Arts and Crafts Industry Guide

Arts and crafts photos

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, and developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, YouTube and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the Arts & Crafts industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.

Start-Up Information

COBRA logo
accessible via electronic databases
The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.

Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP) 

Antiques and Fine Art Dealer  BOP199 
Antique Furniture Restorer  BOP028 
Art Supplies Shop  BOP301 
Artist  BOP455 
Arts and Crafts Gallery  BOP115 
Arts and Crafts Workshop Tutor  BOP526 
Blacksmith  BOP273 
Cake Decorator  BOP469 
Chocolatier  BOP279 
Craft Bakery  BOP064 
Craft Supplies Retailer  BOP449 
Curtain and Soft Furnishing Maker  BOP059 
Decorative Glassware Maker  BOP195 
Gift Shop  BOP392 
Greeting Card Maker  BOP144 
Handbag Maker  BOP544 
Handmade Cosmetics Maker  BOP570 
Handmade Furniture Maker  BOP013 
Handmade Toy Maker  BOP009 
Illustrator  BOP177 
Jewellery Maker  BOP008 
Make-up Artist  BOP374 
Photographer  BOP001 
Pottery and Ceramics Maker  BOP063 
Speciality Cake Maker  BOP346 
Stained Glass Artist  BOP192 
Tattoo Artist  BOP241 
Wedding Favour Maker  BOP509 
Wedding Stationery Maker  BOP476 

Mini BOP

Animator  MBP088 
Candle Maker  MBP140 
Christmas Decoration Maker  MBP282 
Coffin Maker  MBP343 
Comic Book Publisher  MBP201 
Organic Beauty Salon  MBP194 
Organic Cosmetics and Toiletries Retailer  MBP296 
Perfumer  MBP171 
Pet Portrait Artist  MBP051 

Business Information Fact Sheets (BIF)

Licence to play Music on Business Premises  BIF488 
Using the Copyright of Others  BIF157 
Using Copyright to Protect Your Work  BIF218 
An Overview of Intellectual Property Rights  BIF012 
Choosing the Right Business Legal Structure  BIF032 
Protecting and Registering Product Designs  BIF249 

Sources of Business Information (SOU)

Arts Marketing Association (AMA) SOU721
British Institute of Professional Photography SOU330
Crafts Council SOU009
Fine Art Trade Guild SOU886
Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) SOU784

Sector Guide (SEC)

Crafts and Creative Industries – Sector Update SEC019 
Independent Retail · Sector Update SEC007 

Small Business Help Books 

This is a collection of books with practical information aimed at those starting and running a business. Located opposite the Enquiry/Information Desk in the Business & IP Centre Reading Room.

Children's writers' & artists' yearbook 2019: the essential guide for children's writers and artists on how to get published and who to contact [SBH.BT.177]
The annual, bestselling guide to all aspects of the media and how to write and illustrate for children and young adults. Acknowledged by the media industries and authors as the essential guide to how to get published.  

The craft business handbook: the essential guide to making money from your crafts and handmade products by Alison McNicol [SBH.BT.137]

Crafter's market 2016: how to sell your crafts and make a living by Kerry Bogert, editor [SBH.BT.18]
Help with starting or expanding your business with resources, such as contacts and guidelines for craft markets, craft shows, magazines, book publishers, online marketplaces. Hosting creative retreats, how to manage your time on the internet, using Pinterest, handling customer orders and setting up and using e-newsletters.

Starting up a gallery and frame shop by Annabelle Ruston [SBH.BT.119]
Written in conjunction with the Fine Art Trade Guild, advice on starting up your own gallery, pros and cons of running your own business, choosing premises, start up and running costs, typical lease agreements, financial projections etc. Plus case studies.

How to create your own jewellery line by Emilie Shapiro [SBH.BT.48]
Learn the ins and outs of running a craft business. Emilie Shapiro shares her knowledge with you on how to set up and run a craft business – a detailed guide. 

How to sell what you make: the business of marketing crafts by Paul Gerhards) [SBH.BT.60]
Getting started, selling, exhibiting at trade shows, pricing, and marketing – turn a hobby into a profitable business.

More Sewing to Sell--Take Your Handmade Business to the Next Level: 16 New Projects to Make & Sell! by Virginia Keleher Lindsay  [SBH.BT.187]
Practical advice from industry experts! Virginia Lindsay teaches you how to sell your handmade items for a real profit. This hands-on guide to the sewing business includes 16 new sewing patterns, all copyright- and royalty-free, ready to customize for craft fairs or online shops.

Open innovation: academic and practical perspectives on the journey from idea to market edited by Arthur B. Markman [SBH.PDIP.42]
This movement of open innovation in the workforce necessitates improvements in the arenas of idea generation, evaluation, funding, and the presentation of these ideas to the marketplace in new and exciting ways. 

Selling your crafts online: with Etsy, ebay, and Pinterest by Michael Miller [SBH.BT.95]
Step by step guide through the online crafts marketplaces. Craft specific tips and advice on everything from creating listings to getting a fair price, processing payments.

Sustainable Jewellery: principles and processes for creating an ethical brand by Jose Luis Fettolini [SBH.BT.184]
Sustainable Jewellery contains all the aspects that are necessary to know in order to start the path towards sustainability in the jewellery business, from the traceability of gems and metals, to the impact of the processes of purification, smelting, polishing, etc., and the ways to work with certified materials.

The copyright book: a practical guide by William S. Strong [(B) IP 346.730482] 
Business, item is on open access in the BIPC Reading Room.

