First, crafting always seems to flourish during economic recessions. Even during the Great Depression, many turned to crafts to clothe their families with flour sack dresses and the like; decorate their homes with decoupage; and create functional pieces with personal flair. Quilts, rag rugs, and knitting could be seen everywhere, often in even the poorest of homes. (4)
The present is no different. Humans need art. There’s an incredible need to create and to see beautiful things ingrained in the human psyche, and it’s good for your mental health to make whatever it is that you make. So, now is the perfect time to turn your crafting into the business of your dreams. (3)
Twitter is already abuzz (a-tweet?) with reminders to support local, small, and independent businesses over major corporations, and people are social creatures, always looking to support their communities, be it in person or online.
Add to that a few key differences between the 2008 recession and the pandemic-influenced panic we’re now seeing, and today (or, you know, the next few months) is the perfect time to start a craft or fashion-based business.
Time, of course, is probably a major factor in why you haven’t started yet. But that’s changed.
With the exception of essential workers, most people are either out of work or working from home, and have, at least, gained the time that they used to commute. The US has an average one-way commute time of just under half an hour, for a total of five extra hours each week.(7) That’s plenty of time to spend polishing your skills, patterning a new dress, knitting a couple of hats, or crocheting a toy or two.
Now add the time where some might normally go out: Movie theatres and other entertainment venues are closed, gatherings and conventions have been canceled, and everyone is, at the very least, highly encouraged to stay inside. So now you’ve got a few more extra hours: Use it to create a logo and name for your business—it can just be your name, unless your name is John Smith, then you might want something a bit more unique; look into setting up a web store; and make new social media accounts so that you can get the word out there.
This sudden abundance of time is also a benefit in terms of consumers. As people are staying home, they’re shopping online, spending more time on social media, and looking at and learning about all sorts of new things. It’s perfect for getting a new business on the radar, especially if you can take advantage of social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram that weren’t available back in 2008. Facebook is always a good place to promote your products, especially with the existence of Marketplace.