Research reveals the rise of the 'Craftrepreneur' as thousands turn hobbies into successful enterprises.
Recent research from Country Baskets, the UK's largest supplier of floristry materials and artificial flowers, has highlighted a new wave of 'craftrepreneurs' sweeping the UK as increasing consumer demand for British-made handcrafted goods, coupled with a challenging UK economy, has encouraged thousands of people to turn their personal hobbies into successful businesses.
The survey, which questioned more than 1,500 people in the UK interested in craft, revealed that almost a third (30.5%) of respondents had turned their crafting hobbies into a profitable business and become self-made 'craftrepreneurs,' with more than half of those businesses being set up in just the last two years alone.
With income from craft-making businesses reaching an estimated £457m last year*, it's clear that what was once seen as an old-fashioned pastime has now become a country-wide phenomenon. TV and magazine coverage has also had a significant impact on the growth of the sector with nine out of ten people surveyed citing shows such as the Great British Bake Off and Kirsty's Homemade Britain as helping to drive people's passion for crafts.
Surprisingly, certain areas of the UK were exposed as being particularly crafty with West Yorkshire (43%), Greater Manchester (9%), Tyne and Wear (7.1%) being home to the most home-grown 'craftrepreneurs.'
And it's no longer just card-making and knitting as people are becoming much more adventurous with their crafty creations. Household and Christmas decorations (68%), wedding accessories (43%) and artificial flower arranging (39%) have been revealed as some of the most popular craft activities.
Gail Mitchell, self-confessed 'craftrepreneur' and owner at GG Pin up Couture, comments: “I'd always been interested in arts and crafts and after falling ill in 2010 I decided to give up my day job as an English teacher and follow my dream of setting up a business. I now design bespoke head pieces taking inspiration from vintage fashion and my designs have been used in national ad campaigns for River Island and celebrated in several leading fashion magazines. I honestly feel that there has been a huge shift in attitude in recent years and lots of people are now looking to support home-grown businesses.”
Venessa Hodgson at Country Baskets adds: “The huge rise in these 'craftrepreneurs' just emphasises the UK's growing appetite for creating things themselves – we have seen it with baking and now we are seeing it with crafting. Our research has found that social media channels like Facebook and Twitter are enabling these businesses to reach a far wider audience and build up a strong fan base much more quickly. The increase in popularity of online shops such as Etsy has also given these start-ups a new platform to sell their goods – either to supplement their personal incomes or even leave their 9-5 jobs like Gail and make a successful living through selling their handmade items.”
*Craft in Age of Change Report, Crafts Council, February 2012 Country Baskets is the UK's largest wholesaler of floristry supplies & artificial flowers and is home to huge ranges of wedding products, pottery, glassware, home accessories, craft products and baskets. It also specialises in seasonal products for Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Country Baskets has 8 branches nationwide and over 9,000 products online on its brand new interactive website which aims to bring inspiration to customer's fingertips, in the click of a button. www.countrybaskets.co.uk
Posted: 3 December 2013
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