The Crafts Industry is Thriving!
Our appreciation and desire for handmade goods has turned
the business of crafts into a thriving industry.
The Crafts Industry
Today's market for handcrafted items has grown in the last thirty years to a billion dollar business. Crafts are not a trend any more—they are now being accepted as a legitimate industry. The interest in arts and crafts is continually growing all across the country and its acceptance is a significant influence in the way we perceive our environment.
Students are earning degrees in crafts and fine arts through universities, and curriculum offerings for continuing education programs are dominated by craft classes. Local and regional craft fairs, trade shows, community exhibits, and shopping mall festivals crowd calendars everywhere. The rapidly escalating increase in demand for crafts has spread from small gift shops and boutiques to department store giants who are stocking their shelves with craft merchandise. A percentage of remodeling and construction budgets for corporate, government, and public buildings are being spent on art or craftwork, whether they be part of the architectural design, part of the landscaping, or a major piece of work displayed in the building.
There are hundreds of craft guilds, organizations and associations across North America and abroad which are non-profit organizations dedicated to the promotion and development of crafts. Even the governments are promoting crafts. Provincial, state and federal agencies fund crafts development programs both to inspire small business, and to conserve the traditional and innovative arts of this nation. And, most important, just about everybody is showing interest in buying and displaying crafts in their homes and offices.
Why all the interest?
Crafts have become exceedingly popular because of the public's desire for objects that are exciting, unusual, and highly individual. More and more consumers are turning away from department store cheap, mass market products and are craving for unique, finely crafted, individually produced, handmade objects.
People who enter the craft field today do so because they feel it offers more freedom and opportunity for creativity and self-expression than do other professions, turning out high quality, aesthetically appealing products. Producing and selling crafts is also an excellent way to start a small home-based business, even if its only part-time, because it requires little start up investment. Most handcrafted products are made with the simplest of tools, equipment and raw materials so there is no need to invest in costly inventory and equipment.
Here is a really interesting article by Betty Freudenheim,
Jewelry Gaining in Crafts.
Opportunities for crafts are endless.
There are good markets for both production and one-of-a-kind products in just about any craft medium. Whether you work in wood, glass, metal, clay, fiber, or any one of hundreds of natural or synthetic materials, the markets for good quality handcrafted products are large and growing on all levels for collectibles, high-ticket items, production ware, and work that will go into galleries and museums.
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