How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Affected the Crafting Community

The use of video chat apps stands out as one of the main channels used by people from different demographics to stay connected with their community. Younger groups show a greater preference for using social media to connect. Millennials have shown changes in how they spend their disposable income, prioritizing at-home expenses and minimizing expenses related to high-cost items. Blogs offer different types of partnerships, and most of them provide email contacts as a way to initiate an advertising campaign. Only a minority of them offer options such as submissions and guest posts. Readers appear to be mostly females with ages that frequently range from 25 to 45 years old.

Involvement with Community — 25-45 Age Group

Millennials include the group between 24 and 39 years old, while Gen X members are between 40 and 55 years old.

  • Social Media
    • Approximately 61% of Millennials surveyed in the US and the UK have expressed that social media has helped them feel less lonely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • More specifically, Millennials and Gen X members prefer the use of Facebook above other social media outlets during this time.
    • Overall, 52% of surveyed individuals -of all ages- stated that posts made by members of their local community were one of the main sources of inspiring content. This was only surpassed by friends and family, with 74% of those surveyed finding their content inspiring.
    • Furthermore, according to Global Web Index, 6 in 10 Gen X members have stated that they feel closer to other people when they use the internet.
    • An example of how much social media is used to share hobbies during the pandemic can be seen in the increasing number of Instagram posts about knitting, with users engaging more with brands offering products to perform this activity.
    • One of the ways in which Millennials stay connected is by participating in social media challenges, which have gained popularity in the last few months.
    • These challenges range from workout challenges to bingo, dance, and songs challenges.
  • Video Chat Apps
    • In addition to social media, the use of platforms such as Zoom has greatly increased, with 56% of Millennials stating that this type of social connection is the one they most greatly enjoy.
    • Furthermore, apps like Zoom have been increasingly used to host virtual dinner parties and book clubs.
    • In addition, activities such as knitting have flourished, with online knitting groups emerging as a trend during the pandemic. Platforms such as FaceTime, Zoom, and Facebook Live are among those used for this purpose.
    • This is not only limited to social interactions. According to an internal company survey, mentorship is highly valued by Millennial employees, and they have reported positive feedback regarding mentoring through the Zoom app.
    • Also, users have been making the most of these video chat apps by even working out with others through these platforms. From FaceTime to Instagram, it is another way in which young people are staying connected.
    • While Millennials are more frequently using video chats for these purposes, Gen X members are also participating.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Affected the Crafting Community
  • A Deloitte survey has shown that 71% of Millennials have taken immediate actions to have a positive impact in their communities while 74% intend to do so in the future.
  • Regarding businesses in their communities, 80% of Millennials intend to spend more in smaller businesses as a way to help them recover from the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.
  • Furthermore, according to the money transfer app, Zelle, 3 in 4 Millennials have donated or sent money to relatives or acquaintances in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This has also been a trend among Gen X members, with 66% of them sending financial aid to people they know or making monetary donations related to the COVID-19 effort.
  • Lastly, Millennials and Gen X members have been involved in efforts to spread accurate information as well as delivering food to those who need it during the pandemic.

Use of Disposable Income — 25-45 Age Group

  • Changes in Spending due to the Pandemic
    • Millennials are among the group that most widely and quickly embraced the use of delivery apps during the pandemic. While they had already been using this technology, the need for social distancing made it even more prevalent.
    • While convenience continues to be important and highly valued by Millennials, most of them report changes in their discretionary spending. According to a May report, they are more interested in investing in the stocks market and less in purchasing high price items.
    • That said, when comparing Millennials with other generations, a recent TD Bank survey reports that they are more prone to indulgent purchases.
    • While 14% of Millennials admit to splurging without caution, only 6% of Gen X members stated the same.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Affected the Crafting Community
  • Interestingly, Millennials seem to be quite adept at transforming their hobbies into sources of income. Activities such as knitting and crocheting could be seen as an investment by them as they could monetize it by creating a YouTube account where they can share this.
  • Furthermore, another way to capitalize on this trend is by offering online classes, something that has increased during the lockdown. Other examples of this are using a cycling hobby to be part of Uber Eats.
  • During the quarantine, numerous knitting stores saw a considerable increase in their sales, which is likely due to the increase in demand by mainly Millennials acquiring a new hobby.
  • Discretionary Spending After the Pandemic
    • Millennials are expected to make permanent changes in how they allocate their disposable income. During the pandemic, these expenses have been focused on products consumed at home.
    • These products include essentials but also items used for health and wellness. At the same time, spending on items such as alcohol is expected to continue decreasing.
      • Furthermore, 20% of surveyed consumers have stated that they would wait to purchase items with a high cost such as vehicles and electronics.Millennial and Gen Z Spending
      • According to a McKinsey report published in October, overall spending on entertainment and apparel is expected to be extremely low, except for home entertainment, which shows a positive percentage.
  • Decision-Making
    • Something that stands out in the consumer journey of Millennials across industries is their interest in the social responsibility portrayed by the companies they are purchasing from.
    • This means that Millennials prefer to buy from socially responsible companies. It has been estimated that how brands acted during COVID-19 will have a large impact on whether Millennials choose their products or not.
    • Another issue to consider is that Millennials are more prone than other age groups to do their discretionary spending completely online. Therefore, they will show a preference for brands that make this process as seamless as possible.
    • Furthermore, Gen X members have also shown an increased shifting toward online spending for both essential and non-essential items.
    • Overall, at-home activities will be prioritized by Americans. According to McKinsey, spending on home improvement and exercising is expected to continue increasing.

Hobbies and Technology Adoption — 50+ Age Group

  • Channels Used to Connect with Their Community
  • According to a survey, 43% of this group has reported using social media as a way to engage with their community and feel less lonely. Like other older generations, Facebook appears to be the preferred platform.
  • This was also observed in a research study performed during the pandemic in which two-thirds of surveyed older adults reported using Facebook to stay connected with others.
  • Furthermore, a percentage of the over 50-year-old group has used video chat apps to stay connected with others.
  • Approximately 22% of individuals between 50 and 64 years old have used these apps to have virtual dinners, 16% to watch a concert or a play on streaming, and 12% to participate in an online workout class.
  • Interestingly, when it comes to media consumption, while 32% of Baby Boomers report using more streaming services than before, their preferred means of consumption continue to be broadcast TV channels. Reportedly, 44% are using this channel more than before COVID-19.
  • Involvement in Community Activities
    • Loneliness and isolation have had a large impact on this age group, as they have been considered the most at-risk group in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The use of video chat apps has been instrumental in helping older people stay or become connected with their communities. An example of this is the moving of in-person discussion groups, such as the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College to an online setting.
    • This group not only performs its regular sessions online, but they even have the option of sharing a coffee with each other at anytime thanks to a 24/7 channel.
    • Another example of this is the increase in attendance to classes provided by Older Adults Technology Services, which has doubled its attendance record since they started teaching classes online. This shows the desire of older adults to become more involved in tech.
    • This corresponds with the findings of an Indiana-based study in which 78.2% of participating older adults stated they used some type of online technology to stay connected with others during this time.
    • Furthermore, this has been supported at the state level in states such as Delaware, where the government has promoted virtual social activities that range from chair aerobics to social hours without a specific program.
  • Adoption of Hobbies
  • While statistics on the adoption of new hobbies by elderly people are not readily available, there are examples provided by ministries such as Buckner. This group promotes activities performed by seniors, including crafting and artistic endeavors.
  • Another organization, Senior Citizens Inc, promotes activities that range from Tai Chi to fashion and style classes. Furthermore, seniors can access prerecorded videos with workouts specially designed for their age.
  • In addition, although younger generations have adopted hobbies like knitting, it is estimated that part of the increased demand for knitting products stems from seniors increasing their consumption.
  • The benefits of activities such as knitting for the mental health of seniors has been highlighted during this time, as well as the benefits of other crafting activities.
  • Another example of possible uptake in crafting activities has been seen in centers such as the Deanwood Rehab and Wellness Center. Here, it has been observed that residents are painting more, and their creations are exhibited in the institution.

Popular Crafting Blogs

  • A Beautiful Mess
    • This is a blog created by two sisters, Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. They provide recipes and instructions to create crafts and home decor projects. Furthermore, they have not only a blog but also a podcast and photo editing apps.
    • They post once a day and the posts vary from recipes to craft ideas as well as promotion for their podcast, which currently has 61 episodes.
    • For large companies, the bloggers encourage those interested to directly email them in case they want to run large features and promotion across their social media channels.
    • In the case of banner ads, they use a third-party service called AdThrive through which the process would be initiated.
    • No guest posts, text links, or paid product reviews are possible.
    • Their podcast has 1,371 subscribers and their episodes have been played 34,040 times.
    • According to their site, they have over one million visitors monthly. They have over 673,000 followers on Instagram and more than 28,000 subscribers on YouTube.
  • Noble Knits
  • Noble Knits is a blog created by Nancy Queen, which has its focus on knitting. Nancy has published books on the subject and provides useful tips and project ideas. Also, courses are offered on the site.
  • The site receives 300,000 monthly visitors and the audience is composed of women for the most part.
  • Partnerships with Noble Knits are meant to be narrative partnerships, in which the story of the brand is clearly portrayed. Advertising needs to be unique to the Noble Knits site so that it can perfectly fit with the style of the blog.
  • Email contact is offered as a way to start the conversation on possible partnerships.
  • Noble Knits has 12,000 YouTube subscribers, 13,000 followers on Instagram, and over 64, 000 likes on Facebook.
  • Damask Love
    • This blog was created by Amber Kemp-Gerstel. Her blog is divided into paper, decor, style, fabric, printables, and planners.
    • Amber has a show on Disney+ and she was part of the first season of the show Making It on NBC.
    • While the date of the posts is not stated, based on the dates of comments made by followers of the blog, posts are estimated to be made at least once a month.
    • Brand campaigns are offered as well as the possibility of Amber being a brand ambassador. She also offers attendance at speaking events.
    • In addition, she can make appearances as a DIY expert on TV shows and special events. For any of these partnerships, she provides her email to initiate contact.
    • Damask Love has 6,350 subscribers on YouTube with over 420,000 video views. In addition, she has over 83,000 Instagram followers. Overall, her past five posts have 17 comments in total.
  • Handmade Charlotte
    • This site was founded by Rachel Faucett, who was named “one of the most influential Pinterest users” by Business Insider. The blog provides instructions for making recipes and home crafts and it also aspires to be a place of inspiration for many.
    • Posts are published every 2 days. The majority of the most recent posts are instructions for creating specific crafts, with an emphasis on seasons and recent holidays, such as Halloween.
    • They provide different partnership options. One of these is through submissions, in which the blog can be contacted by email to submit a product or a project.
    • Brands interested in advertising can use the same email contact method to start a conversation about placing ads on the blog.
    • Approximately 41% of the traffic on the site is from the US. The total number of visits to the site has increased by 28.8% during the last six months, with over 71,000 visits recorded during this time.
    • Furthermore, 29% of the traffic to this site comes from social media, with Pinterest being responsible for over 92%.
    • Her Facebook page has over 102,000 likes while her Instagram has a little over 58,000 followers.
  • Remodelaholic
    • This blog is focused on showcasing their creations as well as those of people who submit them to the blog. Furthermore, there is a considerable focus on recycling and repurposing.
    • The creator of the blog is Cassity Kmetzch, an interior designer who shares not only her creations but also information about her family life and remodeling projects they are involved with.
    • Posts appear to be published three times a day approximately. However, many of them have been previously published and they are republished or updated.
    • The site provides an email address as the main contact for advertising purposes. According to their site, the main demographic visiting the blog consists of women between 25 and 45 years old.
    • The site has had over 280,000 visits during the past 6 months. In addition, 68% of their visitors are from the United States.
    • As with other crafting blogs, the majority of its social media-derived traffic comes from Pinterest, where they have 637,000 subscribers.
    • On social media, they have almost 124,000 followers on Instagram, 629,000 likes on Facebook, and over 48,000 subscribers on YouTube with over 7 million views.
  • Lia Griffith
    • This blog was created by Lia Griffith and it now has an entire team collaborating in running both the blog and social media. The goal of the globe is to provide DIY ideas, inspiration, and instructions as well as promoting creativity.
    • Approximately 28 posts are published monthly and classes, workshops, and other activities are also offered. Some categories are paper flowers, felt & fiber, paper, holidays, wedding, kids, and living.
    • The site offers different partnerships. There are two affiliate programs, with the first one requiring customers from a brand or site to purchase on Fel Paper Scissors, which is their online store.
    • The second affiliate program comes from subscriptions made to the online craft membership. Affiliates receive 5% for each person that subscribes.
    • Sponsorships are also available, which can take the form of giveaways, posts, DIY projects, and tutorials.
    • According to the site, their demographic comprises women between 25 and 65 years old. Success metrics are also available, with 1.2 million views per month, of which approximately 500,000 are unique visitors.
    • On social media, the channel has over 443,000 followers on Pinterest, 83,000 followers on Instagram, and more than 143,000 viewers on YouTube.
  • Paper & Stitch
    • This blog was founded by Brittni Mehlhoff and it includes DIY projects related to home decor, fashion, and styling. There are also interior design projects as part of the blog.
    • The blog has different categories, which are DIY, interiors, food, fashion, and travel. Posts about Brittni and her family are also shared.
    • Posts appear to be published more than once a month, considering that the most recent posts have been about the upcoming holidays and the last Halloween. There were several posts regarding this past holiday.
    • According to the site, 99% of the readers are female and their ages range from 25 to 42 years old. Contact can be made through email, using the subject line “Sponsor Inquiry”.
    • The blog has had over 93,000 visits during the past six months. More than 53% of the traffic takes place in the United States.
    • Social media provides around 19% of traffic, with Pinterest being the main source. However, almost 63% of the traffic on the site comes from internet searches.
    • Paper & Stitch has almost 90,000 followers on Instagram and over 21,000 likes on their Facebook site.
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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