Recession Revitalizes Craft Market
LOS ANGELES, June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CRAFTED AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES, the largest permanent indoor crafts marketplace, is riding the wave of excitement surrounding handmade crafts. Creators of the new facility are buoyed by the popularity of crafts, which has never been more widespread despite—or perhaps resulting from—the rough economic climate.
When stock markets plunged in 2008, marking the start of the "Great Recession," a shift occurred for workforce and consumer. Many people found themselves unemployed or under-employed; in their search to make ends meet, people began to maximize their talents. As a result, the selling of high-quality crafts has become exceedingly popular.
Online crafts store, Etsy, went from 4.2 million in sales (2007) to 10.8 million in 2008, a 157% increase. Still growing, Etsy sales are up 67% from April 2011 to April 2012.
It is no surprise the craft world has had such success. Today's consumer demands quality items— that means handmade in America. Buying has become about supporting American small business while getting the best quality.
CRAFTED brings together a community of crafters, much like a real-life Etsy store, and gives them a home. Deborah Wright of Artistic Rite is thrilled by the prospect of a permanent location to sell her jewelry line, started after losing her contracts with Disneyland as Lead Sculptor. "It is an amazing, brave and wickedly creative move; it is going to change the face of San Pedro forever. It is going to change lives."
After being laid-off as a personal assistant and 1 1/2 years of job-hunting, Grace Juhn of Cake Bar took another approach.
"I realized that I didn't really want to go back to the day to day of a regular job, I really wanted to do something that made me jump out of bed every morning and made me HAPPY." Cake Bar, alcohol-infused bakery goods, is the result of Juhn's creativity and love for baking.
Christina Shelby shares a similar story. Unexpectedly laid-off and a single mother, Shelby had to be resourceful. In a few short months she discovered her eye for design and talent for jewelry-making, the result—Designs by Scorpio.
"I've never felt so good about stepping out on a ledge and risking everything," Shelby says, expressing sentiments of many in the marketplace.
CRAFTED, opening June 29th, will be home to many courageous and talented craft artists.
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