During the lockdown in many areas of the country, households were suddenly faced with finding activities to do with the family or occupy time while activities out of the home came to a halt. While some new skills may be short lived, some new habits emerged: households have increased their cooking activity and cultivated new bread making skills, while others embarked on more ambitious home improvements and upgrades that had previously been ignored.
Still others looked for a creative way out of the COVID-19 doldrums by engaging in craft making, either picking up on skills they already had or learning a new skill. Activities like mask making, sewing, journaling, and knitting suddenly found a wider audience.
This trend continued into the summer as camps did not open or opened for limited periods, families continued to look to arts and crafts activities to fill time.
As a result, demand at stores carrying crafts has grown tremendously year-over-year. Envestnet | Yodlee’s COVID-19 Income and Spending Trends has shown that spend at merchants that provide products for craft activities has been up high double digits this year, even when the summer weather kicked in. Demand continued with back-to-school purchases (as parents were responsible for more at-home school supplies) which helped to bolster purchases into the Fall.
According to an article in Forbes, the Association for Creative Industries, estimated the market at $36 billion. For the casual home crafters, supplies are sold at a variety of retail outlets, specialty craft stores, national crafting chains, mass market discount stores, dollar stores, and a myriad of other local hardware and drug stores. While companies are unwilling to provide guidance into the holiday season, the fact that local holiday crafting events are going virtual indicates that the season could still turn out to be a jolly one for the industry.