Despite recession, craft sales boom

Two Peas is Closing
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Posted 12/23/2008 by Peabay in NSBR Board

Happy now?

PeaNut 156,993
July 2004
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Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 12/23/2008 5:28:53 AM
Craft sales booming

I'm not surprised, but it's interesting for sure.


PeaNut 273,273
August 2006
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Loc: omaha, nebraska

Posted: 12/23/2008 6:02:42 AM
I think there is a psychological effect of the slowing ecomony that makes people more tuned into their own creativity and resourcefulness. The crafting industry is not driven as much by profit as by personal satisfaction and fulfillment and the sharing of ideas.

I think consumers are tuned into that. Maybe they feel that they get more for their money by buying handmade on places like Etsy or making things themselves--they not only get a great product, but they also achieve some self-fulfillment from the knowledge that they have either created something themselves or have supported another independent manufacturer. Consumers get pleasure from buying handmade because they can see some humanity in the product.

i am not borg

PeaNut 60,578
January 2003
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Loc: Missouri

Posted: 12/23/2008 6:09:33 AM
I'm not surprised either. I think sites like etsy or artfire are doing so well because of the made in china scares. Having a product that is handmade in the USA and of parts made in the USA really helped my sales at craft fairs (I'm not quite sure if it helps online). I went to one "craft fair" that was 90% home businesses like Mary Kay and Pampered Chef and when I put out my "Handmade by ME in the USA" it garnered a lot of interest and quite a few sales. People liked that *I* had made everything I was selling, that I could tell them how I make stuff, and that I could customize stuff as well.

About 80% of our Christmas stuff is handmade by me or other people I bought from on etsy.

My Blog featuring home renovation, geek/gamer/sci-fi conventions, and my geeky/steampunk products.


PeaNut 35,832
April 2002
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Loc: Cypress, Tx....wishin' I was in Kim's Perfect World

Posted: 12/23/2008 6:20:57 AM
Most of the stores around here (Houston area) were busy with Christmas shoppers, but M's & HL were packed every time I went in them! I ran in M's the other day to grab some ribbon and a couple of small things, and when I saw the lines at the registers, I promptly put my items back and left.

I think a lot of people are trying to save money any way they can, and making gifts is one way to do that.


PeaNut 28,363
January 2002
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Loc: Walkin' in Memphis

Posted: 12/23/2008 6:55:39 AM
Remember there was a big spike after September 11th too as people wanted to stay home and nest? While it's a shame it's due to economics, it's one way to keep crafts alive and being passed on through the generations.

I'm STILL a princess - right down to my glass sneakers and enchanted sweatpants!

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PeaNut 190,269
February 2005
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Posted: 12/23/2008 7:03:47 AM
It's actually a rather common occurance. Any time you see a downturn in the economy that isn't simply a momentary blip, craft sales rise.

Look at the late 80's, early 90's. Black Monday anyone? Fabric arts reigned. Once the economy began to become better, it died off (woo hoo! I couldn't stomach seeing another puffy paint unicorn)

Love Letters Pea

PeaNut 65,852
January 2003
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Loc: Nashville, TN!

Posted: 12/23/2008 7:10:35 AM
I agree with Princess LT.

Typical Liberal Pea

PeaNut 55,230
November 2002
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Loc: Fly Over Country

Posted: 12/23/2008 7:56:58 AM
I think people are staying home more, thus people are turning to their hobbies for entertainment. I know I am.....I've done more scrapbooking this year than in the previous 12 years I've been doing this craft, but I've spent less money. My mantra "Use what I got"....


PeaNut 226,861
October 2005
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Loc: Alaska

Posted: 12/23/2008 8:02:30 AM
i agree, with the rising costs of various things, i have turned to my creative side for entertainment. i have also realized that i am cherishing the simpler things that much more.


Dreaming of a distant island

PeaNut 137,961
March 2004
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Posted: 12/23/2008 8:07:25 AM
The reason m's was at a loss until this quarter was because they were updating alot of stores, and opening brand new ones -- that always causes a deficit for any company -- as is Joann's closing the smaller stores to make way for their Super Stores.

But the comment that people don't have money that is why they are making scrapbooks -- obviously they don't know how much money we spend on scrapbook supplies and how much a book can cost to make, including the photos themselves


PeaNut 41,258
June 2002
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Loc: Minnesota

Posted: 12/23/2008 8:21:55 AM
.. but I have heard my LSS is closing. I am sure our local big craft stores are fine though.


PeaNut 242,866
January 2006
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Loc: Ormond Beach, Beachside

Posted: 12/23/2008 8:26:07 AM
omg, those babies are so sweet!

I hope the idea of frugality and making things yourself keeps going through the recession. I've never met someone that lived through the depression that wasn't a better person fiscally for it. (something that has been lost on baby boomers and gen x I am afraid)

I have been spending nada on supplies though. I bought when things were good and actually make things when things are bad.

Living and loving on Island time!

Happy now?

PeaNut 156,993
July 2004
Posts: 46,562
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Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 12/23/2008 8:28:17 AM
You know what surprised me most in the article? That Joann's is the leader in craft store profits. The Joann's near me is AWFUL. Dirty, dark, nasty. I have two Michael's I'd rather go further to than go near that Joann's.


PeaNut 109,351
October 2003
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Loc: southern belle (GA)

Posted: 12/23/2008 8:37:13 AM
Just another thought I wanted to toss out. Wonder if sales in board and card games have increased as well this year? I know the wii and such will still be 'hot' items. Family games, things to do at home.

I went through my gift 'closet' this year and many of my gifts were put together by things I had in there, added to or made something to go with. My youngest nieces are getting 'craft' sets. I had 3 (the exact # I needed!) boxed 'art' sets with crayons, colored pencils, paints. I added a few things from the Dollar tree and now they can 'craft' for the remaining days out of school while mom (my sis) does other things.

I am making today 'stationary/card' sets for my teen nieces complete with matching pens, a tiny journal ($1 spot at M's), sticky notes, etc.

I actually enjoy making gifts. I try to do something homemade every year. Then again, I've always lived a tad more simple/frugal than most being a single mom.

Sherri S
aka Rosie
My blog ~ Design to Shine

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PeaNut 43,034
July 2002
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Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 12/23/2008 8:51:17 AM
I've been spending a little time in both Jo-Ann's and Michael's this season and I've noticed that both stores I frequent have very little Christmas stock left which is different from previous years. The dank, dark Jo-Ann's that I think Peabay is talking about has Valentine's Day stuff out already just to fill in the gaps.

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PeaNut 190,269
February 2005
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Posted: 12/23/2008 8:53:41 AM

hat Joann's is the leader in craft store profits

Yes, but the key word in your sentence is "profits." You will of course show higher profits if you don't reinvest the money into redecorating, remodeling, etc.

but I have heard my LSS is closing. I am sure our local big craft stores are fine though.

people tend to fall back to more fabric crafts, knitting, quilting, etc. It seems useful crafts do much better during times like this than a scrapbook of someone's kids. Cooking at home also increases.

Legacy Girl

PeaNut 299,733
February 2007
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Posted: 12/23/2008 9:48:53 AM
Count me among those who have contributed to the success of Michael's, Joann, and my LSSs this Christmas. But I'm not really sure I've saved that much money....I'm too in love with the beautiful stuff and as others have said, it's NOT cheap!


Who has my six? Anyone??

PeaNut 3,009
February 2000
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Loc: the left side of the right coast

Posted: 12/23/2008 10:20:57 AM
ITA with Sarah, who is in agreement with Princess LT. :


Kimberly C

PeaNut 132,867
February 2004
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Loc: Virginia

Posted: 12/23/2008 10:48:21 AM
I'm not surprised that Jo-Ann's is the leader. They have something AC Moore, Michael's and Hobby Lobby doesn't. A fabric Dept. I know Michael's sent me a survey recently that shows they are seriously looking at adding fabric by the yard to their stores.

We actually are getting a new JoAnn's just up the road. I was hoping it'd be open for Christmas but I'll have to wait a few more weeks.

'You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.'

* Happy Camper *

PeaNut 223,117
September 2005
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Loc: Heffalump Hollow

Posted: 12/23/2008 11:00:51 AM
Interestingly, I have *only* shopped at these stores this season with either a coupon or a sale comparable or better than the coupon. I have picked up many gifts that way -- not so much crafting, although I am a crafter.

Our local Michaels opened as 'new' recently and it is NICE! I think the scrap selection is almost better than our local scrap stores... it worries me for them, but it is better stuff.

Shut the PEA UP! Yer gettin me all twitterpaited!

PeaNut 123,471
January 2004
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Loc: Husker by Heart in WI

Posted: 12/23/2008 11:17:32 AM
ITA w/princess, my fellow nebraska pea~

I also think the reason JoAnns is doing so fabulous is because of their online sales. I have gotten some major bargains there recently... alot of 50% off and free shipping. Heck yes I'll jump on that!

Our hobby lobby is always crazy busy. I would be lost without that store!

ADDING: When I'm in Omaha, I adore going to a big craft store they have called Magnelsons. I swear I could spend hours in there. The selection is wonderful for me.

If I lived in Omaha though? Having places like Archivers, Magnelsons, JoAnns, The country sampler?That close to me? .... I'd be downright broke!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 224,359
September 2005
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Loc: Suburb of Atlanta

Posted: 12/23/2008 11:30:27 AM
I find this encouraging...means we'll continue to see new cool stuff. We are lucky here...we have M's, J's, HL and A's and just a few LSS's left. BUT, with all those places, we can certainly find whatever we need, and how bad can that be??

A Great Place to Scrap: Scrap Cabin || An easy way to Send Cards and Gifts: Send Cards

Just content to be ME pea...

PeaNut 44,329
August 2002
Posts: 9,651
Layouts: 31
Loc: 8 miles from Galveston Bay

Posted: 12/23/2008 11:39:50 AM
This was the case in the 1970's too.

I remember the gas shortages, meat prices skyrocketing in the supermarkets, but there were tons of craft stores and crafting was very popular. There used to be ceramic stores and hobby shops in the neighborhoods, needle and fiber arts stores (that sold everything from embroidery, knitting/crocheting, weaving, and macrame supplies), some department stores had large crafts and sewing departments (especially "five and dime" stores like Winns, Britt's, TG&Y, and Woolworth) and there were large craft stores in the malls too (LeeWards was the one I remember).

So, I am not surprised at all that craft sales are booming now.


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