A crafty success story - Business Works
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A crafty success story

Paula Gorry, Development Manager, Stampin’ Up! UK As many businesses struggle to combat the effects the recession, there is one industry that is continuing to flourish. Here, Paula Gorry, UK Business Development Manager, Stampin’ Up! UK examines how the industry is defying the economic outlook and achieving continued growth.

Crafting has come a long way since its origins in the 'make do and mend' era. The industry is now worth $29 billion in the US and in the UK the estimated number of contemporary craft making businesses stands at 23,050 with an estimated total income of £457 million.

As a company, Stampin’ Up! has enjoyed continued success throughout the recessionary period. We recently announced expansion into two new European countries – Austria and the Netherlands - and we’ve seen exceptional performance in our existing European trading markets of the UK, France and Germany, generating average growth of 80% year on year for the last four-and-a-half years.

There are many reasons that the industry is continuing to flourish. One contributing factor is that many crafting hobbyists have turned their passion in a full or part time job. Our business model is flexible, allowing our demonstrators to expand their business as much or as little as they want, fitting in around other jobs, parenthood or study.

Multi-channel environments are also enabling the crafting community to thrive. There are a number of crafting tutorials posted online on You Tube, as well as Facebook groups set up for those interested in crafting for the first time. Meanwhile online platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are enabling people to share their works as well as receive feedback from fellow crafting enthusiasts. It is fair to say that social networks are enabling the crafting community to expand its target audience.

These exciting advances in technology mean it is becoming increasingly easy to share information anytime and anywhere. To that end we recently launched our Simply Sent iPhone app which enables you to design and create customised greetings cards and then send them directly from your iPhone to those you love.

There is no doubt that the mainstream media have also played its part in helping to raise the profile of crafting. The recent final of the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC 2 pulled in 2.7 million viewers and programmers have already confirmed there will be a second series of the show. These viewing figures encapsulate the popular interest in crafting which has developed into sales for many crafting industries.

During these austere, recession-hit times, it is not surprising that crafting is enjoying increased popularity. In this increasingly fast paced world, there is a growing desire across all generations to connect with something real and tangible. Crafting allows people to ensure that their personality is reflected in a unique finished product.

For more information on Stampin' Up!, please visit: www.stampinup.com

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