Find out how entrepreneurs are turning crafts into businesses

By Rieva Lesonsky

Can you build a successful business doing “arts and crafts”? The continued success of Etsy says you can. In fact, according to new research from Mintel, 45 percent of Millennials aged 30 to 39 sold a handmade product from October 2014 to October 2015—compared to 18 percent of consumers overall.

And this is not a solitary exercise. Among these older Millennials:

  • 55 percent use online videos to learn an art/craft skill or technique compared to 33 percent of Americans overall
  • 39 percent use YouTube, 33 percent browse Pinterest and 31 percent search online for crafting inspiration

Dana Macke, a Lifestyles and Leisure Analyst at Mintel, says, “While the majority of people who participate in arts and crafts likely do so because they enjoy the activity, following the recession consumers have found unique ways to embrace their inner entrepreneur.”

Mintel reports crafting is especially popular among parents, with 76 percent crafting an item in the past year.

Also hot right now are culinary (such as cake decorating) and photo crafts. Macke credits the “huge popularity of cooking and food decorating television shows [which] encourage cooking and baking as an art form” for this, and says, “Brands should look to engage parents by showcasing how they can use culinary crafts as a way to bond with their children and turn a task into a memory.”

There are several ways to take advantage of this market. You can manufacture or sell crafting supplies or you can, as Macke suggests, “embrace your inner entrepreneur” and create handmade goods to sell in online marketplaces. Amazon has launched Handmade at Amazon to compete with Etsy, but don’t overlook other handmade marketplaces.