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The trends, the issues, and productive business strategies.

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Great Britain: Getting (Paper) Craftier by the Day! 

Scrapbooking is growing, but card making is king.

by Binit Tejani, Paper Cellar Ltd.  (Oct. 4, 2004)

The craft market has grown rapidly over the last few years with a massive increase in the last 18 months in the paper crafts sector.

Many of the UK trends in crafts have generally migrated from America, however the biggest papercraft trend of cardmaking is making its mark and moving over to America as well as many countries within Europe. Thus the UK is now becoming a worldwide trendsetter, at least in this sector.

The growth in the UK craft industry can be seen by the number of shops opening that are specifically focusing on art & crafts. There is also an increase in the number of publications and even TV channels such as QVC and Create & Craft dedicated to the art.

Paper Cellar entered the market late 2003 and was supplying more than 150 stores in the UK within six months.

Paper Cellarís director, Deepa Mehta states, "We have entered the market at the right time with a fantastic range of papers and cards; however we feel it is important to keep on evolving our products and range to keep the end consumer full of interest and variety. Therefore we source from all over the world to ensure we get the most fantastic products but of the best quality. Our consumers have realized that the brand, Paper Cellar, ensures the highest quality at the most reasonable prices."

The company has a unique quality of pearl papers and cards, as well as holographic glitter and card. This glitter card is very exclusive as the glitter is encapsulated and does not come off the product onto ones hands. Paper Cellarís recent launch is from India and includes handmade silk papers, embroidered paper, and leather papers.

The increase in the paper market has also encouraged the growth of complimentary products. There are hundreds of different tools and accessories to use such as punches and embossers available from companies such as Sissix & Fiskars.

The availability of so many different products plus the additional components has caused a frenzy in the UK which is set to take off worldwide.

On average a lady sends 56 cards in a year by royal mail, further evidence that females are the hugest crafters.

Paper Cellar has also seen that cardmaking is also very seasonal. During the summer months, apparently there are fewer reasons to make a card. However, as soon as the school holidays are over, card makers start making their Christmas cards. Thus companies such as Paper Cellar have to start thinking about colours and papers for the different seasons at least six months ahead.

Other recent card making trends include spirelli, lace, paper pricking, die cuts, and actually sewing on paper (thus many sewing magazines are doing projects on card making).

On average a scrapbooker will spend a lot more than a card maker because she is preserving memories and keeping what she makes rather than giving it away. The scrapbooking trend in the UK has been very funny; it was introduced a few years back, but did not take off. Recently itís re-emerged its sleepy head into the market, this time with renewed vigour.

The buzz is that scrapbooking is going to take the UK by storm; however, I don't think it has as much potential as card making. One reason someone mentioned was that in the U.S., many people are from different countries with unique heritages, and hence history is fresh for them, reason enough to want to record it for themselves and for their kids. But British people generally take their British heritage and roots for granted; perhaps that might be why the approach to appealing to people with scrapbooking should be re-thought for the UK market.

Note: To read previous "Memory, Paper, & Stamps" columns, click on the titles in the right-hand column. Email your comments to mike@clnonline.com.

xxx

 

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