You can download the report, and you can download our report, below.
We’ve made several updates to the content in the report, including adding more detail for retailers.
You can also download our report (PDF) and our infographic here.
About the report
The Craft Economy: A Source Book for Businesses, Innovators and Entrepreneurs offers a comprehensive survey of the craft market. The authors are led by Scott A. Sipes, the former Chief Investment Officer at BlackRock and executive director of the Washington Business Council.
The report looks at over 150 craft categories, identifying over 700 retailers and over 60,000 individual craft industries.
The report provides a comprehensive breakdown of the economy of craft retail and how it stacks up against other sectors and industries in the economy, such as other manufacturing or transportation.
For many consumers, the craft market is often underrepresented in economic reports and in media coverage. The authors, who include retail CEOs, craft distributors, industry leaders, trade associations and other business leaders, say it’s critical that we pay attention to how craft is being represented in the economy in order to identify opportunities for expanding craft’s visibility and importance.
The craft economy of 2016, the report notes, was at its sixth consecutive year of growth, but is still a relatively small segment of the overall economy. The retailing of craft was worth roughly $7.5 trillion in 2016, while the value of the U.S. retail industry alone was nearly 14.5 trillion.
The authors note that the retail sector does not necessarily need to be a “craft” sector. One example, they say, is the auto industry, which is the largest of the “crafts” sectors, with about 16 percent of the country’s 1.2 trillion dollars of annual spending. Other examples are real estate and insurance, at around 10 percent of the economy.
Sipes notes, “The craft economy is the fastest-growing type of sector at a time when the U.S. private-sector labor force is shrinking. As retailers continue to grow, the value of their businesses and their jobs will need to expand — if we want to see the craft economy continue to grow.”
A big challenge facing the craft sector, the report says, may be increasing awareness among consumers. “Our research reveals that our customers are aware of the craft economy, but still feel intimidated going out to buy craft goods,” said Sipes, who pointed out that the average