Writing the TV drama series: how to succeed as a writer in TV by Pamela Douglas [SBH.BT.186]
A revised and updated edition is a complete resource for anyone who wants to write and produce for television drama series or create an original series, as well as for teachers in screenwriting classes and workshops. It leads the reader step-by-step through every stage of the development and writing process.

Market Research & Statistics 

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

GlobalData logo

  • Success Case Study: Sauce Shop – Using Craft to Challenge the Mainstream Condiment Market
  • Strategic & Tropical Insights: Opportunities in Craft Spirits
  • Product Launch Analytics Innovation of the Week: menopause just got easier to manage, thanks to this new craft beer
  • Success: Camden Town Brewery – Taking Craft Beer From Local Niche to National/International Brand
  • Gunna – the latest premium brand in the UK carbonates market

IBISWorld logo

  • Toy retailing in the UK – G47.650

Mintel logo

  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Greeting Cards & Personal Stationery retailing
  • Toy Retailing

Passport logo

  • Arts and Crafts in United Kingdom
  • Dolls and accessories United Kingdom
  • Reconnecting fragrance to its artistic value

Printed & Online Market Research Reports

(Please ask for help in finding these)

Arts & media sponsorship [(B) MKT 338.43700]
Title now taken as electronic copy only.

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.

Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists. Ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

Craft Business [(P) AK52 – E (1)]


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.

Craft business directory [(B) DIR 338.47745502541]
The essential resource for the craft and hobby industry

Crafter’s market: how to sell your crafts and make a living [(B) DIR 381.4574550973 BUS]
A comprehensive guide introducing a new world of possibilities for marketing your craft.
Item is on open access: BIPC Reading Room.

The Craft seller’s companion (compiled by Rebecca Bennett and Abbie Sawyer) [(B) DIR 745.5068 BUS]
The crafty entrepreneur’s essential directory: suppliers, resources and advice
Item on open access: BIPC Reading Room.

The Societies of photographers members handbook [(B) DIR.770.5 Bus]
Item on open access: BIPC Reading Room.

Windrow & Greene’s needlecrafts and home crafts directory [(B) DIR 646.1902541] order using Explore the British Library
This is a reference book for all those involved in crafts and hobbies, with subjects such as dressmaking, jewellery, leatherwork, painting and drawing, book binding, sculpture, glass engraving, furniture restoration and children's crafts covered. The directory lists nearly 3,000 names and addresses of equipment suppliers, manufacturers, retail outlets, services, courses and museums.

World glass directory [(B) DIR 338.4766619029] Business 2011
Suppliers and glassworks complete profiles.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

Assay Office Birmingham

Tel: (0121) 236 6951

Association for Creative Industries (AFCI)

Association for Contemporary Jewellery (ACJ)

Arts Council England

Tel: (0161) 934 4317

Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Tel: (028) 9262 3555

Arts Council of Wales

Tel: (029) 2044 1300

Association For Creative Industries (AFCI)

British Hallmarking Council (BHC)

British Independent Retailers Association (bira)

Tel: 0800 028 0245

British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP)

Tel: (01296) 642020

Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA)

Tel: (020) 7491 8891

Craft Bakers Association (CBA)

Tel: (01920) 468061

Crafts Council

Tel: (020) 7806 2500

Craft Potters Association (CPA)

Tel: (020) 3137 0750

Creative Scotland

Tel: 0345 603 6000

Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS)

Tel: (020) 7336 8811

Edinburgh Assay Office

Tel: (0131) 556 1144

Fine Art Trade Guild 

Tel: (020) 7381 6616

Food Standards Agency (FSA)

Tel: (020) 7276 8829 (England)
Tel: (029) 2067 8999 (Wales)
Tel: (028) 9041 7700 (Northern Ireland) 

Food Standards Scotland

Tel: (01224) 285100 

Greeting Card Association

Tel: (020) 7619 9266

Guild of Craft Soap & Toiletry Makers (GCSTM) 

ICHF Events

Tel: 01425 277988

Institute of Medical Illustrators (IMI)

Tel: (01423) 569475 (Honorary Secretary)

National Association of Screen Make-Up Artists and Hairdressers (NASMAH)

Tel: (01932) 660935

The Artists Information Company (a.n)

Tel: 0300 330 0706

The Association of Art and Antique Dealers (LAPADA)

Tel: (020) 07823 3511

The Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers (AMUSF)

Tel: (01494) 429340

The Association of Photographers (AOP)

Tel: (020) 7739 6669

The British Antique Dealers' Association (BADA)

Tel: (020) 7589 4128

The British Antique Furniture Restorers' Association (BAFRA)

Tel: (01939) 210826

The British Sugarcraft Guild (BSG)

Tel: (0161) 222 9699

The Contemporary Glass Society

Tel: (01379) 741120

The Furniture Makers' Company

Tel: (020) 7256 5558

The Guild of Jewellery Designers (GoJD)

Tel: (0121) 507 0994

The Guild of Photographers

Tel: (01782) 970323

The Guild of Master Craftsmen

Tel: (01273) 478449

The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ)

Tel: (0121) 237 1110 (Birmingham) 
Tel: (020) 7613 4445 (London)

The Royal Photographic Society (RPS)

Tel: (01225) 325733 (Reception)

Society of Designer Craftsmen

Tel: 07531 798983

UK Fashion & Textile Association

Tel: (020) 7843 9460

UK Handmade Magazine – Online 

Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

Images by François Dally,; Blacksmiths George James & Sons (Decorative metalwork panels Guy’s Hospital Centre panel; Article by Jim Bramlett – day of the dead search on Googlel – tattoos; Arts & Crafts under a Creative Commons license