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Scrapbooking: Fastest Growing Craft Activity
According to several recent polls conducted by industry leaders, scrapbooking is one of the fastest growing craft activities.
The latest demographics show the following trends:
- 98% of scrapbookers are females between 30 and 59 years old. Among the age groups who responded to the surveys, scrapbooking, rubber-stamping and paper crafting attract the various generations fairly equally.
- 85% of the respondents are married, and only about 14% do not have children.
- 95% have at least “some college” or attended a trade school.
- 65% of the respondents have college or post-graduate degrees.
- 53% are working full time (40+ hours per week). Another 38% work part time (between 20 –39 hours per week). About 12% of the respondents are retired.
- 85% have incomes over $50,000, and 62% said their annual incomes are over $75,000.
- An interesting fact is that the majority of the respondents (96%) reported that they had been scrapbooking for more than a year. Of those, nearly one quarter had been scrapbooking for at least three years and nearly one third for at least five years.
- On average, 75% of the respondents reported that they had spent more than $500 over the past 12 months on scrapbooking supplies, and 42% reported spending more than $1000.
Interestingly, 74% of the respondents also are involved in rubber-stamping, 46% enjoy paper crafts and 27% say they are involved in Painting/decorative painting. All three of these crafts can, and are used to enhance many scrapbooking projects. Other crafts that scrapbookers are involved with include: Seasonal Crafts (41%), General Crafts (34%), Sewing (fashion/home decorating), Needlework (26%), Quilting (20%), Knitting/Crocheting (17%) and Jewelry Making (10%).
According to the Hobby Industry Association, retail sales for the scrapbooking industry climbed from $400 million in 1997 to $2.5 billion in 2003. Although the industry is still growing, it’s becoming more difficult for independent dealers to make a profit, and oftentimes, any profits made by the smaller “mom and pop” stores must be put back into the business. As the industry has flourished, competition from large corporations has increased.
One of the biggest competitors in the industry is the craft store giant Michael's, operating about 867 stores in 48 states and Canada. Consumers feel that Michael's has a great inventory of supplies which are easy to find and fun for the whole family to use.
Successful independent scrapbooking retailers insist that it’s possible to compete with the giants by being smart and planning for success. They recommend:
- Offer specialized services.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – offer a variety of services and products.
- Become the best at what you do.
In addition to a retail store, craft business owners should build a strong Web presence. The business model should include workshops, craft nights and scrapbooking parties. Look for markets in your area that have not been tapped, such as specific minority groups or new scrapbookers.
Industry insiders insist that the scrapbooking market is still growing and that there is room for anyone who is interested in starting a career. The best advice before starting any business is to conduct careful research and do the necessary preplanning. That way you will know what you are getting into before you start.
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