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BusinessWalsall ranks as the best city to start a craft business in...

Walsall ranks as the best city to start a craft business in 2023

A new study by Monzo reveals the crafting capitals of the UK, looking at which cities are best to start a craft business in 2023.

  • Walsall is the best city to start a craft business in the UK with the highest number of craft eBay listings per 100,000 people at 3,998

  • Dudley has been revealed as the best UK city to learn a craft with 76 courses and arts and crafts shops per 100,000 people

  • Manchester sells more handmade items than anywhere else in the UK with 10,237 items listed on eBay and Etsy per 100,000 people

  • Crochet is the biggest crafting trend on TikTok, while weaving is the most searched-for craft on Google

  • The average craft business costs £564 to set up, while origami is the cheapest craft to start, requiring only £401

A new study by Monzo Business has revealed the top craft cities in the UK, looking at the best places to start a craft business. The study has also surveyed craft business owners to find out the average costs to set up, as well as exploring search and TikTok data to find the biggest crafting trends of the year.

Walsall is the best city to start a craft business in the UK

Analysing 50 of the UK’s most populated cities against relevant metrics including the number of handmade Etsy and eBay products listed per 100,000 people, the number of nearby crafting courses and shops, and the average search volume for crafts, the study reveals the nation’s top 10 craft capitals, perfect for setting up a business in.

Rank

City

Per 100,000 people

No. ‘handmade’ Etsy products listed

No. of ‘handmade’ items on eBay

No. of craft courses

Avg. monthly search volume for crafts

No. of art & craft shops

1

Walsall

563

3,998

48

1,464

26.72

2

Newcastle

4,525

1,148

13

3,353

21.83

3

Dudley

581

3,182

54

829

21.60

4

Manchester

9,045

1,191

9

2,948

11.63

5

Nottingham

5,308

807

53

1,956

12.13

6

Wolverhampton

980

2,001

36

1,246

23.34

7

Slough

285

2,720

40

1,429

9.77

8

Bournemouth

2,790

1,185

16

2,341

12.84

9

Warrington

925

1,290

36

1,710

12.69

10

Cambridge

5,490

355

16

2,701

5.05

Walsall is the craft capital of the UK, with the West Midlands market town having by far the highest number of handmade items listed on eBay, at 3,998 per 100,000 people. It is also the clear winner for the number of arts and crafts shops, with 27 per 100,000 people.

Newcastle comes in second place, with the most craft-related searches relative to its population (3,353 per 100,000 people), whilst another West Midlands town Dudley ranks third.

Scoring fourth in the overall rankings, Manchester sells more items on eBay and Etsy combined than any other UK city. Per 100,000 people, an impressive 10,237 handmade products are listed in this city. Nottingham rounds off the top five craft business capitals.

Dudley has been revealed as the top UK city to learn a craft

Dudley is the best city to learn a craft in the UK. The northern city has the highest combined number of courses and arts and crafts shops with 76 per 100,000 people.

Walsall is a close second, with 75, and Nottingham is third with 65.

Rank

City

Number of craft courses per 100,000 people

Number of art & craft shops (per 100,000 people)

Total courses and shops per 100,000 people

1

Dudley

54

21.60

76

2

Walsall

48

26.72

75

3

Nottingham

53

12.13

65

4

Wolverhampton

36

23.34

59

5

Ipswich

51

5.59

57

Manchester sells more handmade items than anywhere else in the UK

Manchester sells more items on eBay and Etsy combined than any other UK city. An impressive 10,237 handmade products are listed per 100,000 people.

Nottingham is next up with significantly less at 6,115. Cambridge comes in third place, selling a combined total of 5,845 items per 100,000 people.

Rank

City

Population

No. ‘handmade’ Etsy products listed per 100,000 people

No. of ‘handmade’ items on eBay per 100,000 people

Total items per 100,000 people

1

Manchester

395,515

9,045

1,191

10,237

2

Nottingham

321,500

5,308

807

6,115

3

Cambridge

158,434

5,490

355

5,845

4

Newcastle upon Tyne

192,382

4,525

1,148

5,673

5

Norwich

213,166

4,601

438

5,038

Crochet is the biggest crafting trend on TikTok, while weaving ranks as the biggest crafting trend of 2023 overall

To help those looking to turn their crafting into more of a side hustle, the study reveals which crafts are the most popular, analysing Google monthly search data, year-on-year search interest, and TikTok hashtags and views.

Weaving is the biggest crafting trend overall in 2023, with a monthly search volume of 1.2 million on Google, and 435.3 million viewed hashtags on TikTok. It’s also the fastest growing in popularity, with a 232% increase year-on-year.

Crochet ranks as the most popular craft on TikTok with a staggering 14.9 billion TikTok views. Calligraphy comes next with 10.4 billion views, followed by origami with 6.7 billion.

The average craft business costs £564 to set up

For those looking to start a crafting business, our survey of craft business owners revealed that the average cost to set up is £564.

The cheapest craft to set up is origami, requiring only £401. Batik (an Indonesian dyeing art), felting (compressing fibres) and enamelling (melting powdered glass onto metal) are also among the cheapest – all costing just over £400.

Carpentry at £624 has the most expensive average set-up cost, followed by lithography (printing using a stone or plate) at £620, and joinery (joining wood together) at £617.

Jordan Shwide, Head of Monzo Business said:

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and it’s really exciting to see that the UK is home to such a diverse range of craft businesses. We know from speaking to our own business customer community, the passion and creativity that craft business owners have, and we’re proud to be able to support them to manage their finances so that they can focus on what really matters to them.”

See the full study by Monzo here.

Please link back to this study when using this data.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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