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Stop Complaining and Be Creative
Our problems are just opportunities in
by Phyllis Hoover, Imagine That! (October 6, 2008)
I've been in the craft industry for almost 30 years and attended
every HIA or CHA show since 1979, wearing a variety of hats along
the way: retailer, manufacturer, product developer, designer,
importer, and now owner of Imagine That! Designs, which develops and
manufactures product in our industry.
So I've been around the block so to speak. I've been in macrame,
decoupage, floral designs, cross stitch, needlepoint, sewing,
crochet, painting – you name it!
Here are a few comments I would like to make about our great
Creative problem solving.
This industry has been built on innovation and creativity – and
that includes creative problem solving. Just because we've done
things the same way for years doesn't mean that we should continue
in the same path. We are creative beings and should be thinking
"outside of the box" instead of complaining and whining
about the economy.
If traditional scrapbooking is in a slump, then create new
products and ideas using the same materials. Create new concepts
made of the beautiful paper and embellishments designs we have to
offer: Home Décor, cards,
gift-giving, party goods, etc. Feature these ideas in your stores.
Showing your products in a new ways can give it a new life. Craft
products can evolve rather than die. Tie in beading and jewelry
supplies with papercrafting; add silk flowers to a handmade box; add
ribbons to jewelry making; make Ribbon flowers to add to your
papercrafting. So on and so on....
Scrapbooking has been a trend for a number of years now and has
set records for our industry. But it is a lifestyle trend that can
be long lasting if we don't give up. Consumers will still take many
photos and want to keep them and display them. This is a fact. In
most families, our photos are our most cherished possessions and we
all need a good safe place for them.
Use this fact to consider how this market will evolve. Think of
innovative ways to create "safe places" for these
cherished memories. Help this industry to evolve into the next level
of memory keeping.
Value and price points.
Since the economy is slow, make sample products with a price
point in mind.
Such as: you can make a card for less than $1.00 or a page for
Feature a variety of price points: $1. $2, $3, and so on. Sure
show the $10 pages, but most people will not spend that much now.
how to use some of their stash in a creative way and of course
they will buy
additional supplies from you. Have sections in your stores that
toward a value price point. The consumer will not only buy your
but will add a few of the pricier items along with them.
Consumers have not lost their love to craft. When the economy is
down, they are looking for inexpensive entertainment, for ways to
conserve. The dollar stores are highly successful today because of
Value is very important now, with the discount store sales going
up and mid- and upscale retailers on a downturn. So show our
consumers what a great value it is to craft. Manufacturers should be
creating value packs or products to sell to our cash-strapped
It's a fact. The beautiful products that we love to use for our
papercrafting and craft projects are mostly imported from China. If
they were made in the U.S., we could not afford the intricate,
handmade embellishments we all love. Besides, the process of
importing of our craft products gives jobs to many U.S. citizens. We
hire people to design, develop, manage, sell, warehouse,
ship, and retail these products. And these are much better paying
jobs than the manufacturing jobs that are being done offshore for
our craft products.
(Note: Agree with Phyllis? Disagree? Send your thoughts to
CLN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phyllis can be contacted at email@example.com.)