Crafts in the UK will be disproportionately affected by Brexit

The first time I realised craft related businesses were going to be disproportionately affected by Brexit was on Hilltop Cloud’s recent newsletter, Katie assured customers that they shouldn’t feel “guilty” about the sudden discount they were going to receive due to the pound crashing. Afterall, she is getting paid the same…

Problem is, soon her suppliers, and her supplier’s suppliers are going to make increases, and soon small business margins will be further squeezed. This will happen across the entire market.

The next sign, Artesano today announced on facebook they are ceasing trading.

“We have made our best efforts to get stock moving and to fulfil all orders, but once the Brexit was announced last week, our main suppliers took the view not to continue delivering to us.”

We’re not even OUT of the EU yet technically, and it’s starting already.

Small businesses struggle, that is a given. I don’t think this supplier issue was the only factor in their closing up today. Artesano was working on changing their business model, they were trying something new with online sales and new distribution.

Small businesses have to be nimble and take chances to adapt. They have to deal with smaller margins, and smaller scales. There isn’t a lot of “wiggle room.” Running a small business is a risky business on the best days…. but this is going to be like nothing else.

All the businesses we love are at risk right now. Small businesses are often labours of love, and sweat equity, and don’t benefit from big investment. They don’t have the wherewithal to weather this crisis.

As crafters we’re going to notice this most quickly. These businesses rely on other small businesses, they have smaller, niche markets, and they rely on international supply chains.

 

Vultures may delight in picking among the discounted detritus of crashed businesses. I just feel like saying, I hope you’re happy now. It’s positively infuriating.

I’m going to a local meeting tonight to see what is being planned, how we can advocate for our communities, and work towards solutions. I have to do something, because it’s all looking a bit hopeless right now.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Crafts in the UK will be disproportionately affected by Brexit

  1. Honestly, the rapidly shifting sands is making me seriously rethink my small business goals. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have that as my sole income, especially now that things are going to start pricing some small businesses out of the market. 😦 (From Gamercrafting.com)

  2. Just to say, my business is very much not in trouble, just in case anyone was wondering.
    I have a healthy customer base, and will have no trouble fulfilling orders (everything on my website is in stock and available to ship). I will also have no problem continuing to place wholesale orders to obtain more stock.
    I can’t guarantee that I won’t have to change prices in the future, but that has always been the case. Certain fibres have risen in price dramatically over the last couple of years even without the help of Brexit. In the cases of some I’ve stopped stocking them, and moved on to other fibres I feel are better value for money.
    My email was simply meant to let my international customers know that I hadn’t just suddenly dropped my prices, not everyone follows exchange rates, or even international news. A dramatic change in price on my website could have confused some customers, and I simply wanted to let them know.

    Much of my wool is British, and processed in Britain, that helps shield me from some of the economic effects of Brexit (though not all). Artesano operate a very different business model, and are many orders of magnitude larger than me. They have also been struggling for a number of years, so this news doesn’t come as a surprise.

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