The Rise Of Handmade Gifts
The demand for handmade gifts, fashion, jewellery and more has been rising steadily for many years. Most handmade gift providers are small artisans and designer makers, often seen selling their gift ware via online marketplaces such as Etsy, Folksy and Not On The High Street.
The rise of handmade gift purveyors has had an immense impact on the wholesale and retail gift industry, which until recent years was happily churning out mass produced gifts with little in the way of gift originality from other retailers to offer any sort of competition.
Fast forward a good 28 years since the world wide web was born and today online retail business is HUGE. We still have mass production on the go and those retailers have simply shifted their operations away from the traditional high street and into markets such as eBay and Amazon, but in addition we now have individual designer makers taking a hefty chunk of the retail pie.
No singular designer maker is giving the big brands a run for their money, but the sheer mass of singular and small business artisans as a whole has provided notable competition. Within the last decade we've witnessed monolith and longstanding high street brands such as Woolworths, BHS and more sink into oblivion, and in some cases move their operations online only in an attempt to survive.
According to the Guardian 15 high street shops shut down daily during the first half of 2016.
What does this mean for the designer makers? Unfortunately it means more competition online, however given that shoppers are increasingly deserting the high street in favour of the Internet for their gift shopping needs, presumably there will be enough buyers to go around.
The Internet and it's immense amount of 'choice', has given buyers a thirst for the unusual, the unique ... anything different and original. The world wide web now provides buyers with a level of choice they previously had no access to, and instead were basically forced to make do with the limited range of options available on the high street.
Buyers have also begun to appreciate the benefit of the one on one attention you receive when purchasing from an individual as oppposed to a faceless multi-branch money making machine, and this in itself is a further selling point for handmade gift purchasing.
Future opportunities exist for designer makers, in that those large retail brands still surviving, will need to respond to the desire for unique and original products that have not been mass produced, if they wish to remain competitive in the marketplace that is. Big brands will need to source handmade products and therefore wholesale business opportunies are sure to grow for those creating handmade gifts and products.
We may also see a rise in the availability of handmade marketplaces such as Etsy, Folksy and Not On The High Street, which is also a positive for small handmade sellers as of course this forces those marketplaces to compete with each other in terms of how much they charge for you to list an item for sale and how much they charge per successful sale transaction.