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Shopping Independently, The Changing High Street and The Benefits it Brings Buying at a Craft Market

Petworth Pop up was born out of an idea - when we saw a need for the increase from individual makers looking for a place to showcase their work – with a little bit of research and my own business insights here is a little blog to show you the importance of what we are all doing and to keep doing it!

Georgie x

During the pandemic we all saw a massive increase in people turning back to arts and crafts with many individuals finally having that time to carry out their passion or make that leap of faith to pursue a dream career in what they love doing most. Not to mention the creatives that were already carving out and being part of the growing trend.

(“Craft is no longer a peripheral or isolated area of specialist interest: it is now firmly established in the mainstream. Social trends, that were discerned as impacting on the crafts sector in 2010, continue to wield their influence on public values and behaviour in 2020. The growth in the public’s desire for authenticity, for experiences, for ethical and sustainable consumption have helped fuel an interest in making and in handmade objects. Further impetus comes from a concern for wellness and mindfulness, as well as the growing need to switch-off from electronic devices.

These trends have driven the success of such popular television programmes as The Great British Sewing Bee and The Great Pottery Throw Down, attracting viewing figures of ~3m on BBC2 and Channel 4. (The craft council)”)

This is happening up and down the country! There has been a huge shift not only a surge in handmade goods but in the way, consumers want to purchase too! Buyers are shying away from mass produced goods and are finally being educated to shop more consciously and are looking for something unique! With the drive-in social media allowing small businesses to flaunt their businesses showcasing their goods and the increase in makers & artisan markets this is definitely the time to shine and keep on going!

And the best bit about it all of this, is what it is doing for the environment and our economy.

Local businesses not only pay their employees, but they also spend money at other local businesses. That means by buying local, you help create jobs for your friends and neighbours, contribute to improved public infrastructure, and invest in your community both socially and economically. If something is handcrafted it means that items are made by humans and not machinery, therefore there are less production facilities and waste, being more environmentally friendly it’s an all-round win win situation.

To clarify my thoughts there are some fab resources out there including these 6 benefits that “Office works” lays out for us!

  1. Buying locally strengthens communities. Local purchases keep the wealth in our communities, increasing the prosperity for the people around us instead of going to a far-away corporation.

  2. Buying locally reduces the fuel necessary to acquire goods for our homes, businesses, and bellies. Why buy goods that travel thousands of miles if we can buy products which can be delivered by a local driver?

  3. Buying locally enables us to invest directly into our local economy. By contributing to a local business we help to preserve existing local jobs and create new skilled jobs. Local businesses are also the most ardent supporters of local parks, libraries, events, and great area amenities that make communities unique.

  4. Buying locally builds trust and positivity, opens minds and hearts, and makes us more independent as a community. A more connected community is safer, more resilient and self-reliant in times of uncertainty. This has never been so important!

  5. You will be supporting British entrepreneurs and encouraging innovation from the local area. Your opinion matters and can make a real difference.

  6. Unlike some multinational local businesses pay corporation tax, rent, council tax, national insurance etc. (the office works)

So now you can identify when buying handmade and be certain you will be getting top quality that hasn’t been mass or over produced and you then become part of yours and your maker’s story.

Studies show that the increase in handmade and artisan markets is on the increase - with them literally “popping up” in every small town and village on a regular basis. Something we have already seen in the 18 months we have been running PPU which is so fantastic and encouraging to see and nothing like a bit of healthy competition to keep us on our toes and to ensure we deliver the best market we can for our makers and shoppers.

“There has been a dramatic growth in the number of people buying craft between 2006 and 2020 – with 73% of the population buying craft in 2020, the sector has now entered the mainstream market.” (Craft

Although social media has a huge impact on sales – makers markets are a very strong competitor with consumers looking for that all important “shopping experience”

“market and selling platforms, driven an increase in the popularity of craft as a leisure activity, and forced shifts in consumer demand, towards value-centred products, services and experiences which meet emotional as well as functional needs. These factors have served as catalysts which have fuelled growth in the volume and value of craft bought and sold in the UK between 2006 and 2020. Total market for craft in England has more than trebled since 2006” (Craft Council.Org)

So, if you are having a wobble in what you’re doing or thinking about turning your hobby into something more the figures are showing that this is the time to do it!

I know with what is going on in the news makes us think – everyone must be tightening their belts and for some yes that is the case but for the vast majority they are choosing to spend the money they do have differently! And if we all keep doing our little bit this will inevitably boost the economy, we are all in!

So, get inspired visit a local makers market.

G x

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