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Insights on business -- and life.

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Craft Therapy Could Inject a Healthier Bottom Line

A website that shows how crafts are good for consumers' health, and for business.

by The Craft Practitioners (September 7, 2009)

Self described crafters listed health as one of the top five reasons they work on a favorite craft, whether it's scrapbooking, needlework, or any of their other creative pursuits according a survey by CHA.

Long known as a therapeutic treatment by art and occupational therapists, more and more people recognize that they feel better while crafting. Can manufacturers find a healthier bottom line by tapping into this trend? Yes. Kathy Peterson, an award-winning designer and host of LifeTime TV's The Balancing Act and founder of Craft For Health (www.CraftForHealth.com), believes that this is just the right prescription for the craft industry.

Peterson, who is known as Crafty Kathy and has established relationships within the industry, spotted this trend and immediately grasped the potential to not only engage with crafters in a curiously new way, but to also reach the 40% of consumers who do not consider themselves as crafters.

Having published five books and hosting a successful and long-running craft TV series on several cable networks, Peterson has a long and successful history within the craft industry and believes that Craft for Health makes sense for everyone.

Peterson partnered with nurse practitioner Barb Dehn, also known as Nurse Barb on ABC TV's The View From the Bay in San Francisco. Dehn teaches at Stanford and sees patients in a private practice in Silicon Valley and brings an unexpected blend to the team with her medical and health expertise. Dehn & Peterson see the potential of blending health into crafting to reach more people who will be interested in facing life challenges by Creating Handmade Health

Not just for illnesses

"Parents are looking for ways to help their kids unplug from video and computer screens and reconnect with the family," says Peterson. "When parents can work on a project shoulder to shoulder with their kids, conversations can start. Parents are looking for healthy alternatives and activities they can share with their kids and do together.

Craft For Health may be just the right way for parents to reconnect with their kids and for craft manufacturers to reconnect with the consumer who would otherwise never visit a craft store.

"Forty percent of people over the age of 40 have some type of chronic or invisible pain," says Nurse Bar., "Many do not find complete relief from pharmaceuticals or other treatments. And, yet, we've seen many people turn to crafting to express their creativity while feeling useful and productive."

An epidemic of interest

Since launching Craft For Health in May 2009, The Craft Practitioners have been overwhelmed with stories from around the world, media interviews, and guest appearances. They share interesting stories of how one woman crafted her way to a 50-pound weight loss, while others use crafting to cope with chronic illnesses and depression, and how a wounded Iraq war veteran with a traumatic brain injury re-gained eye-hand coordination while crafting and painting models.

The stories and ideas keep pouring in, as Kathy and Barb explore how to infuse unexpected ideas into product development, craft kits, media tours, and more. These two women are passionate about making a positive difference in people's lives and believe that crafting is not only fun, but will provide a myriad of therapeutic benefits.

From Autism to Alzheimer's, and for all the healthy folks in between, The Craft Practitioners, have ideas for injecting more Crafting into all of our lives and quite possibly helping the industry's financial health.

For more information on The Craft Practitioners and Craft For Health, visit their website, www.CraftForHealth.com, or contact them directly at Kathy-Barb@CraftForHealth.com.

xxx

 

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