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Understanding the crafty behaviour of crafters…

We’re always amazed at the diversity of the crafting world and how every crafter is different; whether that be from a point of view of demographics, an individuals interpretation of real life, or indeed their imagination and creativity outside the realm of realism. Whatever the differences, every crafter shares one thing in common…a passion for creativity. With so many differences but one common passion, we wanted to understand the behaviour within the crafting community that little bit more.

We set out to collect information on why people craft, what influences their decisions to buy craft products and whether the need to craft, is determined by more than just a creative mind. With so much diversity in the community as a whole, we thought extracting common re-occurring themes and similarities would be invaluable to understanding our customers. After asking 71 people across the UK, we came to fairly conclusive results but we couldn’t just keep this information to ourselves, we wanted to share this with the world…

 

Q1 When are you most likely to craft?

We thought this question was quite a basic one but actually the results surprised us! Our sales generally remain at a consent from January to August and then they rise sharply between September to December; leading us to the assumption that most crafters generally craft through the winter, with more outdoor activities to deter them through the Spring and Summer periods.

Our theory was instantly dispelled, when 68 people (out of 71) responded that they do indeed craft all year round.

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Q2 Do you vary your crafting medium dependent on the time of year?

A lot of crafters tend to stick to the same craft or a select few crafts, ones they enjoy and therefore focus on. Other crafters just love all things creative, whether it’s related to their preferred medium or not. So with these two crafting demographics established, we wanted to know whether the time of year had a baring on their choice of craft.

A staggering 80% of participants agreed that they vary their crafting dependent on the time of year, with only 20% keeping to the same medium.

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Q3 How often do you craft?

This question is similar to question 2, except this time it focuses on the tenacity of the crafter. Whether they craft all through the winter or all year round, how often do they do it throughout these periods of time?

The results are more sparse than the previous questions, with 46% claiming they craft every day, 37% one to two times per week, 11% one to two times per month and the remaining 6% stating ‘on occasion’ or ‘not very often’.

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Q4 Is crafting a social activity for you?

Crafting is an activity that is often enjoyed alone or in groups, so we wanted to know if people generally preferred it as a social activity or as a way to relax alone and pass the time. These results are quite surprising, as we would generally believe that someone who has access to craft with someone else, would prefer to do that – our assumptions were wrong…

In fact only 4% claimed they always crafted with friends and a huge 49% claimed they always craft alone, following this 29% stated they prefer to craft with friends but often do it alone – we don’t find those results too surprising. What we do find surprising is that a huge 18% of crafters stated that they often crafted with friends but preferred to craft alone! Perhaps this is related to the crafter using their creativity as a means to relax, spend time alone and reflect?

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Q5 Why do you craft? (select more than one answer if applicable)

People craft for many reasons but we wanted to know the key reasons why people craft, what inspires them to be creative and what it does for them.

Understandably 34% of participants use crafting as a way to pass the time and 79% do it for personal enjoyment. Similarly we could expect that a large amount of participants (66%), craft to create handmade gifts for friends and family – presumably for birthdays and other events. A small but expected 18% of participants use crafting as a way to earn money…that’s not at all surprising, given all the ETSY stores in existence and craft items sold on Ebay.

The one significant result that we found, was that a huge 37% of respondents craft to help contribute towards overcoming or living with a mental illness, physical or learning disability…wow! With 47 people out of 71 claiming that crafting helps them to live with some form of illness or disability, this demonstrates a true reflection of the power of crafting and creativity. A further 10% of respondents stated ‘other’ reasons, including to raise money for charity, to relax or because they craft with their children.

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Q6 Where do you buy your craft products from?

Now we might be a little bias on this one but we promise to keep our differences aside and explore these results fairly! As a business we generally find that Ebay and Amazon attract a certain sort of customer, customers who like the experience of those sites and therefore, they are particularly loyal to either Ebay, Amazon or both. However having said that, in our survey only 6% of respondents shop through only Ebay or Amazon…we expected that to be a little higher if we’re honest. Similarly only 7% of respondents shop at ‘large craft store chains’, we’ll keep names out of this but with the large product range that one particular craft store chain offers, we’re certainly surprised that this one isn’t a little higher!…we can only assume this is because of the convenience and unlimited selection online.

Sadly 0% of respondents stated that they buy from an independent craft shop which again, we could attribute to the fact that online is convenient and gives someone access to hundreds of independent craft shops instantly. It’s also important to point out that someone who shops at physical locations may not be web savvy and therefore not only would they not shop online, they wouldn’t participate in our survey either. 6% of respondents claim that they purchase directly off an independent craft website (like ours) and just 1% of participants buy from scrap-stores. Thankfully 80% of respondents shop at a mixture of outlets, from large online and offline retailers, to ebay, amazon and websites like ours – so we can’t really conclude the most popular option for craft purchases, as this could reflect any combination but it does show that crafters are quite savvy shoppers.

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Q6 What is your biggest decision factor when purchasing craft products?

There are all sorts of reasons to why people purchase craft products and indeed, everyone has different purchasing requirements. 41% of participants claim that price is their biggest purchasing influence where as 30% chose quality, as a craft business we recognise that generally people purchasing products for their children will be more price sensitive, where as an established crafter who creates specialist work will be price sensitive to a degree but quality will most always take priority. 20% of respondents say that the shop or websites product range is the biggest decision factor…we could probably assume that a lot of those Ebay and Amazon shoppers from Q6 selected this answer! The remaining 9% of participants selected that geographical location or supporting a small business was their main concern…thanks!…we love small businesses too.

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