hobby. Woodworking was the front runners in the top 10 craft sectors by spend,
coming in at $3.32 billion with 16.8 million individuals engaging in this activity. I myself
have some lovely bookends purchased at a local Sunday market that have clearly been lovingly
produced by one such woodworker.
Since the internet revolution every industry engages in analytics and who wouldn't want
to have a picture of their client base so savvy marketing campaigns can bring a little more
of that dollar value into the business. And what an impressive dollar value it is. The artists
among us, thought to be 21.1 million households, spent $2.6 billion on our passion.
The jewelry making and beading craft accounted for $2.3 billion with 14.7 million people
crafting earrings, necklaces, bracelets and broaches etc. Over 18 million households engaged
in Scrapbooking and other paper crafts spending $3.3 billion preserving family memories and
turning photos into family heirlooms. The crocheting hobby injected $1.062 billion into the
industry via 17.4 million strong crochet fans. That's a lot of towels getting topped.
Crafting wreaths, historically a symbol of strength, and in Christianity a celebration
of the festive season, made it into one of the top 10 favorite craft activities with 11.6 million
engaging in this activity. This is not a once a year only at Christmas craft as wreaths are
also used as wedding headdress in many different cultures. Incidentally, wedding crafts injected
$803 million into the U.S. craft economy.
With speculation that the global financial crisis is responsible for providing this boost
for the craft industry Hobby Lobby's Eileen Liffick attributed an increase of people attending
craft shops or online craft sites looking for ways to create craft for their families without
spending a lot of money due to the current economic conditions. Ms Liffick says that "not only
are people saving money, they're making it. We have many people selling these items making
What was previously a much loved hobby is now a means of saving the family money. "People
are looking to create something special, something homemade. They want to help others save
money, while making a little extra for themself". The fabric department's business has at least
doubled in the last three years because of the economy with people trending back to earlier
times, making homemade items for themselves, as a gift, or for a fun family activity. Industry
concentration has increased over the five years to 2011, as large national retailers take market
share from small independent operators.
Despite the impact of large scale business successful craft businesses are popping up
everywhere seeking to share in the crafting industries net worth of $29 million. Crafting is
a convenient work from home business and respected cottage industry. Approximately 81.2
percent of total craft industry operators in Canada are estimated to be businesses without
paid-employees (non-employers) in 2011.
It's now easier than ever to publicize your business and get recognition without spending
a fortune doing so using a variety of free and low cost tools and resources from marketing
on the internet to craft shows and everything in between.
Craft shows bring resources and new techniques to the end user providing an unequalled
opportunity to present craft and hobby ideas and products and services to this cashed up audience.
The hobby and craft association reported attendee registration at one particular craft show
up 40 percent. In the "buyer" category alone registration was up 48 percent for this same
show planned for 2012 in Anaheim.
Craft Pavilions showcase what's new in crafts reaching craft and hobby enthusiasts far
and wide. Stall holders sell products in a popular, vibrant market place that attracts tens
of thousands over the course of the event. The bonus to the community is far reaching as these
tens of thousands of attendees require accommodation and spend money on food and drinks in
the vicinity of the event.