Culture August 3, 2016
Prepare your floaties because the second wave of crafting is upon us. Whether you’re stocking up your cart with swirled handmade bar soaps, personalized jewelry or screen-printed t-shirts straight off the press, society has rekindled its love of stylish handmade items.
The revival of handmade goods was a long time coming. With big businesses only getting bigger, the average consumer has been searching for something more than wholesale made in China products. They want something that’s personal, American-made, and worth their hard-earned dollars. This desire translates into huge demands from consumers, especially in the gift industry.
According to an article by Handshake, customer demand is attributed to their desire for awareness when they are buying products. Customers want to connect with producers and to purchase a product that is truly unique in the market of mass-produced goods. If they know where the product is from in the world and the designer they are supporting, then they are more likely to purchase that item.
Another reason crafting and handmade products are on the rise is because of the pure availability of such products. The millennial generation has taken fondly to crafting, since it can often be used to subsidize insubstantial job earnings. The “do it yourself” culture that has been carved into this new generation means that young adults are eager to pave their own path. They have also been immersed in the digital world from a very early age and often have an insatiable desire to create something, as their forefathers once did. Rather than watching a video of someone doing something on the internet, they want to do it themselves, which creates a whole new era of artisanship.
An article by Community Table confirms the popularity of crafting. The article states, “According to a 2011 Craft & Hobby Association report, more than half of U.S. households take part in at least one crafting activity… Americans spend more than $29 billion a year on crafting—a figure that has remained pretty stable in spite of the wobbly economy.”
After the recession, amongst other world adversities, millennials have grown up with an air of distrust for their environment. The fact that crafting could provide them with a small cushion of protection, as well as an escape from everyday stresses, adds to its increasing popularity.
A well-known online marketplace for handmade goods, Etsy, has gained its fair share of success as well. According to an article by CNN Money, the company was valued at over $3 billion in 2015 and its stock jumped up 88% after their IPO. The young company has only been around since 2005 but its burgeoning success has paralleled America’s blooming love affair with handmade goods.
Whether you’re looking for some individuality in your gifts or just merely tired of filling big businessmen’s pockets, handmade crafts are a go-to for any occasion. Though this trendy crafting Renaissance may be short-lived, you can rest assured that there will always be grandmas knitting sweaters, potters glazing hand-molded mugs and organic cotton baby plushies being turned out by creative moms for years to come.
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