Someone made this chance comment at the Grand River Bead Society not too long ago. She lamented that the jewelry making classes at some bead shows weren't filling up as they used to.  Interesting comment, I thought.  Is it just an isolated period or is there really a downward trend?

"Jewelry" search term - worldwide Trend
There are no large surveys I know of for bead show attendance across the board. But there is one tool that could shed some light on the subject.  Google Trends not only keeps numerical track of search terms people use but even forecasts trends. Note they only have data going back to about 2004. So I ran some common search terms as an experiment. Please bear in mind these are just broad terms. Most people would be using much more specific search terms.

The graph above shows the search term data for "jewelry" worldwide.  There is a slight decline from 2004-2007, but it remains steady after that. The spikes are during the Christmas run up with tiny bumps around Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. So people generally research for jewelry at one main time of year. The letters mark where jewelry was observed in news headlines.

"Handmade Jewelry" search term - worldwide trend
"Handmade jewelry" showed a shallow decline but there was no strong correlation with time of year. Perhaps people use handmade bracelet or handcrafted necklace or handmade pearl ring etc rather than just handmade jewelry.  So I switched to just "handmade" and whoa!  The trend is definitely on the up and up for all sorts of handmade products, not just jewelry. So did the term "DIY" (not shown). It is heartening to see growing interest in non-factory manufactured things.

"Handmade" search term - worldwide
When I ran "jewelry tutorial" in Google Trends, the results also showed a distinct rise in interest.

"Jewelry Tutorial" search term- worldwide
I can definitely relate to the jewelry tutorial trend results with my own blog.  When I started my blog back in January 2007, there weren't that many tutorials around. However, in the last couple of years or so, I have noticed a large increase in online tutorials making my hunting for the best finds both easy and hard at the same time! Easy because there is so much out there; hard because the curating now takes a lot longer!

Perhaps that's the real reason why people are not attending some show workshops as much. Although I'll bet the workshops are still popular at major shows. I think it is not really a decline in interest but a change in how and where people want to learn.  Increasingly, people are finding it more convenient to learn (and shop) online in their own time.  It is the only option for those who live far from major cities and find it hard to travel.

So what do YOU think? Is the handmade jewelry making craft on the decline? Please vote and share your thoughts and observations in the comments.

Do you think interest in handmade jewelry making is on the decline? free polls 

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips