Photo: Sweetly Scrapped via Etsy
Just as retailers across America gear up for the earliest holiday shopping push on record, with many consumers opting to shop on Thanksgiving Day rather than host family dinners, Manchester and Worcester are proving that local makers continue to go against the grain, making New England the handmade holiday capital of the country.
According to a September 2013 online survey of 10,000 makers across the US conducted by online crafting community Craftsy.com, Manchester, NH and Worcester ranked numbers 1 and 4 respectively in its rankings of the Top 25 Most Generous Metro Areas in the country.
"Makers are giving and benevolent people," said John Levisay, Craftsy's founder and CEO, in a recent press release. "They're patient with their time and open-hearted with their projects. I'm thrilled to see the way the people of Manchester are tapping into their creative expertise to delight others this holiday season—there’s nothing like a heartfelt handmade gift!"
The survey also revealed that crafters in the Manchester rank the highest for overall generosity, with 75% of respondents reporting that they appreciate handmade gifts more than store-bought gifts, and when it comes to the total percentage of projects gifted, makers in Worcester took the top prize with 70% of handmade projects given away as gifts.
Along with these local rankings, Craftsy's survey showed that more than 32% of Americans create with the purpose of giving to a friend or loved one — with 77% of survey respondents giving handmade gifts more than twice a year — and the average maker spends $75 or more a month on handmade projects for others.
"Over the past year, we've seen more and more makers across the country want to learn how to create meaningful gifts for their loved ones," said Emily Lawrence, Craftsy's VP of Production. "We often underestimate the time it takes to create a gift from the heart, but this survey emphasizes the value of handmade gifts this holiday season and all year long."
Craftsy, which offers more than 270 online classes in quilting, sewing, knitting, cake decorating, cooking, photography, art, and more, tracked responses from over 700 cities and rated the generosity of each city based on the frequency of and propensity for gift giving.
For the full results of the survey and full infographic, visit the Craftsy.com blog.
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About the Authors
Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out
|Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »|