Arts and Handicrafts Guide

Updated: November 28, 2022

Welcome to the Arts and Handicrafts Guide


What is the Arts and Handicrafts Industry?

Arts, crafts, and handcrafts retailers are individual artisans and establishments that sell unique artistic creations. These sellers often specialize in a particular medium, such as glass, wood, or stone. They may also make art that stems from their traditions and their local context, as First Nations, Aboriginal, Inuit, and Metis artisans and craftspeople do. The arts and handicrafts industry is a significant part of the Canadian culture sector, accounting for over $2.2 billion in GDP in 2016. It’s also a direct industry, without many middlemen: 85% of the money made through craft sales goes directly to the artisan or craftsperson.  Retailers often buy products directly from local artists, or create their own products.

woman working on a potter's wheel

Image by Marcel from Pixabay

This guide can offer a launching point as you embark on your secondary market research for your business idea. Work through the questions and resources to develop strategies for accessing reliable business information as part of your planning process. While doing your own primary market research will ensure you get the exact data you need, it is usually very time consuming and expensive. Believe us -- it is well worth your time to learn how to find publicly available statistics and data first. We'll point you to as many freely available, online sources that we can find, but keep in mind that there are many resources available at your local public, college or research library. 

Guide Outline

This Accelerator Guide is organized into four sections designed to help you focus your research. Each section will highlight what goals you'll achieve, as well as questions to get you thinking about the kind of information you'll likely need. In no time you will be an expert DIY researcher! You'll need to use the menu on the left to explore each section but here is an outline you can follow.

  1. Getting Started has introductory materials like how-to books, sample business plans and general start-up information.
  2. Industry Info has sources outlining the current status, outlook, and trends for your particular industry or sector and more.
  3. Competitive Info has sources for outlining your competitive market, including potential competitors and market share.
  4. Customer Info has sources that will help you develop your market analysis and learn about the demographics of your target market and your customers' needs.

Need Other Help?

If you're looking for in-person help be sure to check out the BC Business Support Directory for help in your specific community. If this is your first time doing secondary market research you might want to follow our step-by-step Business Research Basics. In the Learn Business Basics section of this website you will find curated lists of resources on many business topics from marketing, top business planning to a wide selection of free web-based tools to help you with your business development.