In 2014, craft outlets were at their peak, with a few hundred craft shops across the country.
By 2020, however, the number of craft outlets had fallen to a near-historical low, and fewer than 300 are still around.
The trend toward smaller outlets is evident in the number on craft-related websites like CraftAdvisor.
In 2016, for example, the craft space on CraftAdviser was only half the size it was in 2010, according to analytics firm Zillow.
“If you look at the top-ranked websites on the CraftAdvisory list, they are only one-third of the number they were 10 years ago,” says Michael Waggoner, cofounder of CraftAdvisors.
He says that while CraftAdvantage has become a better platform for comparison, it still lacks the depth of data.
“It’s still a very fragmented market, and it’s still evolving,” he says.
The craft community in America is not the only community grappling with this new reality. “
The best way to understand what is happening in the craft world is to have the ability to get in touch with your local shops.”
The craft community in America is not the only community grappling with this new reality.
The craft industry is also facing its own challenges.
In 2020, craft companies were estimated to have a net loss of $8.9 billion.
That number was nearly $5 billion higher than the same year in 2017, and the industry is forecast to be worth $14.6 billion in 2024, according a new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The CPSC also predicts that the craft industry will be worth more than $50 billion by 2024.
For the industry to grow at the pace it is currently experiencing, it needs to keep up with demand.
But while craft is in a tough position, the industry has the resources to keep itself afloat, says David Schreiber, chief executive of CraftBiz, a company that provides online and print shops for craft brands.
He points to a few other industries where businesses are struggling with their own supply chain problems: furniture, clothing, and shoes.
Schreib says it is easy to make excuses for retailers in those industries: “You have a big retail chain that is in trouble, or a brand is struggling, and they can blame it on their suppliers.”
Schreber says the supply chain can be blamed on the supply of raw materials.
“But the problem is that that’s not really the case,” he explains.
He also points out that some craft brands, like his own CraftBucks, are owned by the same people who produce the goods, which in turn means they are vulnerable to supply chain failures.
“There’s no one responsible for that,” he notes.
“A lot of those companies are actually owned by people who have the most to lose.
The bigger the supply, the bigger the price tag.”
But there is a solution.
“You can’t blame the supply for the prices,” says Schreibur.
“That would be like blaming the quality of a car for its price.
The only thing that would be responsible is a new product.”
And that’s what CraftBuck has done.
The company, founded in 2010 by Schrebers son, Mark, and co-founder Chris Williams, is a company dedicated to making the best quality products for customers, while still offering a great value.
CraftBuckle is also a way for customers to find out what the best crafts are in their area, including the craft outlets they can shop from.
“CraftBuckle can be a great way to find your local craft shops, but we’re also an online marketplace, so we have a community of craft fans that have access to information that they can share,” says Chris Williams.
“I’ve had hundreds of emails, phone calls, and text messages from people in my own community, that are looking for information that will help them find the best shop in their town.”
Williams and Schrebb say that the company has a mission to help make sure that consumers have the best possible experiences while shopping for craft.
“We’re a great place to start when you’re looking for a new craft product, and we know how to help you with that,” says Williams.
They say that when it comes to craft, CraftBucket is more than just a marketplace, and that it is also an opportunity for brands to sell their wares online.
“Our community of Craft Buck fans are part of the reason we have thousands of craft items on the site,” says Waggerson.
“When you search for a craft item, you’ll see what we’ve created, and then you can easily share it with others.”
The company is also expanding its reach to other communities.
It’s also building out an online store, CraftExpert, which will serve as a hub for consumers to learn more about craft brands in their own communities. CraftExpt